Here's BUILDER sibling JLC Online on how the addition of batteries to a solar generation system could allieviate some of the costs assocated with the new solar mandate that takes effect in 2020.

It's been widely reported that California set a new precedent in energy policy this month when the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted to require rooftop solar power arrays on all new homes, starting in 2020. The measure has met intense criticism. But critics seem to be overlooking an important element of the new law.

The Intent
"State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills," reported The New York Times (see: "California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes," by Ivan Penn. "That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point."

"And a new rate structure coming next year will charge California customers based on the time of day they use electricity," the Times reported. "So homeowners with energy-efficiency features — a battery in particular, allowing energy to be stored for when it is most efficiently used — will avoid higher costs."

Critics Pile On
Although solar panels on every new house will go a long way toward helping California realize the state's planned fossil-fuel-free future, some critics lambasted the move as an impractical overreach. "The new solar mandate: A leap forward or a step back?" asked the San Diego Union Tribune (story by Rob Nikolewski). From the Union Tribune report: “'All of my colleagues are saying, what the hell is going on in California?' said Severin Borenstein, professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. And within days of the vote, UC Davis economics professor James Bushnell posted a blog at Cal’s Energy Institute calling the mandate a symptom of 'regulatory groupthink.' A columnist for the Chicago Tribune called the new rule 'boneheaded.'"

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