California has taken a major step to push its residents to adopt solar energy. The state has approved a plan that mandates solar panels on new homes and apartment buildings that are built after January 1st, 2020. It has now become the first state in the country to mandate solar panels on homes. The plan to do this has been unanimously approved by the California Energy Commission. This is in addition to an existing state law that 50 percent of all electricity is to be sourced from noncarbon-emitting sources by 2030.

The new mandate doesn’t affect current homeowners as they will not be required to add solar panels to their existing homes. However, it merits mentioning here that this mandate does require approval from the Building Standards Commission. Critics of the plan say that it’s going to add between $8000 to $12000 to the cost of building a new home.

The Energy Commission’s estimates suggest that homeowners will only have to pay an additional $40 per month in mortgage payments after this mandate. It points out that they will pay an additional $40 per month while saving $80 monthly on cooling, heating, and lighting costs.

Builders will be given the choice to either add solar panels to individual homes or build shared power systems for a group of homes. Exceptions will also be granted to properties where it’s not feasible or cost-effective, such as for properties that are located entirely under shade.

Filed in Green. Read more about Solar Energy.

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