Audio california will require solar panels on all new homes. what that means to you 89.3 kpcc year 6 electricity assessment

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Every three years, the Energy Commission recommends updates to the state’s energy efficiency building codes. Recently, the Commission has required new homes to be “solar ready,” or able to host solar panels, and have more efficient walls and attics.

The Energy Commission estimates the solar panel requirement will add $9,500 to the cost of a new house. But home builders say a solar panel requirement will add up to $30,000, as C.R. Herro, the vice president of environmental affairs for Meritage Homes, told The San Bernardino Sun.

But those savings can take time. The Energy Commission estimates Californians will save $9,500, on average, over 30-years. You’ll save more if you live in a hot, sunny area like the Antelope Valley or the high desert, and less if you live in a cooler, coastal area in Northern California.

If you’re a renter, though, it’s more complicated. If your landlord passes through the energy savings to you, you will save money. But if they don’t, you may end up paying higher rent to offset the additional cost of the solar panels. How much will this help fight climate change?

Electricity use in California would be 653 GWh lower in 2020, the first year all new homes would be required to have solar panels, than if the requirement were not in effect, according to the Energy Commission. In 2016, Californians used 290,567 GWh of electricity statewide.

We’ll also generate more solar energy. This new proposal would result in another 200 megawatts of solar being built throughout California (and remember, there’s 1000 MW in a GW), or less than one percent of the total amount currently installed. Is requiring solar panels on new houses really the best way to save energy and fight climate change?

California is trying to slash its emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. Getting there requires the state to increase the pace of reductions substantially over what’s been achieved in the last decade. That means every little bit helps, said Ethan Elkind, the director of the climate program at UC Berkeley School of Law.

“There are other ways we can reduce more, but it’s a critical way to reduce emissions going forward,” he said. “If we can start reducing the emissions associated with electricity generation, that is going to make up a sizable chunk of our goal.”

But Alex Steffen, who writes about sustainability and urban planning, said the state’s biggest climate challenge is the fact that Californians drive so much. Transportation emissions are 40% of the total – twice as much as electricity generation.

“Because of the lack of density, people are forced to drive everywhere. You need a car. Until we tackle that problem, doing things like requiring solar panel son new construction is a band aid,” he said. How many jobs will this create in the solar industry?

Requiring that all new homes in California have solar panels is a huge boost to the solar industry. The Energy Commission estimates 5,423 new jobs, largely in solar installation and maintenance. Are there any other cities that require solar panels on new houses right now?

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount by which California aims to slash emissions by 2030. The story has been updated to reflect the correct goal of reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels. KPCC regrets the error.

Every three years, the Energy Commission recommends updates to the state’s energy efficiency building codes. Recently, the Commission has required new homes to be “solar ready,” or able to host solar panels, and have more efficient walls and attics.

The Energy Commission estimates the solar panel requirement will add $9,500 to the cost of a new house. But home builders say a solar panel requirement will add up to $30,000, as C.R. Herro, the vice president of environmental affairs for Meritage Homes, told The San Bernardino Sun.

But those savings can take time. The Energy Commission estimates Californians will save $9,500, on average, over 30-years. You’ll save more if you live in a hot, sunny area like the Antelope Valley or the high desert, and less if you live in a cooler, coastal area in Northern California.

If you’re a renter, though, it’s more complicated. If your landlord passes through the energy savings to you, you will save money. But if they don’t, you may end up paying higher rent to offset the additional cost of the solar panels. How much will this help fight climate change?

Electricity use in California would be 653 GWh lower in 2020, the first year all new homes would be required to have solar panels, than if the requirement were not in effect, according to the Energy Commission. In 2016, Californians used 290,567 GWh of electricity statewide.

We’ll also generate more solar energy. This new proposal would result in another 200 megawatts of solar being built throughout California (and remember, there’s 1000 MW in a GW), or less than one percent of the total amount currently installed. Is requiring solar panels on new houses really the best way to save energy and fight climate change?

California is trying to slash its emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. Getting there requires the state to increase the pace of reductions substantially over what’s been achieved in the last decade. That means every little bit helps, said Ethan Elkind, the director of the climate program at UC Berkeley School of Law.

“There are other ways we can reduce more, but it’s a critical way to reduce emissions going forward,” he said. “If we can start reducing the emissions associated with electricity generation, that is going to make up a sizable chunk of our goal.”

But Alex Steffen, who writes about sustainability and urban planning, said the state’s biggest climate challenge is the fact that Californians drive so much. Transportation emissions are 40% of the total – twice as much as electricity generation.

“Because of the lack of density, people are forced to drive everywhere. You need a car. Until we tackle that problem, doing things like requiring solar panel son new construction is a band aid,” he said. How many jobs will this create in the solar industry?

Requiring that all new homes in California have solar panels is a huge boost to the solar industry. The Energy Commission estimates 5,423 new jobs, largely in solar installation and maintenance. Are there any other cities that require solar panels on new houses right now?

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount by which California aims to slash emissions by 2030. The story has been updated to reflect the correct goal of reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels. KPCC regrets the error.