California Energy Commission approves requirement for solar panels on new homes

This April 20, 2011, image shows some of the 30,000 solar panels that make up the Public Service Company of New Mexico's new 2-megawatt photovoltaic array. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

The California Energy Commission has approved a requirement for solar panels on new homes starting in 2020.

The commission vote on Wednesday was a critical step toward possible final approval later this year by the state's Building Standards Commission.

California would be the first state with such a requirement and Commissioner David Hochschild called the vote a "bold and visionary step."

The commission also approved new requirements aimed at improving indoor air quality.

California has pursued a wide-ranging list of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

No industry groups spoke in opposition to the solar panel requirements. The commission says solar panels will increase the upfront cost of homes but is expected to save consumers more over the long run in energy costs.
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