The commission estimates the regulations would add an average $10,500 in construction costs for a single family home but generate about $16,000 in energy savings.
"Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid", said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency.
The CEC estimates the move will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over the course of three years. Currently, only 15 to 20 percent of new single-family homes built in California come installed with solar panels.
As it happens, there are policy steps that would both reduce energy consumption and lower the cost of housing-and also give people more living options not fewer.
That made the relative ease of its approval - in a unanimous vote by the five-member California Energy Commission before a standing-room crowd, with little debate - all the more remarkable.
But Republican legislative leaders argue Californians can't afford to pay any more for housing in the state's already extremely expensive market. But the panels, along with other energy efficient updates, should save homeowners money on their monthly bills. The state's Building Standards Commission will vote later this year.
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State regulators on Wednesday unanimously approved the first statewide solar building code requirement for new homes three stories or less.
California - now the world's fifth-largest economy - already has a reputation for pushing the boundaries when it comes to going green.
The code includes incentives for energy storage while mandating that the construction of new homes include advanced energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar.
California has a mandate for new homes to be "Net Zero Energy" - meaning they produce more energy than they consume - by 2020, and for all homes to be Net Zero by 2030. It goes into effect January 1, 2020, and includes all condominiums and apartment buildings up to three stories high.
"I think there are indeed limited political resources that can be mustered against climate change", Borenstein said in a follow-up email. It painted the solar requirement as a major step toward lowering utility bills and ridding California of "gas-guzzling homes". They are unique Day4 flexible solar panels with all new redesigned structures and electrodes having the capacity to capture more light. Some analysts claimed that while mortgage costs on a thirty-year loan could go up as much as $40 a month due to the solar requirements, owners may also save up to $80 a month on electric costs.