The Valley Industry & Commerce Association has come out against a mandate from the California Energy Commission requiring solar panels on all new residential buildings starting in 2020.
Stuart Waldman, president of the Van Nuys business advocacy group, said the commission’s decision om Wednesday gives housing developers and potential homeowners another reason to leave California as housing affordability is one of the major issues facing the state.
“Skyrocketing home prices are a result of onerous regulations and high fees homebuilders must abide by,” Waldman said in a statement. “Increasing costs to build have pushed home prices further out of reach for many middle- and working-class families.”
The commission estimates that new building regulations, which in addition to solar panels also include new insulation and air filter requirements, would add about $9,500 to the price of a single-family home. Homeowners would save, however, about $19,00 in reduced energy costs over 30 years.
Waldman put the cost of solar panels at between $10,000 and $20,000. That is the difference between getting a home and not getting a home for some home buyers, he said.
“We should be focusing on providing incentives for homebuilders, not forcing them to increase their upfront construction costs – it all adds up and will be reflected on the price tag of the home,” Waldman added in his statement.
The California Building Standards Commission still must approve the new regulations, which will also apply to apartment and condo buildings of three stories or fewer.