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California demands solar on new homes

USA: Under new building standards introduced by the California Energy Commission all new homes in California will require the inclusion of solar photovoltaic systems from 2020.

The move to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50%, the first in the nation to require solar, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.

The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards take effect on January 1, 2020, and focus on four key areas: smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated thermal envelope standards (preventing heat transfer from the interior to exterior and vice versa), residential and non-residential ventilation requirements, and non-residential lighting requirements. The ventilation measures are designed to improve indoor air quality, protecting homeowners from air pollution originating from outdoor and indoor sources. For the first time, the standards also establish requirements for newly constructed healthcare facilities.

“Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid,” said commissioner Andrew McAllister, the Energy Commission’s lead on energy efficiency.

“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.”

California has a history of pioneering green initiatives. In March, California unilaterally adopted unapproved EPA SNAP rules to reduce emissions of HFC refrigerants.

Related stories:

California approves original SNAP rules – 24 March 2018
USA: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) yesterday adopted the EPA’s proposed SNAP rules to reduce emissions of HFC refrigerants despite the US Court of Appeal declaring them illegal. Read more…

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