Should solar power be mandatory for new homes?
via AP

Should solar power be mandatory for new homes?

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California just became the first state to require solar power for new homes. Environmental and clean energy advocates have applauded the move, arguing the requirement will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But others argue the new solar standards will cause already-expensive home prices to rise even more, and consumers should be able to make that decision for themselves. What do you think? ☀️

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#LetMarketDecide
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California just became the first state to require solar power on all new homes. The five-member California Energy Commission voted unanimously to approve the measure, according to the New York Times. Many have noted the new requirements will cause home prices to rise, but clean-energy advocates argue the extra cost to buyers will be offset by the significantly lower energy bills.

The new requirement, to take effect in two years, brings solar power into the mainstream in a way it has never been until now. It will add thousands of dollars to the cost of home when a shortage of affordable housing is one of California’s most pressing issues.
State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point.

Environmental advocates have applauded the decision. California has been leading the way when it comes to clean energy, and if the solar power requirement bodes well in the state, other states will likely follow suit. A senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club Rachel Golden views the move as a huge step for renewable energy.

But not everyone is convinced the new solar requirement is a good thing. The spokesperson for Meritage Homes Corp Brent Anderson told Bloomberg while he believes solar power is "the right answer" in the long term, he worries the increase in home prices will make it even harder for people to buy in an already expensive market.

Others feel the requirement is problematic because it clearly favors one zero-emissions technology—solar—over others.

“It’s also a policy that very clearly is picking winners, and California would be better off focusing its efforts on the real source of the problem—greenhouse gases—rather than favoring one zero-emissions technology over others,” [Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Colleen Regan] said.

Consumers should be allowed to choose how to best reduce greenhouse emissions for themselves. This top-down approach to clean energy threatens to hurt those who cannot afford to keep up. Until solar power is a more affordable alternative, California should let the free market decide. 

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