As expected, the California Energy Commission (CEC) passed a "first-in-the-nation" rule on Wednesday, which stipulated that all new homes being built in this state should be equipped with solar panels.
"This is a milestone vote today," said David Hochschild, one of the CEC's five commissioners, who unanimously approved the measure, which was part of a revision of the California Building Efficiency Standards, which is updated every three years.
The rule will come into force on January 1, 2020, and does not need to be approved by the Legislature or the California Public Utilities Commission.
Solar photovoltaic or PV systems are installed on every house that receives a building permit, as well as condos and apartments up to three stories high. Homes shaded by trees or taller buildings, as well as houses with roofs that are too small to accommodate a PV system would be suitable for exceptions or alternatives to the mandate.
The updated building code also includes stricter efficiency standards for lighting, ventilation, windows, walls and attics for non-residential and residential buildings.
"The case for this has been extremely strong," said Andrew McAllister, the commissioner at the CEC took over the rule with input from builders and environmental groups. "(In) California, we believe in climate change, we believe in facts … It has become clear to all that it is the right thing and the market is ready."
CEC estimates The new standards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 tonnes during the three-year cycle of standards, equivalent to a decrease of 1
The Commission also expects to introduce nationwide annual electricity by the first year of implementation Consumption will be reduced by around 653 gigawatt-hours and natural gas consumption will be reduced by 9.8 million thermics.
The new mandate will increase the cost of new construction by thousands of dollars, but the CEC said home buyers would save money on their long-term energy costs
The average cost of building a single-family home rose an estimated $ 10,538 – though Solar companies in the San Diego area estimated that the cost of a solar system would be around $ 20,000, depending on the size of the house.
The CEC estimated the savings averaged $ 16,251 over the life of a home.
Based on a 30-year mortgage, the commission estimates that the standards will contribute $ 40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $ 80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills.