Energy efficiency measures will pay for themselves and reduce carbon emissions
California is leading the way again. This time, it’s in energy efficiency.
Starting in 2020, all new single-family homes and new multi-family units of three stories or less must use solar power (although homes built on shaded lots may be exempt if solar panels would be ineffective). Other changes to the rules include updates to insulation and ventilation standards.
We’re pleased to see that the new regulations go beyond solar panels. (See our analysis of solar panels and other energy-efficiency measures to learn why combining solar panels with other measures is the best way to reach net-zero energy.)
The new standards are the first of their kind in the US, and according to the California Energy Commission, they’re good for all Californians.
“Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever; at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid. The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for ‘smart’ technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future.”—Andrew McAllister of the California Energy Commission
The commission estimates that solar panels will add about $40 per month to an average thirty-year mortgage. That’s an expense that the homeowner will recoup; the new standards will save the average homeowner around $80 per month in energy costs.
The benefits will also be felt statewide. Homes producing much or all of their own energy will save wear and tear on the state’s infrastructure, which will be critical as the population continues to grow. And it will reduce pollution. Implementing the new standards in residential and non-residential construction will be the equivalent of removing over 100,000 fossil-fuel vehicles from the road.
At New Avenue, we have always believed in working for energy efficiency wherever possible. Solar panels, efficient materials, and innovative engineering can make a huge difference for homeowners, and we’re excited to see California leading the nation in this area.
Planning an accessory dwelling or a new home?
We know state and local rules can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to face them alone. Talk to our design and construction expert about how New Avenue can help smooth your path to your dream home. Just let us know when to call for your free 30-minute planning session.