Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

California to require rooftop solar for most new homes

California to require rooftop solar for most new homes

In addition to the solar rule, California's plan is to also encourage all-electric homes so as to cut natural gas demand, the OCRegister said.

The commission endorsed the requirement after representatives of builders, utilities and solar manufacturers voiced support.

The requirement would apply only to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install rooftop solar panels with the help of rebate programs.

The rules now go to the state Building Standards Commission, where they were expected to easily win approval. Sunrun, however, focuses on installing solar power systems on existing homes, not new ones, according to Bloomberg.

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Just 9 percent of single-family detached homes in the state of 39.5 million people now have solar panels, according to a 2017 U.S. Department of Energy report the Energy Commission cited.

"This is a very bold and visionary step that we're taking", said David Hochschild, one of the energy commission's five members.

Few industry groups outwardly oppose the plan after working for years with the commission to shape the regulations.

The California Energy Commission is expected to change a building code Wednesday that would require all new homes be equipped with the renewable energy technology, the Times reported.

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Some conservatives were not so enthusiastic, noting that the state already has some of the nation's most expensive housing markets.

'That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live, ' Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's GOP leader, said Tuesday.

In fact, the state itself generates so much solar and wind power that it must sometimes halt production at some facilities or give the electricity away to other states to avoid overloading the electric grid.

In 2007, the state set out to reach a zero net energy standard for all homes by 2020.

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Utilities that objected to the new rate-design "could contend that the introduction of mandated distributed solar sufficiently alters the policy landscape to warrant further review of the compensation levels paid to excess generation", ClearView said in their report, published ahead of the energy commission's decision.

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