California set to mandate solar panels on most new homes

(KGTV) - Solar panels are set to become a far more common sight atop homes in California.

The California Energy Commission is set to adopt the new building energy standards that, in part, will require all new homes constructed to include solar panels.

The mandate would affect all single-family and low-profile (three stories or less) homes, condos, and apartments that obtain building permits after Jan. 1, 2020.

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The commission estimates new homes will cut energy use by more than 50 percent under the solar mandate.

The standards also include updates to ventilation, nonresidential lighting, and heat transfer standards. Consumers may see an added $40 to an average monthly payment but save an estimated $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills under the new standards, according to the commission.

In California, solar panels can cost homeowners between $11,928 to $25,340 on average, according to Energy Sage. The new standards would add about $25,000 to $30,000 to the construction costs compared with homes built under 2006's state code, according to the OC Register.

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Under the proposed standards, build credits would also be offered for installing batteries and exceptions could be made for homes shaded by trees and whose roofs are too small for panels.

Commission leaders are set to vote on the new building standards on Wednesday, May 9.

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