California to require solar panels on all new homes starting from 2020

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California became the first state in the union Wednesday to require solar panels be installed on all new home construction; a move created to help "cut greenhouse gases" but could add even higher prices to the nation's most expensive housing market.

The standards also include some smaller efficiency requirements for non-residential buildings. It is the latest effort by the state to reduce carbon emissions, and if approved, it would be the first such mandate nationwide.

"Adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap in statewide building standards; no other state in the nation will have anything close to this and you can bet every one of the other 49 states will be watching close to see what happens", testified Bob Raymer, director of the California Building Industry Association.

The California Building Standards Commission will review the proposed new energy standards in the fall for a final decision on whether to add them to the state building code.

California will soon become the first state in the country to require solar panels on new homes. In California's coastal communities, at least, research has found that the sharp rise in housing costs is mostly driven by rising land costs, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, a permit and contractor data analysis website.

The rule will go into effect on January 1, 2020, and does not need to be approved by the Legislature or the California Public Utilities Commission. Requiring solar arrays on new structures would advance that goal.

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The move still needs backing from the state's building standards commission.

The solar panel requirement isn't a done deal yet.

The vote was a major win for the solar installation industry, which already counts California as its biggest market. "Homes had to have a certain amount of space on the roof so a homeowner could add a solar panel later on if he chooses".

California - now the world's fifth-largest economy - already has a reputation for pushing the boundaries when it comes to going green.

The regulation does not take effect immediately and must also obtain the approval of the state's Building Standards Commission, AP explained, an action which presumably is likely. Sunrun, however, focuses on installing solar power systems on existing homes, not new ones, according to Bloomberg. Visit for more information on this news.

'This is not a radical departure - it's a step in the right direction to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our air, which for many, many decades California has been doing better and better each time'. Several cities, including San Francisco and South Miami, Fla., have residential solar panel requirements.