California Bill Would Require Solar Panels on New Buildings

California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-11) introduced legislation (SB-71) on January 9 that would require buildings erected in the Golden State to be equipped with solar arrays, according to a report by Pacific Standard magazine.

The new statewide legislation is modeled after a San Francisco ordinance also introduced by Wiener, who formally was a member of that city’s Board of Supervisors. The San Francisco law went into effect on January 1 – and it represents the first law passed by a major city nationwide to require that solar panels be installed on new buildings and homes

Weiner’s new measure would maintain and expand the terms of California’s Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007which already requires all residential and commercial buildings under ten stories to have at least 15 percent of their rooftops clear of obstructions and shade (or, in other words, “solar ready”).

Now according to Wiener, ten-story buildings must not be just “solar ready,” but also must be “solar installed.”

Indeed, Wiener’s legislation mandates that either solar photovoltaic or solar water panels actually be installed on any new rooftops constructed after the first of this year, the Pacific Standard reported.

“People are frustrated with the slow pace of moving toward renewable energy, and people have a sense of urgency that we don’t have time to waste,” Wiener also told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We need to move away from a carbon-based economy.”

On his own blog site, the state senator urged action, even as the new U.S. president is scheduled to be sworn in on January 20. “

In a few weeks, “ Wiener said, “the Trump Administration will take over Washington and bring with it a bevy of climate deniers — people in the pocket of the oil industry who deny science and refuse to address the existential global threat known as climate change. Delaying efforts to stop climate change, or enacting policies that worsen it, will be devastating for our planet and for future generations.

Now, more than ever,” he said, “California must lead on climate.”

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