California regulators approve plan to Support solar panels

California moves to require solar panels on all new homes by 2020

New homes and low-rise apartment buildings across California would include solar panels under first-in-the-nation rules approved Wednesday by the California Energy Commission.

Meanwhile, non-residential dwellings will achieve energy savings of 30%, the Energy Commission estimates.

But the researchers noted a bright spot - the state's greenhouse gas emissions are declining, despite a growing population.

The CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Assocation described the new policy as historic and commended California for its bold leadership in moving toward mass adoption of this form of renewable energy technology which will yield significant benefits both economically and for the environment. The California Building Standards Commission still needs to approve the change, and that hearing is scheduled for the end of this year.

California will now require solar panels on most new homes, extending the state's role in pushing some of the strictest environmental regulations in the United States. In California's coastal communities, at least, research has found that the sharp rise in housing costs is mostly driven by rising land costs, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, a permit and contractor data analysis website.

Overall, home listings in California were by far the most likely to mention green energy features.

Free NES Games, But It's Not Virtual Console
NES-Nintendo Switch Online is a collection of classic NES titles and will be included in any of the subscriptions shown above. Online chat services will still be handled by the Nintendo Switch Online App, which probably isn't what many were hoping for.

The new rules, which will take full effect in two years, will add thousands of dollars to the construction and maintenance of new homes, but leaders in Sacramento say that the effort will be worth the costs. They estimate that for every $40 in monthly payments the energy standards increase, consumers will save $80 in energy costs.

Wednesday's groundbreaking decision will have a financial drawback: the required solar panels are expected to add around $10,000 to individual new home costs. But as per the expert's view, this extra investment done while building new homes will be recovered as there will be saving on energy bills for a lifetime.

The state set a solar power generation record in April and regulators say the state is on track to meet its 2030 renewable energy goal.

A key element in crafting the new standards was to ensure that the efficiency upgrade and solar systems would be affordable to all Californians.

"California now burns as much gas in our buildings as we do in our power plants", the letter states. Several California cities have already been mandating some solar power in new buildings. Solar systems need to be bigger - and more costly - in hotter parts of the state like the Inland Empire and the Central Valley.

More: World's largest solar battery?

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