New Mandate Requires Solar Panels on All New California Homes

Solar panelsCalifornia regulators on Wednesday approved a first-in-the-nation plan to mandate the installation of solar panels on all new homes beginning in 2020.

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The move was approved with a 5-0 vote by the California Energy Commission, in what supporters of solar energy are hailing as a monumental moment.

“This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S.,” Abigail Ross Hopper, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s CEO said in a statement. “California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion … now, California is taking bold leadership again, recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as the front door that welcomes you home.”

The regulation will go into effect once it receives its expected approval by the Building Standards Commission later this month.

And while proponents of renewable energy may be pleased with the decision, there’s mounting concerns that the requirement will only aggravate the state’s home affordability crisis, as the mandate is expected to add at least $10,000 in additional construction costs.

However, supporters argue that utility savings will balance out that cost in the long term.

“Adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap in statewide building standards,” Robert Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association, told the commission. “You can bet every other of the 49 states will be watching closely to see what happens.”

But Republican leaders are already coming out against the decision, framing it as just the latest example of government overreach in Sacramento.

“That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live,” Republican Assemblyman Brian Dahle reportedly said of the dangers of the rules.

The mandate will apply to all homes, condominiums and apartment buildings up to three stories high — with exceptions for structures that are covered by shade.

According to the commission’s own estimates, the panels will cost homeowners around $40 a month, but save them about $80 a month on heating, air conditioning and other costs.

“This is great for wealthier homeowners, but for everybody else it’s one more reason to not go to California or to leave ASAP,” American Enterprise Institute economist Jimmy Pethokoukis said on CNBC Wednesday.

More broadly, the move is part of California’s plan to have all residential buildings be “zero net energy,” which means that the the total amount of energy used by the building is the same as the amount of renewable energy it creates.

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  1. Not only does the installation of solar panels wreck your roof and make it more likely for storm damage, shorten it’s life and double the cost of replacement, but you can be sure the utilities will raise the price of electricity after having paid off the legislators with the argument the solar panels are reducing what they can sell and they are guaranteed a profit as a public utility! Furthermore, this is all predicated on false science!

    Read “CO2 Is Innocent” at and clip-copy, print, take to a Chemistry or Physics teacher for authentication of chemistry, stoichiometry and physics, do the demo-experiment for a few Dollars and see for yourself that CO2 additions to the atmosphere on the order of those expected have no effect on the IRenergy captured from sunlight. Add more and get over 10,000 ppm and see the temperature fall! Anthropogenic global warming is panic propaganda for political power.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for more.

    • tomsquawk says

      Actually, my utility dropped my rate based on the offset attributed to solar when i consume off-peak (day light hours). Yep, they gave me a break of 1 cent per kWh equal to $20 annually. Heckofadeal!

  2. Dave Waterbury says

    It’s quite possible this 5-man commitee has over-exceeded their authority.

  3. Donald J. says

    The Druggie weed pushers, Big Pharma and the Solar Hacks own along with various Unions OWN the Government not only in Cali but are creeping all across this once great land.

  4. Damocles says

    Wonder how many California politicians bought large shears in the Solar companies that california uses and is in line to demand that private contractors use in order to stay in business here. Remember when they changed the laws to allow inside trading for government officials ? What a co-ink-y-dink .

  5. Damocles says

    I have not heard of ANY solar system only costing 10,000 in MANY YEARS . More like 40,000 to 50000 and up . I can see how that won’t hurt anyone trying to buy a house , how bout you ?

  6. The web is tightening: The government now tells us we have to buy a “government approved” automobile, now we have to buy a “government approved” house.” Uh – could this be called socialism at its finest?

  7. Steve Cagle says

    Another expense forced upon people without a vote, and this time it’s a big one. Solar has not proven to be a self supporting energy source and only survives because of govt subsidies. Also, the technology is evolving, and I wonder if it will go the way of calculators and computers in the next 20 years ( a fraction of the original price, and vastly more efficient).

  8. Steve Cagle says

    So much for the housing price crisis we keep hearing about in California. What’s another $60,000. or so, right?

  9. Even more negative than driving up the cost of housing is the ever-increasing dictatorial government that continues to tell people how they should live, what they should eat, what they should believe. Where will it stop? When will they start dictating what color our house should be, how we should wear our hair, what clothes we are allowed to wear. We are moving quite rapidly to a totalitarian government that acts like a King, with each fiefdom competing against each other to see which one can demand the most ridiculous laws. These government pawns having nothing to do but see who can think up the latest stupid suggestion, and then revel in their claim to be a hard working “public” servant, as if they were giving up something of themselves. People of California, wake up. Don’t fall for this hyperbolic nonsense that California is leading the nation except in stupidity.

  10. This is all horse****. You know the so-called $10,000 (minimum) solar construction costs will be rolled into the 30 year home loan. If the mortgage loan interest rate happens to be 4.2%, the amortization will put the total interest paid from the solar alone at $8779.30 thus costing the owner $18,779.30 for those solar panels. Tell the whole story!

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