s expected, the California Energy Commission (CEC) passed a first-in-the nation rule Wednesday, mandating all new homes constructed in the state be equipped with solar panels.
“This is a landmark vote today,” said David Hochschild, one of CEC’s five commissioners who unanimously approved the measure that was part of a revision to California’s Building Efficiency Standards, which are updated every three years.
The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and does not need to be approved by the Legislature or the California Public Utilities Commission.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be installed on every house that receives a building permit, as well as condominiums and apartments up to three stories high. Homes that are shaded by trees or taller buildings, as well as houses with roofs too small to accommodate a PV system, will be eligible for exceptions or alternatives to the mandate.
The updated building code also includes stricter efficiency standards on lighting, ventilation, windows, walls and attics for non-residential as well as residential structures.
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