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.
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