For the last seven years some homebuilders in California offered home buyers a solar option if they were willing to pay the extra cash. Now California is set to begin making solar a standard items on almost every new home to be built in the state.
Next week, the California Energy Commission will vote on their new energy standards that most new homes contain solar panels beginning in 2020. If they are approved, as is expected, installations for solar panels in new homes will soar.
Only between 15% and 20% of new home that are single family being built today have solar, said a member of the California Building Industry Association.
California will take a huge leap in its energy standards said one analyst as no other state in the country mandates solar and that will be done following the vote next week.
The new rules would be a slight deviation from another objective that is much heralded of requiring all new home to be net zero, which means they would produce sufficient enough solar energy to offset all natural gas and electricity during a year’s time.
Recent thinking made the goal seem obsolete, say state officials. A true zero-net-energy home rely on the energy gird during the night, they explain, a period when more generating plants are coming online using fossil fuel for power generation.
While environmentalists as well as homebuilders praise the new solar standards, the proposed new rules have detractors who still support goals that are net-zero.
As well as widespread solar power adoption, the new standards included a push of increasing battery storage and well as an increased reliance on electricity rather than natural gas.
The new solar mandate applies to every house, condo and apartment building that are three stories in height that obtain a building permit after January 1, 2020.
There are expectations for example when a home has a large amount of shade due to having trees or buildings or when the roofs of the home are too small to hold a solar panel.
Builders that install batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall receive compliance credits that allow them to reduce the size at a later day of their solar system.
Provisions encourage more use of electric and reduce consumption of natural gas. Officials in the state say that improved technology is making the electric hot water heater much more cost effective.