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If you’re building a California home, it will have to produce more clean energy — and in some places use more electric appliances — than ever before.

A first-in-the-nation law requiring new homes to have rooftop solar panels takes effect Jan. 1. State building codes also require better insulation and air filtration for new homes, and homeowners get additional incentives to install batteries to store solar power.

Another major new policy, taking effect in a handful of jurisdictions, involves reducing natural gas use: In the Bay Area, if you’re building a new home in Berkeley, San Mateo, Menlo Park, San Jose or Marin County, you either won’t be able to install gas appliances, or you will have to make your home more energy efficient if you do. Similar laws in 14 other Bay Area cities await California Energy Commission approval.

If you’re building a house in the new year, here are answers to common questions:

Q: What is the new home solar requirement?

A: Updated state building efficiency standards require all low-rise single-family and multifamily buildings to have a rooftop solar system whose size varies depending on projected electrical usage.

Your house is exempt if it has less than 80 continuous square feet of rooftop space unshaded by trees, hills, and adjacent structures. Some people living in the desert, and those with two- or three-floor homes, need not have quite as big a system. If you have batteries to store the solar power, the system can be 25% smaller.

DAWG SAYS: CALIFORNIA STILL TRYING ITS BEST TO PRICE MORE PEOPLE UNTO THE STREETS OR OUT OF STATE……

watcha gotta say?

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