Solar Panels to Become Mandatory on New Homes in California

California’s Energy Commission made a monumental decision about solar panels in May. It approved new energy standards, mandating solar panels be incorporated into practically every new home, apartment building or condominium, beginning in 2020.

While the initial expense might concern homeowners, they won’t be expected to reach net-zero status—when solar power completely offsets the amount of energy consumed within a 12-month period. Those who install storage batteries will receive compliance credits, too. These batteries allow owners to build a smaller array of solar panels.

Cost for these implementations is a big concern, however, with construction costs rising an average of $25,000 to $30,000 per structure. The use of solar energy is expected to save homeowners an average of $50,000 to $60,000 over the average 25-year lifespan of the solar operating system.

California is the first state to approve a solar panel requirement for new construction. It is expected to be exceedingly successful, given the state’s abundance of sunny days, as well as the long-standing high real estate costs. The downfall could be the ongoing housing shortage in the state, and pricing buyers out of new homes as they become available.

It is expected this vote will increase business for companies that make solar panels, as well as for companies that employ installers. The hope is that this will not only increase jobs and promote job-security, but that it will make solar panels more affordable for consumers all across the United States.

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