This historic revision of building energy codes ensures a large investment in residential rooftop solar and energy efficiency as California pursues its mandate of getting 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030.
The requirement does include exceptions when solar panels aren't feasible - such as on a home shrouded in shade - or cost effective. "No other state in the nation will have anything close to this, and you can bet 49 other states will be watching to see what happens here in California". The state expects that, on the whole, the new requirements will help state residents save money.
All of this will be for new homes and apartment buildings up to three stories.
Wiener, who has made housing affordability a centerpiece of his agenda, says homeowners will also have the option of leasing their solar panels.
"I love it. It works great, "said Durocher".
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"They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for "smart" technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future". "This solar decision could be yet another win for America's energy independence". All they have to do is pass a mandate that most new homes come with solar panels already installed. There are 250,000 solar jobs nationwide, with most employees involved with the installation of new systems.
In this tight housing market, any roof - with or without solar panels - is desirable, real estate agents say.
"For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills", said the Commission. "It's also important to make sure families can afford to pay the energy bills that keep the lights on, the temperature comfortable, and the hot water flowing".
As explained in a blog from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the policy, which is the first of its kind in the USA, "will combine rooftop solar panels with enough energy efficiency measures like insulation and better windows" - in turn, bringing the building to net-zero electricity.
"While additional distributed renewable electricity will be helpful, California's climate elephant in the room remains the greenhouse gases from people driving cars", said Costa Samaras, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, in an e-mail.