California becomes the first state to mandate solar panels on all new homes. The requirement goes into effect in 2020:
“These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country,” said Kent Sasaki, a structural engineer and one of six commissioners voting for the new energy code. “(It’s) the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.”
The new provisions are expected to dramatically boost the number of rooftop solar panels in the Golden State. Last year, builders took out permits for more than 115,000 new homes — almost half of them for single-family homes.
The estimated cost added for the average new home is $10,000, with $1,500 of that going for improved energy efficiency. That upfront costs will be paid for by lower utility bills over the life span of the solar panels.