California became the first state in the nation in May to require that all new homes and apartment buildings three stories or fewer have rooftop solar panels starting in 2020.

The move, according to the California Energy Commission, will cut energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent and "reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road." In a press release, the commission said that their research showed that for residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, "the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills."

Both are right, says Dirk Michels, a partner at Ballard Spahr who specializes in the solar industry. "It increases the cost–the upfront cost–but it also stabilizes energy costs."

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