California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings
California regulators voted on Wednesday to require solar power and battery storage in new commercial buildings and high-rise multi-family buildings, the latest front in the state’s vigorous efforts to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to sources alternative energy sources.
The California Energy Commission approved the proposal by a 5-0 vote. The proposal will now be taken up by the state’s Building Standards Commission, which is expected to include it in a comprehensive building code review in December.
The energy plan, which would go into effect on January 1, 2023, also includes incentives to phase out natural gas from new buildings and to make it easier to add batteries to existing solar systems in single-family homes.
“The future we are trying to build together is a future beyond fossil fuels,” Energy Committee chairman David Hochschild said ahead of the agency’s vote. “Big changes require everyone to play a role. We all have a role to play in building that future.
The provisions would complement requirements that came into effect last year, which require new single-family homes and multi-family dwellings up to three stories to include solar power.
The latest provision of the code is expected to largely receive final approval and contribute to California’s aggressive efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Lindsay Buckley, spokesperson for the Energy Commission, said that “while there is no guarantee” that the plan will be adopted by the Building Standards Commission, no such proposal has been made. had never been rejected after approval by the energy panel.
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