Rooftop Solar Panels Now Required in California

LG Solar Panels

Earlier this month, the California Energy Commission unanimously voted to add some new provisions to the state’s building code. Starting in 2020, all new houses and multi-family residences of three stories or less must be built with rooftop solar panels. This law also applies to homes undergoing major renovations.

The state of California is currently adding over 100,000 housing units a year, and with all the sunlight the state gets, there’s no telling just how much energy can be generated. While they are exempt for the time being, commercial rooftop solar panels will also be required starting in 2030. If a home is not suitable for rooftop solar panels due to location or other complications, the house must have access to a community solar project. If that is also not possible, the house must be built with energy efficient upgrades to compensate.

“These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country,” one commissioner, Kent Sasaki said. “It’s the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.”

There is some concern over this mandate as it will increase the price of houses in the market. However, energy specialists believe that this will be negated by the electricity savings the households will see. In fact, it is expected that the average utility bill for new homeowners will fall by $80 compared to what they pay now. And that’s before the positive effects for the environment are calculated in.

This is a huge development for the solar industry. Others involved in the solar industry and other renewable energies will be following these developments closely as California begins to implement this new policy in 2020. And with the interest in rooftop solar panels increasing, if this new policy is correctly handled it is likely that other states may implement similar strategies. Not only will this save homeowners thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their rooftop solar panels, but the environment will be spared tons of pollution.

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