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California Just Became The First State To Require Solar Panels On All New Homes

By Brian Spaen

California could be the first state to mandate solar panels on new homes. The state’s Energy Commission will vote next week on new regulations that would be effective in 2020, requiring new homes to have solar energy capability. While it provides clean power and net-zero potential, there are some worries of how it could affect the housing market.

The vote will be held next Wednesday with the mandate expected to pass. If so, it would skyrocket the amount of single-family homes that have solar panels installed, which sits between 15 and 20 percent. At the moment, San Francisco and a few other California towns require any new buildings under 10 stories to have solar panels.

All houses, condos, and apartment complexes up to three stories tall will all require solar panels if they apply for a building permit after the first day of 2020. Achieving net-zero energy is not a requirement, meaning panels don’t have to match how much power is being drawn. If the building’s roof is too small or located in an area where it can’t receive adequate sunlight, the requirement will be lifted.