The California State Building Standards Code has finally approved changes to the state’s Code which require all newly built residential buildings with a height of 3 floors or more to be equipped with solar cells.

These changes were initiated and introduced by the California Energy Commission in May 2018. It was proposed to amend paragraph 24 of the section “Building Standards for Energy Efficiency”. Now the amendments are finally approved. And it means that in California, for the first time on the American continent, since January 1, 2020, all newly built multi-apartment residential buildings must have solar cells in an amount sufficient to cover the entire energy consumption of the house during the year.

At the same time, the amendments stimulate the introduction of other energy-efficient solutions in new residential buildings – the installation of heat pumps and energy storage systems, but these requirements are not mandatory, as in the case of solar panels.

Though the adoption of the amendments was preceded by active analytical work. State authorities tried to find out what changes in the Building Standards Code threaten residents of new homes. All interested parties took part in the discussion of the amendments: companies which manage the houses, utilities, manufacturers of solar cells and, of course, construction organizations. As a result, a decision was made.

The analysis showed that the proposed measures will be economically reasonable throughout the large state of California, with several climatic zones. On average, residents of new homes will save $ 40 per month or about $ 500 a year. At the same time, payments for rent or property ownership will increase the same $ 40 per month, but utility costs connected with energy consumption will decrease by $80.

As Robert Raymer, technical director of the California Association of the Building Industry mentioned, the

builders, of course, are not happy with the innovations as they hoped for a 3-4 years’ delay of adoption but they accept the changes and will improve their business processes to adapt to new rules.

But manufacturers of solar cells have reason to be glad. Today, approximately 150,000 solar panels are being installed in California for new and existing residential buildings. However, only 15,000 of them are in newly constructed buildings. But since 2020, California’s solar energy market will exhibit exponential growth.

source – here