Starting in 2020, all new California homes will be required to incorporate solar panels.
The five-member California Energy Commission approved the law in a unanimous vote in May 2018.
In October,2017, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris discussed the approval by the California Energy Commission (CEC) implementing the city’s Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Home ordinance.
The first of its kind in California, Lancaster’s ZNE law mandates the installation of a solar system equivalent to two watts per square foot for each new home built, effective in 2017.
The state’s law will cut energy use in new homes by more than 50% and “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.”
Obviously, the state law will raise the purchase price on new homes in paying for the cost of the panels, but officials say the $40 monthly payment increase will mean electricity payments can be reduced as much as $80.
State employees point out that a wide range of highly energy-efficient solar panel programs will help save families money.
In order to get more people to switch to clean solar energy, the federal and state governments are highly incentivizing homeowners who live in specific zip codes in California to go solar with $1,000s of dollars in rebates and incentives that cover upfront costs or installation fees.
There are a large range of programs offering little to $0 down, no out-of-pocket cost polar panels to people who qualify and are in specific zip codes.
Solar panels are 70% cheaper today than they were a few years ago, which means millions of homeowners that could not previously afford to do so are switching to solar.
While housing affordability questions might keep other states on the bench for now, officials agree that one component of the new requirement may have a more immediate effect: Getting states to think about renewables and energy storage at the same time.
Under the new building standards, homebuilders can reduce the number of solar panels they have to install by 25% if they integrate energy storage. The advantage is that storage will allow homes to store power for later when sunlight isn’t available.
The reasoning by officials is that the mighty uptick in converting to solar and wind power will have long term benefits for homeowners across the entire nation.
That’s progress for all America.