There been a lot of discussion on the California Energy Commission’s recently announced solar roof mandate for all new homes under three stories being built after 2020. From what we have read so far, www.greentechmedia’s “Everything You Need to Know About California’s New Solar Roof Mandate" does the best job of explaining the impact of this far-reaching mandate on the Golden State’s homebuilding industry.
The move is expected to give a serious boost to photovoltaic panel manufacturers, distributors, installers and financiers but is also seen as an added burden on home buyers who will see new home costs rise by an estimated $10,000 or more.
The new standards are expected to push renewable energy into the mainstream. The trend toward widespread distributed power generation has been underway for several years now, and California leads the nation in solar system sales. But the move to make solar power systems as common as air conditioning will hasten the reckoning that electric power companies have seen coming their way as it becomes easier for customers to generate their own power and rely less on the grid.
The housing mandate is part of Governor Jerry Brown’s effort to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. Because California is often the first state to adopt progressive energy standards — the Title 24 building energy efficiency standard mandates on lighting and controls being just one example — the rest of the country will be watching to see how the new standards play out.
Said the greentechmedia.com post, “The latest round of standards, which take effect in 2020, do enable some pretty groundbreaking developments in the advancement of clean energy. Besides the requirement that all new homes under three stories install solar panels — a first for the nation — the codes help to incentivize energy storage and include a host of energy efficiency upgrades that will collectively slash energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent.”