In an effort to move the state into a greener way of life, beginning in 202 all low-rise apartment buildings and single-family homes built in the state California must use solar power. This decision by the California Energy Commission is the first of its kind in the nation and will put the state on the right path to meet their ambitious renewable energy goals to convert energy using homes into energy producing dwellings.
The move will require builders to combine solar panels, better insulation and many other requirements to create housing that will be net zero users of electricity. This new requirement will become official for the nation once the Building Standards Commission moves forward to support it, which follows the unanimous vote to move forward by the California Energy Commission. Currently, only 15% – 20% of new housing in the state of California come with solar panels, but this new requirement will mark an incredible shift in a new direction. The new code will come with some exceptions. Buildings that are too shaded by trees would not be required to use solar panels because they are ill suited for them, but they may be able to comply with the codes by tapping into the community’s solar energy system instead of relying on typical electricity.
One of the major concerns with this new code regulations is that it will likely raise the price of homes on average by $8,000 – $12,000 each. This is a very serious issue due to the fact that the state is already home to incredibly expensive housing, making it more difficult for people to afford a traditional home. Those in support of the new code claim this effort will actually save homeowners money in the long run with lower utility bills. They estimate that each year, homeowners should see a savings of about $1,000 per year on their bills while only paying an additional $40 per month on their 30 year mortgage. This actually produces a net savings of about $480 per year with no extra cost up front when purchasing a home. The most significant savings will be the environment costs that are saved, a move that will help ensure better living for future generations. On average, it is expected to curb about 700,000 metric tons of carbon pollution, this would be the equivalent of removing 115,000 cars from the road. For more information and details on this topic, go to Huffington Post.