California has become the first US state to mandate solar panels on new homes and apartment buildings built after 1 January, 2020.
The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the plan, making it the state’s next big step towards ending greenhouse gas emissions. State law already requires that 50% of all electricity comes from non carbon-emitting sources by 2030.
The mandate still requires approval from the Building Standards Commission. Critics have been quick to note that the solar panel mandate will add between $8,000 (£5,900) and $12,000 to a home’s cost. The Energy Commission estimates, however, that homeowners will only see an additional $40 to monthly mortgage payments. At the same time, the commission said they will save $80 on heating, cooling and lighting costs per month.