California Expected to Mandate Solar Installations for New Homes

California may become the first state in the nation to require solar power installations on all new home construction. 

The California Energy Commission is set to vote Wednesday on the rule and it's expected to pass. The solar mandate would apply to all new homes, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories high starting January 2020. Exceptions would be made for structures that have been built in the shade, and other offsets. 

The rule will likely raise the cost of new construction by about $30,000, but experts say the extra cost would like by recouped over time through the savings on energy bills. Over a period of 25 years, homeowners are expected to save anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 in operating costs. 

Several cities in California already require new buildings be constructed with solar panels. San Francisco, Lancaster and Sebastopol all require new buildings under 10 stories have solar installations. The new rule would expand that mandate statewide should it come to pass on Wednesday. 

Photo: Getty Images

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