All new residential buildings in the US state of California must be equipped with solar panels, while fifty-percent of the state’s electricity should come from carbon-free sources by 2030, California Energy Commission has been quoted as saying.
Experts have calculated that these new requirements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the same degree as if 115,000 cars have been taken off the roads.
This move certainly seems like some good news amid growing concerns about climate change. But there are still questions to be answered. Here is what the average Californian should know about the local government’s ambitious plan.
The 2019 Energy Efficiency Standards mandates that new buildings must have better insulation and better ventilation, and requires energy-efficient lighting for commercial and buildings. The document also encourages the use of demand-responsive technologies that allow residents to store the extra energy that their solar-powered homes generate and use it over a longer period of time.
Builders in California now have two options – they can either add panels to individual homes or create shared power systems for residential complexes. These energy-efficient homes will still rely on the traditional grid for power supply at night. Also, homes whose location does not allow enough sunlight will be exempt from having solar panels installed on their roofs.
If approved by the Building Standards Commission by the end of this year, the new requirements for solar panels on residential buildings in California will come into force on January 1, 2020.