California first USA state to require solar on new homes

California first USA state to require solar on new homes

"That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live", said Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's Republican leader. He wants the state to be 100% renewable-run by 2045, and make all homes energy-neutral - in other words, make sure they produce as much as they consume. Fremont and San Francisco for example have both mandated that solar panels are built into all new single-family and multifamily homes.

Image: California adopts new bill to power 50% of homes with solar.

California will mandate solar panels on new homes out of concern for climate change, a policy that will raise prices in the most expensive home market in the country and does little to decrease the state's carbon footprint.

There's good reason to think the requirement will become law across the whole state, as a number of Californian cities already insist on solar power being installed in new homes.

California, the most populous state, with almost 40 million people, has positioned itself as the nationwide leader on clean energy, pushing for more electric vehicles on the roads and lower emissions from homes and commercial buildings.

"This is a very bold and visionary step we're taking today", said David Hochschild, one of five voting members on the appointed energy panel. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point. The extra expense would hit at a time when California is suffering a severe and deepening housing affordability crisis.

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"As a nonprofit builder who finances all the construction ourselves through private donations, it is, of course, a concern to add any more costs to those", Laine Himmelmann, development director for Habitat for Humanity in Sacramento, told CNN affiliate KCRA.

It does include exceptions when requiring solar panels isn't feasible - such as on a home shrouded in shade - or cost effective. Community-shared solar generation equipment will also be an option. That's already slowed shipments to the U.S. And America's solar installers stockpiled a bunch of equipment previous year in anticipation of Trump's ruling.

California has invested over $42m in solar energy to date, and the mandate will likely give a further boost to the solar industry statewide.

At Arnold Schwarzenegger's time, California imposed itself on America's most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction plan.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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