California First State to Force Homebuilders to Include Solar Panels on New Homes

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The California Energy Commission is forcing homebuilders to include solar panels in new construction, which will take full effect in two years and will help the state meet its Agenda 21 goal of supplying 50% of its electricity with solar by 2030. Low cost housing is already in short supply, and the mandate will add as much as $12,000 to the cost of a new home. More than 30% of people in the state’s metro areas cannot afford housing in their area, and in some areas it is higher than 60%.

A California regulatory board has passed a regulation that will require all new homes built in the state to be powered by solar panels.

The new rules, which will take full effect in two years, will add thousands of dollars to the construction and maintenance of new homes, but leaders in Sacramento say that the effort will be worth the costs. The new rules will also help the state come in line with its goal of having 50 percent of its electric power supplied by solar by 2030, according to The New York Times.

California becomes the first state to force homebuilders to include solar power in new construction.

The five-member California Energy Commission passed the new requirements with very little debate. Critics lambasted the board’s foregone conclusion of the efficacy of the idea.

“The state’s housing crisis is real,” Republican State Assemblyman Brian Dahle said in response to the rules. “California’s affordability problem is making it more and more difficult for people to afford to live here.”

The Times estimates that the requirements could add as much as $12,000 to the price of new homes. This hike in housing costs comes on the heels of worries that California suffers from a lack of affordable housing for middle- and lower-income residents.

A recent report by the Los Angeles Times noted that upwards of 30 percent of people in the state’s metro areas cannot afford housing in their area and, in some places, that number reaches as high as 60 percent.

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