Sacramento Leaders Pass Law Requiring Solar for New Home Construction
The sun came out for clean energy advocates this year when California state lawmakers determined that beginning in 2020, all new residential buildings up to three stories high must have solar panels.
Already a state known for supporting green technology, this move makes California the leader in energy efficiency. Data shows the Golden State already uses solar for 16 percent of its electricity output, and California even stops production at times to give electricity to other states so the electric grid isn’t overloaded.
Will it benefit new home builders?
For construction companies who want to feel like life is as golden for them as it is for the solar business, there are arguments in both columns. On one hand, they will have to sell or lease a solar-powered system to homebuyers, which raises the average home cost by an estimated $8,000 to $12,000.
The good news? Homebuyers will finance it, especially because they assume they’ll earn back those dollars with the savings on their energy bills. The California Energy Commission estimated that average homeowners in a 30-year loan will likely save $80 a month on heating, cooling and lights.
Liability to construction companies
Another issue with valid arguments in both columns is the liability associated with the new construction mandate. If the challenge thrown at builders isn’t enough, now they must be sure they’re hiring solar contractors who are insured and who will maintain a safe work environment.
Solar contractors face unique challenges when installing solar, such as increased trip/fall hazards. Each time a worker installs a solar panel on a roof, less walking space becomes available. Workers must also be aware of skylights, vents, hatches and other roof openings.
To keep your team protected, Fusco & Orsini offers a general liability program from an A+++ rated, California admitted carrier. Solar contractors, click here to request a quote.
And remember…all that glitters isn’t gold, it’s green!