• Monica Singer

Mandatory Solar Power for New California Homes

With a great quality of life, California continues to be one of the best places to live in. Unfortunately for many, this has led to the rise in the cost of living and housing. Consequently, prospective home buyers are seeing that houses are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Now, a recently approved mandate all across the state of California will add more to the total cost of a new home – but in this case, it will benefit the homeowner in the long run.

California’s new mandate makes it mandatory for all new houses constructed at the beginning of next year, 2020, to have solar panels installed. Meeting this requirement will add between $8,000 to $12,000 to the total cost of a new home. Initially, this added cost can come as a shock and frustration in an already increasingly expensive housing market. Moreover, it can be argued that the “affordable housing” market will be affected the most, since the buyers for those homes would find it harder to afford the purchase of solar panels.

But all is not as bad as it may appear. Although the addition of solar panels will increase your mortgage payments, the savings in energy costs will offset the cost of the solar panels. For example: on a 30-year mortgage, your average monthly mortgage payment will increase by around $40 – but your energy savings (such as your lighting, heater and air conditioning) will be around $80.

So although newer homes will cost you about $10,000 more, you shouldn’t take it as a complete deterrence because your average utility bill will be cheaper. After a few years, the cost of the solar panels will have paid themselves off and you’ll have nothing but savings left. What’s even better is that thanks to California Assembly Bill AB 920, you can enroll in something called Net Energy Metering, which compensates you for generating more electricity than you use. Essentially, your energy supplier will buy your extra generated energy and send it back to the electric grid.

Not only can solar power save you lots of money a month in energy bills, but it can also help you earn some extra cash.

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