Starting Jan. 1, all newly constructed homes and low-rise apartment buildings in California are required to have rooftop solar panels. The state is the first in the nation to carry such a mandate.
The law also requires better insulation and air filtration for new homes. Some areas also are seeing mandates on the use of natural gas. For example, in the Bay Area, new homes in Berkeley, San Mateo, Menlo Park, San Jose, or Marin County will not be able to install gas appliances or will have to be more energy-efficient to do so.
The rules for energy use are intended to help alleviate the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The new laws apply only to newly constructed homes.