California regulators have announced in May of 2018 that their historic plan to mandate rooftop solar panels on almost all single-family homes built in the state has now been approved. This plan was unanimously approved and is said to start adding the solar panels starting in 2020. California is the first state in the nation to mandate solar-energy installations on single-family homes and multi-family residential buildings up to three stories.

“This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S.” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said “California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state.”

This energy efficient plan has received support from homebuilder and solar trade associations as well as several other large utilities; though some experts are worried that it may only make the state’s affordable housing crisis even worse.

The California Energy Commission said that this plan is expected to add an average of about $9,500 to the cost of building new houses in California but will ultimately pay off in the long run by the solar system’s long-term energy savings. Which will save an average of about $19,000 in energy savings over a 30-year period.

For the residential homeowners the solar panels will add an around $40 on average to their monthly payments over 30 years but will essentially save the consumer around $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills. California experts estimate that the proposed solar panel standards could potentially save residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs over the next decade.

“Overall, we expect with California’s mandate some companies within the solar and broader renewable industry stand to benefit positively, including those who make panels and component parts, as well as those who assist with installation and ensure efficient use of energy,” said Dave Fanger, CEO of Swell Investing, holder of solar and related stocks in its Green Tech and REnewable Energy portfolios.

California mandating the installation of solar panels on new homes is a huge win for the solar companies. Stocks for SunPower added 6%, Sunrun jumped up 4%, First Solar added 3% and Tesla picked up almost 2% after the news was announced in May.


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