Environment

Starting in 2020, solar panels will be required on all new California houses

Starting in 2020, solar panels...
Homes built in accordance with the 2019 standards should use about 53 percent less energy than those built under the existing 2016 standards
Homes built in accordance with the 2019 standards should use about 53 percent less energy than those built under the existing 2016 standards
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Homes built in accordance with the 2019 standards should use about 53 percent less energy than those built under the existing 2016 standards
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Homes built in accordance with the 2019 standards should use about 53 percent less energy than those built under the existing 2016 standards

As of Jan. 1st, 2020, all new homes built in California will be required to have solar photovoltaic systems. The ruling is part of the California Energy Commission's newly-instituted 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions "by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road."

Along with the addition of solar panels, new California homes will also have to meet updated thermal envelope standards, which prevent heat transfer from the building's interior to the exterior and vice-versa. Ventilation systems that minimize air pollution from both outdoor and indoor sources will additionally be required.

And yes, these requirements will initially cost homeowners more money, although they should save cash in the long run.

According to the California Energy Commission, adhering to the 2019 standards will add about US$9,500 to the cost of constructing an average new home, but then decrease energy and maintenance costs by $19,000 over the next 30 years. Stated otherwise, the commission estimates that based on a 30-year mortgage, homeowners will pay about $40 more per month for an average home, but save $80 a month in heating, cooling and lighting bills.

All told, homes built in accordance with the 2019 standards should use about 53 percent less energy than those built under the existing 2016 standards. Over the following three years, this should reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 tonnes (771,618 tons).

"Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid," says Commissioner Andrew McAllister, the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency. "The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. 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."

Source: California Energy Commission via The New York Times

7 comments
Joshua Tulberg
I believe this only applies to large multi-family dwellings or 3-story homes. But I didn't see that mentioned in this article.
flyerfly
California has turned into a nightmare state. I love solar but California is acting like a Nazi/communist combo now in their pursuit of "utopia". Ask the thousands of people who can't even get a permit to rebuild their burned out home even after a year...let along a "new house". Ask the people that are required to put storm water prevention/absorption pads all around their burned housing pad...people are moving away from California and they have a housing crisis...and now another requirement to build a house that government should have NOTHING to do with. My parents live in CA and it is a real nightmare...if it were not for Prop 13 they would move ASAP.
SimonClarke
I would like to see solar panels mandatory on all new UK homes. the additional cost of installation would be absorbed by the reduced energy bills and would defiantly increase the retail value of the house.
Bob Bolhuis
@firefly - I believe all of the insane housing regulations are put in place to CAUSE a housing crisis... It's a feature, not a bug. From what I have seen, every area that is a really nice place to live attracts people who will do everything in their power to move there, and then turn around and do everything in their power to keep other people from doing the same thing. I believe that in the case of California, those people have wormed into positions of power and are now doing what they can to keep more people from moving in. Having bunches of people decide to leave is probably considered a fine thing as well.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
I just had a $23 K grid storage PV system installed on my house. It made sense because I had some nose bleed stocks to sell and am retired, so I can stay in the house for 20 years.
Signguy
And will we still have to pay the power company in order to use our own system? I have a solution for the housing crunch; all those born in California from 1930 on get to stay; the rest of you go somewhere else....
John2244
The problem with this is that in California you are forced to switch to a different fee structure when you install solar. As an example, without solar you pay between 8 and 20 cents per kilowatt. When you have solar you are paid 1-2 cents for the electricity you generate. On the flip side, when you need electricity because the sun is setting the power companies charge between 30-40 cents per kilowatt. It's completely impractical to build a solar system that will save you money, when the power companies jack up the prices so much on the back end. No one is opposed to solar power, or sustainable solutions. However, you need to dig deeper into the issue to see that this is just another government scam that will ultimately cost consumers more money, while enriching the utility companies that have bought off the government. You have to be very skeptical of anything the government proposes. The California legislature is one of the most dishonest, and corrupt on the planet. They come up with problems that require government intervention. If you follow these programs start to finish, and track the money, you'll see that problems never get fixed, and the politicians and their friends end up making millions of dollars from the extra taxes.