Solar Mandate's Long-Term Benefits for Builders, Buyers

December 7, 2018
Hermosa Beach Pier, Hermosa Beach, United States
Photo: Unsplash/Marion Michele

California's rooftop solar mandate goes into effect on January 1, 2020, making it the first in the nation to do so. Experts are weighing in on the long-term benefits for homeowners and builders.

According to Reuters' reporting, a homeowner will likely save $19,000 by 2050, while Meritage Homes expects reduce operating costs by between $50,000 to 60,000 over a quarter century. Drew Bohan, executive director of the California Energy Commission explains, “With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, there is even greater need for homes that are efficient, reliable and resilient,” telling Fortune that these new rules, "will continue to keep costs down, better withstand the impacts of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Currently, just 9 percent of single-family detached homes in California have solar panels. But as the state pushes toward decreasing greenhouse gas emissions—and with a 2045 goal to transition to a fully renewable energy grid devoid of fossil fuels—this rule will help accelerate that progress. Aside from energy efficiency, solar panels reduce ozone-damaging household emissions, most of which come from natural gas-generated electricity.

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