The new California Solar Panel Law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, requiring all California contractors and real estate developers to install solar panel systems on multi-family complexes and single-family homes up to three stories tall.

The California Solar Mandate 2020, which was set by the California Energy Commission in 2018 as an update to the Title 24 standard, aims to provide clean energy alternatives for the state while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The California Energy Commission hopes to reduce home energy use by 53 percent with this new mandate.

However, the new solar requirement is expected to add between $20,000-$30,000 to the cost of building new single-family homes, according to builder Meritage Homes. The California Association of Realtors has reported that the current median-priced home in California is roughly $615,000. An additional $20-$30K on top of the average home price is likely to further impact the state’s housing affordability problems, according to some critics. Still, the California Energy Commission claims that the 2020 California Solar Panel Law will save homeowners roughly $80 monthly in electricity costs.

Large California real estate developers, such as Lennar, have been installing solar panels on their homes since 2013. The cost of complying with the 2020 California Solar Mandate is more likely to impact smaller contractors, who may not be able to afford the upfront costs.

What do you think of the new California Solar Panel Law? Do you have any questions? Please give our construction attorneys a call for a consultation at (951) 300-2690.

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