All New Homes in California to Have Solar by 2020
California has become the first state to require that all new construction homes be built with solar power equipment. Effective in 2020, single family homes, townhomes and condo buildings up to three stories will have to include solar.
While this is a great measure to conserve energy, it will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home in a market where home prices are already at their peaks and affordability is a challenge.
It is projected by the state that the upfront cost added per home could be between $8,000 and $12,000. Based on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at today’s rate this could add approximately $50 per month to the monthly loan payment. However, it is estimated that the savings on energy bills could be approximately $80.00 per month. These numbers are all based on the average size homes and average utility use. The numbers may also vary depending on whether the equipment is purchased outright, leased, whether you expand the base system by adding, panels or add storage batteries. Many builders will probably start you off with the minimum and offer expansions to the systems as an upgrade.
Many of the San Diego area builders have already started to implement solar programs and include solar on new homes.
My opinion has always been that with the high cost of electricity here in San Diego why wouldn’t you want to have solar. The long-term savings are significant. Plus, having the builder install the equipment during construction keeps you from putting the inevitable off, limits the damage to your home having solar installed aftermarket causing damage to your roof and can be included in your homebuilder’s warranty.
Another thing to consider is that older homes with solar equipment that are on the market now will demand a higher price. So, when the time comes to sell your home, this will make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
By Rob Pontarelli