California Approves Rule Requiring Solar Panels on New Homes

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The California Building Standards Commission has approved a new rule starting in 2020 that requires all new homes built in the state to include solar panels. As the first of its kind in the United States, the new rule includes an incentive for homeowners to add a high-capacity battery to their electrical system. The move hopes to help meet the state's goal of sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions while drawing all electricity from renewable energy sources.

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Single-family homes and multi-family buildings up to three stories high must conform to the new solar power standard. The state predicts that mandatory solar panel installations can add nearly $10,000 in the upfront cost of a home — a cost officials say will balance out over time with lower electricity bills. The California Energy Commission first endorsed the solar panel rule in May as part of California’s Green Building Standards Code. This past week, the Building Standards Commission added the requirement with a unanimous vote.

Homeowners will have the option of buying the panels outright, leasing them or taking part in a power purchase agreement with the home builder.

News via NPR