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Week of May 13th-California solar mandate could add $10,500 to cost of a house

May 13, 2018

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming. The rule also would apply to new multifamily buildings up to three stories tall.


The proposal, years in the making, would provide an immense boost to the state’s solar industry, which lost jobs in 2017 after years of rapid growth. It would also move California closer to a long-held goal of creating “zero net-energy” buildings, which generate as much electricity as they use over the course of a year.

But the solar requirement would come at a cost.

Together with tough new efficiency standards for windows and insulation that the commission will consider Wednesday, the solar mandate could add $10,538 to the cost of building a house, by the agency’s own estimate. The extra expense would hit at a time when California is suffering a severe and deepening housing affordability crisis.  Read more

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