California is going solar!
Written by Elena Chen
California is going Solar; on the May 9, 2018, the California Building Standards Commission unanimously approved a policy that WILL require solar on all new homes, starting January, 2020. This makes California the first state to do so, trailblazing the mission to make America a more efficient and independent clean energy provider. According to the California Energy Commission, which established these new rules that will take effect on January 1, 2020, the policy will require smart residential photovoltaic systems, and solar plus storage options, which will not only save home and business owners more money, but also give them more options (imagine, never having to pay an energy bill again, exciting!)
Carbon dioxide emission has always been a major issue all over the world, California is no exception the ongoing pollution caused by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions; Carbon emissions rose 3.2 percent in California even as they declined 3.7 percent in the remaining 49 tons of carbon emission between 2011 and 2015. However, California has taken Carbon emission seriously and has reached greenhouse gas goal years earlier than expected. For example, the California Air Resources Board shows that in-state greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2018 have dropped 13 percent compared to its peak in 2004. Under this new regulation of energy through solar power. Its important for our state to act now, while it can, to prevent further environmental damages caused by pollutions and excessive use of un-sustainable energy resources.
The significant decrease in greenhouse gas emission is closely correlated to the increasing number if electric cars purchased throughout the years. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the majority of reductions for CO2 emissions came from the electric power sector, where an increase in wind and solar energy has been replacing fossil fuels. With the state’s supportive regulation of electric vehicles, California is optimistic to reach its goal of 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and 5 million by 2030. Consequently, electric vehicles consume a greater amount of power usage for individual households. Therefore, under the state’s new regulation, those with electric vehicles will have a chance to go green 100 percent.
Under these regulations, there will be some major financial benefits for homeowners; installing solar panel will not only increase home value, it will also significantly reduce energy bills over time. Consequently, houses that have solar panels attached to their roof, are valued at a greater price point than similar houses without solar panels. While many would conclude that the reason for increasing home value is due to the fact that solar panels are costly, having solar panels installed to houses are doubtlessly a benefit in long-term. The California Energy Commission stated recently that, “for residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills” Indeed, California regulators took a quantum leap to make this policy happen, and if this regulation is a success then it will undoubtedly follow by other states in the US.