Real Estate by Nick Abbadessa
Nick Abbadessa
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California – First State to Mandate Solar

CA Solar MandateFor years, homebuilders have offered solar panels as an added option when buying a new home. In approximately two years, however, this may no longer be a choice. It may be an order, or grounds for a fee penalty. California is on the tips of approving a new rule that most new homes, starting 2020, will have to come equipped with solar panels.  This is in an effort to move one step closer to achieving more environmentally, friendly homes and reduce global warming.

According to Bob Raymer, California Building Associations’ technical director, only 15% to 20% of new, single family homes include solar panels. This is expected to be a great jump, as California will be the first state to mandate the installation of solar panel systems.

In addition, the new provision pushes to increase reliance on electricity over natural gas, and increase battery storage.

The new mandate will affect all homes, condos, and apartment buildings up to three units that obtain a building permit on or after January 1, 2020. Homes shaded by trees or buildings, or those with too small of a roof to accommodate the solar panel systems may fall as an exception to the new rule.

It is expected that new home construction costs will increase by $25,000 to $30,000 as a result of this order. Although the solar will account for only $14,000 to $16,000 of the cost, another $10,000 to $15,000 is required for increased insulation, efficient windows, lighting, heating, and appliances. The homes built after 2020, in fact, are foreseen to have improved windows and doors, properly installed insulations, and highly energy efficient walls.

That said, the $25,000 to $30,000 will also result in $50,000 to $60,000 in savings, due to reduced operating costs over the solar panel’s 25 year life expectancy.

The proposed mandate branches off from California’s 2007 adoption of the goal to make all newly constructed residential properties net zero by 2020 and 2030 for commercial properties. If you are not familiar with net zero or zero energy homes, these are just like any other home, except they are so energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as the property consumes over the year. Accordingly, the property’s occupants are left with a net zero energy bill.  Although reaching net zero by 2020 is the goal, this new mandate will not completely achieve such an objectives. The new mandate will not require natural gas to be offset by solar power generation. Experts do not find this problematic as the current proposal makes sense for now. Generating more electricity than what is used to offset California’s wide use of natural gas would require much more and a lot pricier of solar panel system installations. Even that they claim would not fully lessen natural gas emissions.

With California home prices on the rise and expected continued growth, the mandate is perceived beneficial for homeowners and the environment if passed by legislation. Homeowners can look forward to the cost savings of solar panels in the long run and the environment can appreciate a huge cut on fossil consumptions. We are making good progress.

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About Nick Abbadessa

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Nick Abbadessa

Realtor, BA, Cert. Luxury Home Specialist

nick@soldbynick.com

626-269-2751626-269-2751 main

RE/MAX Masters Realty

1030 Bonita Ave. La Verne, CA 91750 | BRE#01398872 |Office BRE#01064901

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