Sunday, May 6, 2018

California About to Shove Solar Panels Down New Homeowner's Throats

California is expected to mandate that most newly constructed homes include solar panels starting in 2020.

California is about to become the only state in the nation mandating that virtually every new home have solar panels by 2020. However Maryland has always been the “Me Too” state that follows just about every California housing regulation and I don’t think this one will escape the the herd either.

“California is about to take a quantum leap in energy standards,” Bob Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association, told the newspaper. “No other state in the nation mandates solar, and we are about to take that leap.”

The proposed solar standards would add about $25,000 to $30,000 to the cost of home construction, said C.R. Herro, Meritage Homes' vice president of environmental affairs.

But the cost should result in a savings of $50,000 to $60,000 over 25 years, he said.

The National Association of Realtors says that the average owner of a single family residence stays in their home for 15 years which means the person who builds a new home after 2020 in California will never see the savings but will have paid enough of the cost that the house's next owner will be the only one to see any savings.

The new solar mandate would apply to all houses, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories tall that obtain building permits after Jan. 1, 2020, the report said.

Modular home will not be exempt from this mandate but I would guess that HUD manufactured homes will be. This is just one more nail in the coffin for affordable housing.

Elon Musk will be smiling ear to ear if the mandate is implemented in 2020. His companies own Tesla Solar Roof Shingles and Tesla Powerwall and he and his relatives own Solar City, the solar roof panel company.

The mandate originated in 2007 when the state energy commission adopted the goal of making homebuilding so efficient that “newly constructed buildings can be net zero energy by 2020 for residences and by 2030 for commercial buildings,” SCNG reported.

But “new thinking” has made the net-zero goal obsolete, state officials told the news outlet.

“Zero net energy isn’t enough,” said Andrew McAllister, one of five state energy commissioners voting on the new homebuilding standards. “If we pursue (zero net energy) as a comprehensive policy, we’d be making investments that would be somewhat out of touch with our long-term goals.”

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