California's Solar Mandate Gains Approval

December 6, 2018
Single-family home with Christmas lights on roof
Photo: Unsplash/Bob Ricca

The State of California's requirement to include solar rooftop panels on all new-construction homes is now formalized as part of its 2020 building code, approved by the California Building Standards Commission

A result of a unanimous vote, the Golden State is the first in the nation to mandate solar energy installations on most single-family homes, and multifamily residential buildings, like condominiums and apartment complexes, up to three stories tall. In terms of cost, CNBC reports that the solar requirement will add an average $9,500 to the cost of building a new home, but the cost will be offset by $19,000 in energy savings over a 30-year period, says the California Energy Commission

"Today's unanimous vote was the culmination of more than two years of work by SEIA, it's partner organizations and of course policy makers in the Golden State," said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade association of the solar energy industry. "We hope other states will look at what California has done and consider similar policies to encourage clean and low cost solar energy."

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