California is the first state close to adoption of a nationwide mandate that requires solar panels to be installed on low-rise apartment buildings and new homes from 2020 in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The move represents a quantum leap in building standards at a national level. The move in California will be watched closely by other states to evaluate how it bring results, as stated by an associate at the California Building Industry Association.
New regulations to improve ventilation and to improve indoor air quality are expected to follow up in the state that still require backing from the State’s Building Standards Commission. In California, building codes and energy efficiency standards are updated every three years. As per estimates of the California Energy Commission, installation of solar panel would increase construction costs of a single-family home by nearly US$10,000. But the returns of energy savings in the form of cost savings would be much more.
California Positions Itself as Pioneer of Clean Energy
With this move California has positioned itself as the pioneer of clean energy in the country, encouraging more electric vehicles on the roads and reduced emissions from commercial and residential establishments. The move is a bold and visionary one, as stated by an associate at the Energy Commission. Construction groups, solar manufacturers, and public utilities and other industry groups in the state have expressed support for the move.
On the contrary, Republican legislative leaders have expressed concern that cost of add-ons on housing will be unaffordable by Californians who are already grappling with the brunt of an extremely expensive market.