The New Year 2020 does not only mark the beginning of a new chapter. It also marks a significant movement in terms of battling climate change by the State of California. January 2020 signals the start of a new policy for building houses.  

Before implementing this policy, the State had been slowly progressing in this particular matter. One out of five newly-built California houses has solar installation. As the new year entered, the number needs to change to five out of five. The State now requires every new home to have a solar panel installation. It was a year ago when the building code was revised, and it gave a short period to contractors and homeowners to prepare for this change. 

In a report, the California Energy Commission (CEC) stated that the new policy would result in a total of 74,000 new solar panel installations. The policy, in essence, makes solar panels a required fixture in a California home, much like a window and a roof.  

This change had mixed reactions from the residents of the State. Some were happy to see a bit of progress in terms of preparing for the future and battling the effects of climate change. Some others were reluctant to accept the new rule because it shall mean an additional cost for them. On average, homeowners need to shell out $8,400 for solar panels and their installation. Those in favor of the new policy quickly rebutted that savings will offset this amount in the long term. The use of solar panels can result in a monthly savings of about $80. 

As for the home builders, this policy means upgrading their services. It would mean that solar panels will be treated as an ordinary, necessary appliance, per the statement of Vikram Aggarwal of EnergySage company. Homeowners will have the option to upgrade their solar panels, just like any other appliance. 

This move by the State was mainly because of its goal to reduce carbon emissions drastically and combat climate change. As the nation’s most populous State, it is a challenge to implement greener policies. However, it seems like this particular move – that is to require solar panels – was received better than the other suggested actions. 

Not only the Unites States is watching as California enters a new greener era, but the whole world also watches too. If they can do this successfully, no doubt, other places will have the courage to follow suit. 

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