California Becomes First State to Mandate Solar Panels

California Becomes First State to Mandate Solar Panels

Kitty Alvarado

When it comes to environmental issues California likes to lead. Once again the state is making history by becoming the first in the nation to require new homes built after 2020 to have solar panels.

The California Energy Commission passed the policy unanimously to reduce greenhouse gases. The commission says in three years this will be the equivalent of taking 115 thousand cars off the roads.

The California Desert Association of Realtors president Diane Busch says they support the spirit of the law, “However we already have a housing affordability problem and my concern and my concern and our concern with the realtor party is that we are going to cause more people in the lower income brackets or the middle class brackets to get out of that home affordability range especially the first time home buyers.”

The energy commission says this will add about $40 to the average 30 year mortgage but save home owners $80 a month in energy costs. But she agrees with the California Building Industry Association who say they need more time to implement the policy.

“In order to be able to make this be affordable … they need to have time to source everything, we’re talking two years, less that two years down the road that this is going to be enacted,” says Busch. 

She worries the new home solar mandate will make home builders not want to do business in California and this will make a low inventory of homes worse, “And that’s a huge problem from the State of California their numbers huge as far as we are down at least 180,000 units in what we need to be creating for new homes now.”