California First State to Mandate Solar Installation for New Homes
California is set to become the first state to require solar panel installations on new homes built after 2020, reports CNBC. The historic measure could spur economic growth and reduce monthly household expenses for homeowners, but there are also fears the added cost could worsen California’s already overheated housing market.
Solar panel cost lower during construction phase
“Obviously, there is a cost involved in putting solar on a roof,” Anne Hoskins, chief policy officer for Sunrun, a solar energy provider, told the news outlet. “The good news is when you do it during the building process, it’s going to be much more efficient and less costly,” Hoskins qualified, predicting that solar permitting could also become easier.
Buyer expectations could lead to solar on most homes, raising prices
According to the article, high California house prices could go even higher due to the new government mandate. While the requirement will apply to most new single-family homes and multi-family residential buildings like condos and apartment complexes up to three stories, older homes could also install the panels as more buyers expect solar capabilities. There is also the possibility California could spark a trend, with Hawaii, Arizona and other western states with high levels of solar penetration following suit with their own mandates.
Panels could save homeowners $80 per month
Officials say the new solar mandate will save consumers an estimated $80 per month on electricity bills based on a 30-year mortgage. The report notes that less than 20 percent of California homes currently have such solar panels. Nationally, solar energy reportedly accounts for less than two percent of electricity generation, leaving ample room for sector growth should the trend catch on.