California’s solar mandate
California could soon become “the first state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes,” said Erin Ailworth in The Wall Street Journal. Its state energy commission approved a mandate last week that all residential buildings up to three stories high, including single-family homes, be built with solar installations from 2020. The commission estimates that the requirement will add $9,500 to the average cost of a home in the state, which is the No. 1 solar market in the country. Solar makes up less than 2 percent of U.S. electricity output, but California is “a bellwether” on energy-efficiency issues. The proposal needs final approval from California’s Building Standards Commission, but that panel has traditionally adopted the energy commission’s recommendations.