California mandates solar PV on all new residential buildings

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The California Energy Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a proposal to require solar panels for nearly all new homes and smaller, multi-family dwellings built after January 1, 2020.

About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family units will be built in 2020, the commission estimates. There would also be increased requirements related to ventilation and indoor air quality.

About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multifamily units will be built in 2020, the commission estimates. "With everything happening in the country right now and President Trump's obsession with coal and the continuing strength of the oil industry, California needs to be aggressive in moving towards a clean energy future, and this is one step in that direction". The California Building Standards Commission will need to give the final approval before the mandate can be enacted.

The California Energy Commission says the move will save consumers tens of thousands of dollars in the long run on their monthly energy bills, but they'll have to pay more up front.

California has already made giant strides in adding renewable-energy generation, which has started to create its own set of problems.

The decision has its detractors among some business associations that have focused on the estimated $9,500 cost per building the requirement will add, in part to cover the Trump administration's tariff on solar panels.

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The requirement does include exceptions when solar panels aren't feasible - such as on a home shrouded in shade - or cost effective. The commission projects that home energy savings will total about $16,251 over the span of 30 years.

The Energy Commissioners is taking a significant step to continue its push for lowering greenhouse gas emissions - using the sun as its saver.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be installed on every house that receives a building permit, as well as condominiums and apartments up to three stories high.

On the other hand, while advocates for the plan admit that the costs will drive more people out of the housing market, they insist the addition of solar power will end up saving homeowners in electric costs.

California - now the world's fifth-largest economy - already has a reputation for pushing the boundaries when it comes to going green. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

California has been a leader in statewide initiatives to combat climate change, including setting aggressive goals like lowering carbon pollution to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, as well as requiring that utility companies get at least 50 percent of all electricity from renewables by the same year.

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