Solar panels could become mandatory on new homes

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Solar panels could become mandatory on new homes in the near future.

They're already an option at some new home construction sites in the valley. But the offerings could become standard in 2020 depending on Wednesday's vote in Sacramento.

The California Energy Commission will determine whether solar panels will be required of new homes.

Vivint Solar sales director Bryce Jones said. "We actually want to congratulate California as far as taking that initiative, taking an aggressive approach for not only savings for customers here in Fresno and all over California but lessen the air. Good for us right."

But the price of going green wouldn't be cheap for Californians.

The issue of housing affordability in many areas including the valley has raised concerns among many people including Mike Prandini of the local Building Industry Association.

Prandini explained, "If you're talking about a $200,000 to $250,000 house and you require solar on that home, you bump it to 220 or 240. that's a significant increase in the cost of the home."

Especially on the lower end of the market.

Prandini added the industry was hoping the vote would be delayed a few years to allow for improved technology of the solar panels.

But he understood the push. "So the energy commission believes the offset is you spend money on the solar through your mortgage but you get a break on your monthly bill from PG&E or Southern Cal Edison."

If the proposal passes, the solar mandate would apply to houses, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories tall.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.