Starting in 2020, all new homes in California must come with solar panels. Builders are getting ready

Forward article info:  https://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-solar-mandate-20181214-story.html

When Irvine-based City Ventures started sticking solar panels on all of its homes six years ago, the builder emerged as a front-runner in the race toward energy-efficient home building. Soon it will be joined on the track by every developer in California.

Starting in 2020, California will become the first state in the nation to require all newly built homes to be solar-powered. And many developers are figuring out how to comply with the new rules while keeping their houses affordable.

The California Building Standards Commission approved the mandate this month, finalizing a unanimous vote from the California Energy Commission in May as part of the state’s ongoing battle against climate change. The rule applies to all single-family and multifamily residences of three stories or fewer.

“Too many home builders provide these features as an add-on, but that gives buyers a complicated choice,” City Ventures Chief Executive Phil Kerr said. “We felt it best to make solar power a standard part of the home, like bedrooms or countertops. Why wait until 2020?”

The Energy Commission estimates that solar panels will save homeowners an average of $19,000 over 30 years but add roughly $8,400 to the upfront cost of a single-family home — probably pricing many potential buyers out of the market.

every $1,000 increase to the cost of a home makes 52,903 households unable to afford a house. At that rate, a jump of $8,400 would keep about 444,385 households from buying a home.

Affordability is the main concern for the California Building Industry Assn., which represents around 3,100 builders across the state and 85% of all new single-family and multifamily housing production.

“For $2-million homes, these mandates might not be a big deal,” Chief Executive Dan Dunmoyer said. “But in markets like San Bernardino, this will be a factor for thousands of families trying to buy homes.”

Sharing Solar Dream – Dr. Solar, Charlie Gay and his incredible 42 years solar history!

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Charlie, who was a part of the actual solar industry history in the United States but also on a global level, is now shaping the solar future at his new role at the U.S. Department of Energy.

He is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position Charlie is leading the SunShot Initiative, a team that is dedicated to research, manufacturing and market solutions to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.

He is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, Inc, he later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the research and development program and led the commercialization of crystalline silicon and thin film technologies.

In 1990, he became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, he was named president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, Inc., and from 2001 to 2005 served as founding chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation. He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group. He served as president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council from 2009-2013. As president, Charlie was responsible for positioning applied materials and its solar efforts with important stakeholders in the energy industry, technical community and governments around the world.

He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013. He established the Greenstar Foundation in 1997 to demonstrate an economically sustainable model that delivers solar power and internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to developing world villages.

Thank you Charlie !!!