The California Energy Commission approved the nation’s first plan to require solar panels to be installed on all qualifying new homes beginning in 2020. The solar plan, which is part of the state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards, will help lower cost of living for residents of new construction homes by reducing monthly energy bills.
Vote Solar issued a statement of support from executive director Adam Browning before the final vote:
“Affordable solar energy is already lowering power bills for families, reducing harmful pollution and creating new energy jobs across California. This plan would further expand solar opportunity in our state by including solar in new home construction when installation and financing costs are both at their lowest. We applaud the CEC for its solar leadership and urge the Commissioners to approve this bold vision for a clean energy California.
“This policy will result in homeowner savings from day one. Installing solar at the time of construction eliminates many of the soft costs — such as customer acquisition. According to our analysis, this proposal would add around $20 a month to a mortgage, while producing $85 worth of electricity, resulting in a net savings of $65 a month to new homeowners.
“This policy will make our homes more affordable and our state more livable. That’s a win-win.”
Sunnova’s CEO issued a statement applauding the approved plan:
“Distributed energy is the path forward and this decision is set to become an inflection point in our country’s energy history,” said William Berger. “California continues to put forth groundbreaking policies that support renewable energy and help lay the foundation for a better, more resilient and robust distributed energy infrastructure—especially when paired with battery storage. This solar decision is yet another win for America’s energy independence.”
“Imagine, starting in 2020, nearly no new homes in California will be built without solar panels. You would have thought that was a pipedream for the future, but the future is here. Solar is now.”
SEIA’s president also issued a statement of support:
“This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S. California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state,” said Abigail Ross Hopper. “Now, California is taking bold leadership again, recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as the front door that welcomes you home.”
“SEIA appreciates the Commission’s efforts to help California take steps toward meeting its Zero Net Energy goals by integrating renewable energy with energy efficiency. The combination of rooftop solar and the option to add energy storage systems as an efficiency compliance credit provides builders with an attractive, cost-effective option to fully electrify homes.
“Other states may not be ready for this step yet, but this is a precedent-setting policy — one that will bring enormous benefits and cost savings to consumers. It is my hope and belief that when other states, many of which are developing rapidly growing solar markets of their own, see the benefits of this policy, they will develop similarly aggressive policies.”
Vivint Solar, one of the largest U.S. residential solar providers with a strong presence within California, issued the following statement:
“As one of the nation’s leading residential solar providers, we’d like to congratulate the state of California for building the foundation to adopt a forward-thinking approach to its renewable energy initiatives. After a unanimous vote, we believe this will be a great first step that all homeowners should support. Helping homes produce clean energy and utilizing smart home products is a win for consumers’ wallets, local air quality and a greener world. Vivint Solar applauds the decision from the California Energy Commission to move forward and will continue to provide solar PV and home batteries to California residents. California has demonstrated its commitment to building a clean energy-powered future, and we hope its leadership inspires other states to follow suit.”