Earlier this month, the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) unanimously approved new standards requiring that, starting in 2020, all new homes in California include rooftop solar. This vote makes California the first state in the country to have a residential clean energy requirement of this kind.
"It’s officially official. Solar will be required on new California homes starting in 2020," said Kelly Knutsen, Director of Technology Advancement for the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). "These highly energy efficient and solar-powered homes will save families money on their energy bills from the moment they walk through their front door. Homebuyers will also have a solar plus storage option, allowing their home-grown clean energy to work for them day and night."
The new standards require that all new homes under three stories tall install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and that the solar systems be sized to offset the annual energy usage of the home. It also incentivizes other clean energy technologies, such as battery storage and water heaters.
The approval follows three years of analysis conducted by the California Energy Commission (CEC), showing that the new rooftop solar requirement will help save homeowners about $40/month, or roughly $500/year.
Want to support California solar?
Nearly 1 million Californians have invested in solar energy. However, there are some developments that may make it harder and more expensive for Californians to choose solar energy, such as the development of new fees, threats to net metering, and control over new solar technology. Organizations like the Solar Rights Alliance have formed to help Californians get involved and stay updated.