California officials give final approval to requiring solar panels on new homes

California has officially cleared the way for a new rule requiring solar panels to be built on all new houses.

The state’s Building Standards Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to give the final approval necessary for the new housing rule, according to The Mercury News.

The rule, the first of its kind in the nation, was first approved in May by the California Energy Commission. The mandate will apply to homes built in 2020 or later.

Kent Sasaki, one of the commissioners who voted to approve the change, praised the new code as “historic,” according to The Mercury News.


“These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country,” Sasaki said. “[It’s] the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.”

The changes are estimated to add about $10,000 to the cost of building a single-family home, costs that are expected to be offset through reduced monthly energy costs over the lifespan of the solar panels.

Commissioners estimated that homeowners will save about $19,000 in energy costs over 30 years by having solar panels, according to NPR.

The new requirement is the latest example of California leading the nation in environmentally-friendly policy. California law aims to get half of the state’s electricity from sources that don't produce carbon by 2030.

The move comes nearly a year after President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panel technology, which was seen as a blow to the nation’s $28 billion solar industry.