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California to Become First US State to Mandate Solar on New Homes

by Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Way to go, California! The Golden state is on the verge of making solar standard the standard. In fact, as soon as 2020, it may be mandatory for all newly-constructed homes in the state to have solar panels.

If the initiative passes, which is expected, solar installations on new homes will dramatically increase. Said Bob Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association: “California is about to take a quantum leap in energy standards. No other state in the nation mandates solar, and we are about to take that leap.”

The new provisions seek to increase battery storage, as well as increase reliance on electricity over natural gas. As OC Register reports, all houses, condos, and apartment buildings up to three stories tall would be affected by the solar mandate.

Exceptions will be made, of course, such as when the roofs of buildings are too small to accommodate solar panels. And, for builders that integrate batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall, “compliance credits” will be awarded.

While homebuilders and environmentalists have celebrated the news, there are some who wish California would stick to its original “net zero” goal. According to officials, such high standards are not feasible at the moment. Furthermore, mandating “net-zero” fails to address the state’s ultimate ambition of curbing climate change.

As Andrew McAllister, one of the state’s energy commissioners, pointed out, this is because true net zero homes still rely on the electric power grid. He said: “Zero net energy isn’t enough. If we pursue (zero net energy) as a comprehensive policy, we’d be making investments that would be somewhat out of touch with our long-term goals.”

Still, some remain hopeful. “We’re happy they’re making good progress,” said Kelly Knutsen, technology advancement director for the California Solar and Storage Association. “We wish they would go further. There’s always compromises.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Source: OC Register

Image Credit: Pxhere

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