Proposed California solar mandate could add $10,500 to cost of a house

California may soon become the first state in the nation to require that virtually every new home be equipped with solar panels.

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming. The rule also would apply to new multifamily buildings up to three stories tall.

. . . Together with tough new efficiency standards for windows and insulation that the commission will consider Wednesday, the solar mandate could add $10,538 to the cost of building a house, by the agency’s own estimate. The extra expense would hit at a time when California is suffering a severe and deepening housing affordability crisis.

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