California on Wednesday, May 9, became the first state of the United States to mandate solar panels on new residences that will be built after January 1, 2020.
The mandate provides exceptions for homes where installing solar power is not feasible either because of location or cost.
The state's energy commission unanimously approved the plan, marking a major step towards the state's quest for putting an end to greenhouse gas emissions. The mandate, however, still required approval from the Building Standards Commission.
The western state's law requires that 50 per cent of all power originate from non-carbon emitting sources by 2030
The decision also met its share of criticism. It was pointed out that the mandate will make home building costly by around $12,000 which the energy commission refuted saying the new homeowners would have to only pay a little extra of $40 as monthly mortgages, BBC reported.
The commission also said the solar panels on the other hand will save $80 on accounts of heating, lighting and cooling, the BBC report said.
California is ranked as the top state in the US when it comes to solar energy for it has already invested over 42 million US dollars in solar energy till now and around 16 per cent of the state's power in 2017 came from solar, BBC added.