Breaking News! This week California became the first state to mandate solar panels on new home construction. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “The California Energy Commission voted unanimously to approve a mandate that residential buildings up to three stories high, including single-family homes and condos, be built with solar installations starting in 2020.” Final approval will be made by the Building Standards Commission later this year. Despite California being one of the most expensive housing markets in the county, the commission estimates that the change, along with other energy-efficiency requirements, would add $9,500 to the average cost of building a home. Still, the change appears to have broad support from home builders as well as California leaders and solar advocates. The belief is that the upfront investment will result in a savings for the homeowner in energy costs in the long term.
While the data is strong to have solar energy play a more prominent role in the overall energy sector in the United States, the prospects of other states initiating the same mandate as California is unlikely. North Carolina is the number 2 solar market in the U.S. behind California and Steve Kalland, executive director of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University, says “he doesn’t see his state adopting a similar mandate anytime soon. It is a pretty big stretch to imagine certainly any Southeastern state following suit in the near term, but the technology is getting cheaper and cheaper and the public is starting to clamor for it,” he said. “In North Carolina, the market is much more oriented toward larger scale solar farms.”
The WSJ article reports, “Wind and solar combined accounted for about 8% of U.S. power generation in 2017, up from less than 1% a decade ago. Natural gas is now the top fuel for electricity, accounting for 32% of generation compared with 22% a decade earlier. Coal’s share has fallen to about 30%, from 49% in the same time span. California sees this mandate as a way to get to their overall goal of reducing air pollution, combat climate change and help drive renewable energy in the state.
For the metal roofing world, this may lead to new business opportunities. According to Energysage.com, metal roofs are light, durable, and often made of eco-friendly recycled materials and considered one of the best roof materials for solar panels. Ease of installation, durability, and environmental benefits are just three of the reasons to consider putting solar panels on a metal roof. Here are the top 5 things to consider if you want to install solar on a metal roof:
- It’s easy to mount solar panels on a metal roof
- Solar metal roofs can host thin film panels and standard PV panels
- Metal roofs are durable and can outlive your solar panels
- Solar panels can increase the cooling benefits of a metal roof
- Metal roofs and solar panels generate an eco-friendly home
Look for METALCON exhibitors to showcase the latest technology and solutions for installing solar panels on metal roofing systems at METALCON 2018!