On Wednesday, May 9th 2018, California could become the first state, and possibly the first government of any type in the world, to require solar panels for the construction of all new homes. This is no small feat when you realize that California is now the world’s 5th largest economy and that other states in the U.S. often find ways to slow down the expansion of solar energy at the insistence of local utilities and fossil fuel lobbyists. Not only would California be standing up to the fossil fuel lobby, but they could also spur growth and expansion in solar, which has managed to become one of the fastest growing job markets in the USA in spite of various efforts by monopolistic utility companies and local and state governments to hold on to an obsolete past that was reliant on fossil fuels for the bulk of our energy needs.
The measure, which is expected to pass, would go into full affect on all new homes in 2020, with certain exemptions given based on size, zoning, available shade, and other energy saving measures. Of course, this move would increase the price of the average new home built in California by up to $30,000, and California already has some of the highest housing costs in the nation, so lower income families may feel even more of a squeeze than they do already. The bright spot, aside from increased use of renewable energy, is that homeowners can expect to see savings that will more than pay for the increased costs of construction over the life of their home (estimated savings when you include tax benefits and credits along with the energy savings, the long term savings are up to $50,000 over a typical 25 yr mortgage).
Long term this could be very good for both the economy and the housing industry. It would also help to loosen the corrupt death grip the fossil fuel based monopolistic utility companies have on the energy market. This would help end the energy monopolies and open up the market to other players, making the market a truly free market and not a monopolistic one.
Also, having solar panels on all homes would make California even more economically dominant and could push their economy even higher. It could make California energy independent and give Californians a strategic energy advantage over any other state in the union. Backups, reserves and surplus energy would be plentiful. With millions of new homes being added with solar arrays, this means much more energy being put back into the grid. This could mean no more brownouts or blackouts, and during peak hours there would be plenty of energy reserves to keep things online and running smoothly.
This is good news for California and the USA because other states would do well to follow Californias lead when it comes to energy.
They do after all have the world’s 5th largest economy for a reason.
This is just another reason they will dominate the energy market.