Home>Articles>California’s 2020 Solar Home Mandate to Come into Effect in Two Weeks

Solar panels on a house in California. (AAA)

California’s 2020 Solar Home Mandate to Come into Effect in Two Weeks

All new homes and low-rise residential complexes will have to have solar panels starting in 2020

By Evan Symon, December 17, 2019 6:19 am

The new building standards in California that will require solar panels for all new single-family houses and low-rise multifamily complexes will come into effect starting January 1st.

Passed in 2018 by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the mandate is designed to reduce carbon emissions and smog across the state, as well as help homeowners save money long-term. A bonus positive effect is that solar panels that directly charge storage batteries in a home can keep the lights on during a blackout. While the vast majority of homes have solar panels tied to the grid and are still susceptible to blackouts, solar panels directly tied to batteries as backup power did manage to leave a few handfuls of homes powered during the PG&E blackouts, with the demand expected to grow along with the new mandate.

“Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid,” said CEC Commissioner Andrew McAllister earlier this year. “The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for ‘smart’ technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future.”

Existing homes will not be affected by the new mandate and some buildings will receive exceptions due to being in low-light or shaded areas. Local utility districts are also proposing alternatives, such as the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), have proposed directly connected solar farms in place of installing panels on top of homes.

However those alternatives have been met with derision from the CEC, with SMUD’s program being accused of ignoring their mandate simply for a smaller-scale solar plant.

“Not a lot of people enjoy forced adoption,” said Roger C. Pensky, an alternative energy consultant. “What California is doing with their homes is a smart decision, but there are some who don’t like being forced to do this or have problems with solar energy. Solar panels last two to three decades, sometimes less, sometimes more. And many people don’t want to shell out more down the road like that.”

“It does save money. On electric bills, for an average sized home, it’s $650 a year. Solar panels are paid for after awhile. But many people may buy new than move, so that’s short term thinking here.”

“In general this is a great move, but it will be making new houses more expensive, and in California, with people thinking short-term, they may not want a slightly higher down payment or mortgage payment.”

The housing industry is prepared for this new step in alternative energy in California. But with a short term higher cost and long term savings, all eyes will be on the consumer response.

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2 thoughts on “California’s 2020 Solar Home Mandate to Come into Effect in Two Weeks

  1. My guess is people weren’t buying into solar programs with there 10-20 year liens on properties fast enough if at all…
    It’$ all about GreeD… Poor and once middle class people will bare the burden. Via home liens and losses due to these “New World Disorder” mandates.
    Where I reside sewers are the mandated subject. We pay for the sewer to be built via increased taxes. Yet to have the actual sewer connected to your home is a separate bill.
    Being another $3000 – $4000.
    Yes you may be eligible for a loan..?? The loan is from the same entity that is forcing the sewer on you. The local water district. A $200 a year loan for 20 years and a 20 year lien in which they Water Company hold title too.
    If you get behind on your home taxes and sewer project portion is not paid. The water company will began litigation to foreclose on your home.
    I don’t understand how the water company can supercede the state..??
    If I didn’t pay my home taxes I would have 5 years before threat of foreclosure.
    I feel all of these forced mandates have one thing in common. An that is to change the demographics of desired locations. As I researched the dilemma I’m facing I found this sewer issue is happening all across the United States. Back east folks have lost homes that had been in their families for years.
    One woman lost her home over a $750.00 sewer bill.
    I know in my town when the hookup date comes a lot of homes will be lost. They began the sewer project in the older part of town which is comprised of a lot of property owners who are senior citizens, people just barely surviving, just average folks..
    Saving the affluent areas for the last phase of the project.
    I’m sure when it reaches there a rule change will happen.. Soils to compacted etc.
    Yep….These mandated projects are the new method of people control and land stealing.
    California has become a state with a GreeD issue of Great Porportion$…
    All I can end on is too say
    We seriously need to have a revolution in this country.
    Things have totally gotten out of hand.
    The government no longer works for the people. We work for it.
    We live under the illusion of freedom.
    We no longer can purchase land/real estate and at the end of payment truly own it.
    Welcome to NEW WORLD DISORDER….So Sad ..

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