Recently, California regulators took another bold step to combat climate change. The California Energy Commission mandated that all new single family houses have solar panels.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature.”

Critics of the push for renewable energy use say that this will make new houses even more expensive to buy in a state where home prices are historically high.

“In addition to the solar mandate, the commission approved new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. In all, the new residential requirements are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, but save $19,000 in reduced utility bills over a 30-year period, according to the Energy Commission.”

What this translated to in practical terms is, according to the commission, on average monthly mortgage payments would only go up $40 and monthly utility bills should be reduced by $80.

Beyond the help this will provide for homeowners with their utility bills, the environment will be a big winner. The California Energy Commission reports, “The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.”

To read more about the solar mandate, visit