California upstages Australia by requiring solar panels on new homes

Builders in California will be required to fit solar panels on most new homes from 2020 under new building standards adopted on Wednesday, a move that is the first in the United States and could provide a big boost to the solar industry.

The decision, adopted unanimously by the five-member California Energy Commission, is part of the state's effort to fight global climate change. It came despite estimates it would raise the up-front cost of a new home by nearly $US10,000 ($13,300) in one of the most expensive parts of the country.

The state has long been at the vanguard of progressive energy policies, from setting energy-efficiency standards for appliances to instituting an economy-wide program to curb greenhouse gases.

The Commission estimated the new solar standards will add about $US40 to monthly mortgage payments but will compensate for that by saving residents $US80 a month on energy bills.

Though Australia has not implemented any laws requiring new homes to have solar panels, it remains one of the worlds best locations for them. Still don't have your own Solar unit? See how easy it is to get one at

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