Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Science | By

Mandatory solar panels on deck for California

Mandatory solar panels on deck for California

The California Energy Commission is expected to pass a rule this week, mandating solar panels on top of almost every new apartment building, house, and condo. However, it does provide "compliance credits" for homebuilders who install storage batteries like Tesla's Powerwall, letting them build smaller panel arrays knowing that excess energy will be available to use off-hours.

He expects to pay off his investment within six years and eventually produce a decade of free energy.

Cal, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will one day make windows that work like solar panelsKB Home has built more than 6,000 solar homes in the past seven years, mostly in California. Over the course of about 25 years - or the average solar panel lifespan - the green-energy products could save owners anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000.

The state's five-person energy commission board will vote Wednesday to determine whether to enact such a move.

Provisions encourage more use of electric and reduce consumption of natural gas.

The Register reported that the commission will likely pass the measure and noted that the measure would effectively raise new construction building costs by approximately $25,000 to $30,000.

Meritage Homes now installs solar on about 10 percent of its homes, and about 1 percent of them are net zero, a company official said.

Thinking of building or purchasing a newly constructed home in California?

Officials are saying there are exceptions built into the mandate, but will they be enough?

On the contrary, environmentalists approve of the new standards.

Pierre Delforge, energy efficiency program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the News Group that the proposed update was "another important step toward the environmentally-friendly, healthy and affordable home of the future". They're never going to reach that net-zero goal. In fact, he added more panels to his roof than was required by the builder. Some gas-powered generating plants then are fired up to help meet that additional load, boosting carbon emissions.

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