California to Become First US State Mandating Solar on New Homes

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, May 5, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    California will be the first state to make solar standard on virtually every new home. The mandate, which will become effective in 2020, includes a push to increase battery storage and reliance on electricity over natural gas.

    The proposed new rules would deviate slightly from another much-heralded objective: Requiring all new homes be “net-zero,” meaning they would produce enough solar power to offset all electricity and natural gas consumed over the course of a year. New thinking has made that goal obsolete, state officials say.
     
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  2. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    Great... more unnecessary increased costs in housing. I swear our generation has it harder than our parents' (i'm 31). I don't see myself ever owning a house.
     
  3. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    I know many generations complain, but i would bet that statistically you're probably right. Of course there are surely exceptions, but that does not negate the rule.
     
  4. Chunder

    Chunder Gawd

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    You may want to research the history of home prices and why they're so high today. Regulations like CA's are a small fraction of why housing prices are ridiculously high in our country where there's more empty homes than homeless citizens, or people living in subpar housing. In short and oversimplified terms, it's largely due to greed.
     
  5. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    That's short, alright. However, that's like saying, "The problem with [thing] is people."
     
  6. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    Not trying to be a dick, but if you can afford the rig in your signature, you could probably have saved enough for a down payment on a modest house, depending on where you live.
     
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  7. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    The utility companies will ensure they still get their cut. It's not like your power bill will be much lower than it would otherwise be in an energy efficient home.
     
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  8. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    Median home value in my county is $250,000.

    So $1200 on a computer I saved up for over 6 months and that I will be using for at least 5 years through college and my one source of entertainment equates to a $50,000 down-payment on a house? You are being a dick.

    There is 0 question that the money we make today does not go as far as our parents or grandparents (when it comes to housing).
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  9. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The average modest home price in the SF Bay Area is 1.2 million unless you don't mind living in a bad neighborhood or having a 2+ hour commute for a decent paying job. My former boss just bought a house, probably 2500 sq. ft. 2 story with no backyard, and that was 1.5 million in a decent area.

    However, prices aren't high because of greed or regulations in California. Very nice houses in the middle of nowhere are in line with the rest of the country. It is the influx of cash buyers from India and China that are causing prices to skyrocket. These buyers have money and are very picky. They will gladly pay 50% above asking price on a house if it meant their kids get into a better school district, and there is a lot of them.
     
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  10. MMitch

    MMitch Gawd

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    To be fair, we do burn a big chunk of our income on not necessary stuff while previous generation would keep it. Luxury items have become a norm while before they would do with that they have and buy houses.
    I'm not picking any side on this one, I'm 32 and do own an apartment complex but buying this wasn't easy and now I can enjoy it. I'm looking at taking another mortgage on it and buying a house with that money in a few years... Any interest paid on this mortgage is deductible :)

    It's also true that before you could run 500$ cars on street and have houses for dirt cheap too though...
     
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  11. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    What I'm saying is that if owning a home is a priority if yours, then sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve that goal. If you want to put your money toward a big badass PC that you can use to play video games on, then that's cool. But don't act like "old people ruined the world and housing so unaffordable that I'll never own a home" when you'r watching your 70" 4k TV on your apartment. Scrimp, save, and live modestly while you work toward your goal of home ownership. If you want to stay in an apartment forever, then that's fine too. Nobody said you have to own a home. Do whatever you feel comfortable and happy doing, man.

    The average home price where I grew up is closer to $500k, so guess where I'm not currently living? But my parents also didn't buy that house until they were older and more established.
     
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  12. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

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    Watch the building of high end homes almost end, while the renovating of older homes skyrocket to avoid covering your crown jewel in peasant panels.
     
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  13. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    If you had a Tesla (as in P100D) in your sig,
    I'm not so sure that a $1200 tool indicates a lifestyle beyond means, nor fiscal irresponsibility. If he had a Tesla P100D in his signature, then that's potentially a different consideration.

    The original argument, that as a whole the millennials are under-achieving their parents as a function of spending power at an equivalent point in life/career is valid and quantitatively verifiable.
     
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  14. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    I'm not arguing that purchasing power has decreased. I don't know anything about it, so great.

    And again, not saying $1200 is a down payment on a house the guy could live in. Nor am I saying he's living beyond his means. What I'm saying is that if he believes he'll never be able to afford a house in his lifetime, then he should realize that if he cuts down on spending on non-necessities (e.g. 1080 Ti SC), then it goes a long way in building up the cash it takes to buy a home. If you want to have the absolutely most pimped out apartment in the world, that's cool. If you want killer framerates on your 4k monitor, that's cool too. No judgment here. But if you want all that and you also want to complain that you will never own a house in your lifetime, and that it's somehow the fault of legislation requiring the installation of solar panels on new homes, then lol.
     
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  15. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    Look man, I am a conservative Republican and i'm a immigrant. I am the biggest believer in self responsibility. My parents started from nothing multiple times and I myself have struggled a lot. I am paying for school myself, worked 3 jobs before I got my current one, have over $7000 put aside for my retirement, invested in Bitcoin, and have other investments too. My computer and TV are the result of me wanting to get something for myself after being incredibly frugal for years before that, living with room-mates, moving 7 times over the course of a year and half, going to school full-time, and working 3 jobs at a time. I am doing the best that I can so don't talk to me about sacrifice. I never said old people ruined the world so don't put words in my mouth. This conversation is broader than one I am prepared to discuss here, but there is without a doubt, again, that today's young people have a harder time affording housing than ever and maintaining the standard of living our grandparents did. I am getting married this summer and my fiancee and I are already in preparations to live as frugally as possible in order so we could buy a house after I am done with college and hopefully find a higher paying job because we want to have kids.

    You talk in your first two sentences as if I am some kid who has no idea what it means to prioritize my finances. My computer and TV are literally all I have. I don't have cable TV... all I have is internet. I have a computer and a TV. Big deal. Sure I could have put the $1200 for it aside to put towards the $50,000 down-payment I would need for a house, but it's a drop of water in the ocean right now in my current situation especially considering how much school and school loans are costing me right now.

    Your virtue-signaling is really frustrating to me. I could have literally anything in my sig and someone would find a problem with it..." Durrrr, you should have put that money towards a down-payment on a house." "Why do you have a 1060 when you could have gone with a 1050ti and save more money," or "Why do you have a 1050ti when you could have bought a 1050?"
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  16. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    So, "never owning a house in my lifetime" was a exaggeration to illustrate the point that it's already expensive in my area to find a decent place, but then the idea of adding mandatory solar panels (which simply shouldn't be mandatory (remember how popular mandatory health insurance was?)) can only mean one thing which is increased home costs. It's frustrating when costs are already high to have something like this to increase it more.
     
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  17. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    I think it was less of a complaint about a single issue affecting home prices and more of a general lamentation about a generation's (generally speaking) economic outlook. I'm not looking to break balls here, just stating that, as I framed it, he has a point. Also, I observed that a single purchase, and not a truly extravagant one, might not indicate inappropriate financial priorities.

    Your point that, with proper planning, most (reasonable) items are achievable is one to which I also subscribe. I am just not sure if there's enough in a sig to extrapolate all that you did.
     
  18. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for all the clarification. You and I absolutely agree on those points.
     
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  19. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

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    It may increase the entry cost, but we in CA pay un-be-farking-lievable rates on electricity. You will save money by having them. I put panels on a year ago, and if it is a representative year, I will break even in about 5-6 years. I don't even have an ideal setup, due to house orientation and trees.

    Throwing a few panels on new houses at the time of construction will not really move the needle on cost or attainability in any real fashion. The cost is already dominated by the land value.

    But I hear you - CA has become fairly insane to live in.
     
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  20. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, I definitely feel what the guy's saying. I was only making those points because the guy said that he could never own a home because of all these factors. I thought that was just incorrect, considering he had the means to buy an expensive computer. He's since clarified that not only does he not believe he can't afford a home ever, but that he's actually planning on buying a home eventually.

    So it was a disagreement started by an extreme comment, which seem to make up like 90% of reactions on the internet.
     
  21. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

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    You never actually own a home. Paying property tax is not owning. Best just to rent and let someone else pay for the repairs.
     
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  22. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    You could go back to living in a log cabin if you want. I heard homes builtin prior to the 20th century were very cheap.

    We'll see if this experiment works out. Of anywhere to try it, CA is the place with the money. Solar is very popular in Hawaii for a reason.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  23. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    You have clearly never flown, bought consumer electronics, or other manufactured goods before.
     
  24. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    That's not what we're talking about. I am talking about the housing situation and the increase in cost. I wasn't making a blanket statement regards to all purchasable things, because you are right others things have gotten a lot cheaper.
     
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  25. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    Well, then don't say "There is 0 question that the money we make today does not go as far as our parents or grandparents."

    Now, if you want to play around with those numbers you'll find that your supposition is still not correct for parents generation in the absolute you constructed. Use this interactive graph: https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/08/daily-chart-20 and select price to income. Then hit reset so that it drops San Francisco and New York out and start looking at all the markets. What you will find is that it depends but, as usual, the left coast and Northeast are outliers in this country. Also, a lot of that increase can be accounted for here in size of homes over time (https://www.aei.org/publication/new...d-living-space-per-person-has-nearly-doubled/) and features. This would fall well in line with the fact that home ownership rates have increased from our parents and grandparents time https://dqydj.com/historical-homeownership-rate-in-the-united-states-1890-present/
     
  26. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    That's what I'm curious about. It's possible that 20-50 years in the future, we won't be able to fathom having a house with solar. I remember people crying about mandatory airbags in cars raising the price. But I'll be damned if I want to daily a car without an airbag. I know it's apples to oranges, but you get the idea.
     
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  27. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    PG&E charges exorbitant hookup fees if you want to remain on the grid with solar, negating nearly all solar savings. The only way to truly save with solar in California is to go entirely off the grid.

    Property taxes are stable and don't increase, at least for now. Rent is skyrocketing. The main thing is to be smart about when to buy.
     
  28. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    3% of $250,000 is $7,500. Sure you'll have to pay PMI, but if your credit is north of 600 someone will give you a loan.

    And yes, inflation has outstripped increases in earning, but look how much more shit we *need* to live. My parents never needed home internet, a smart phone, a VR rig, a gaming rig, a laptop for work, or wine home delivery, but I do.

    Living in the future is awesome.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  29. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

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    Why not a container home or a manufactured dwelling? Jadis showed us her nice little one dropped in the middle of a garbage dump and mobile homes are quite popular here in the South.

    The only problem with requiring solar panels is that they aren't that efficient and the cost of safely decoupling from the grid and the storage solution are cost prohibitive for most of California.
     
  30. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    You for real bruh? People will bitch and moan about anything...
     
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  31. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    Woah, woah, woah. Let's be real here. They needed it, it just wasn't available.
     
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  32. Austin Craig

    Austin Craig n00b

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    It is utterly and completely pointless to moan about something that you can not change. The market is what it is. If people will pay the prices the prices will be high. If they won't or can't the prices will become lower.

    Far as CA forcing people to put solar on homes well.. thats a bit of an overreach. Solar is fine and all but it should not be forced. Then again I do not live in CA as the liberalism is toxic.


    So instead of moaning get a job, go to college, join the military etc.
     
  33. Jehuty

    Jehuty Limp Gawd

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    I’m def ok with a new home being constructed with Solar power built in. It will make the home a little more expensive, but in the end you will end up saving quite a bit. Not only that, but the thought of being completely independent of the grid (or even selling power to them) is extremely attractive.
     
  34. EchtoGammut

    EchtoGammut 2[H]4U

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    The biggest issue is not whether California should mandate solar on all homes, rather how they will deal with the added power load. The current power infrastructure is not able to handle distributed variable load peaks feeding into the grid. If they do this without significant infrastructure investment and implementing either local or semi-centralized storage in the form of caps or batteries, all this new solar power will just go straight to heat sinks. I personally think distributing part of the power load to residential / commercial structures and using localized battery or caps to store unused solar power is a great idea and both be a boon for national security and reduce the highly corrupt Edison/PG&E utilities.
     
  35. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    Simple raise electricity prices or tax rates.
     
  36. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Not out here in California.
    I make decent money (more than the national average), and I wouldn't even be able to quality for a tiny 2 bedroom condo, with 20% down.

    How about an 1,800 sqft track home for $879,000 ? That's the most recent sale in my neighborhood.

    Luckily I bought my house 20+ years ago, when the cost was less than 30% of todays prices.
     
  37. Chupachup

    Chupachup Limp Gawd

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    The only problem I currently see is the cost increases to manufacture of the solar panels and equipment being used, due to the tariffs being placed on rare earths, steal and aluminum, that was being mostly imported to keeps costs lower, being passed on to home buyers.
     
  38. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's not throwing a few panels on a roof, it's a state mandate that's part of the approval process. Like most government mandates, it will likely cost twice as much as expected, and make homes even less affordable.

    And with the added costs added to your property tax, extra interest on your loan, and PMI, these solar panels will cost you a lot more than expected.

    If you are actually going to break even in 5-6 years, you either got a smoking deal, you had an really high electrical bill, or you are using the sales persons numbers that ignore some of your real costs.

    I've looked multiple times over the years, and my break even is usually closer to 15 years. Even longer if I took a loan to pay for it (interest)
    They always try to spin the numbers lower, but they do so by leaving out some of the costs.
    Most people would be better off investing the money and using the proceeds to help pay their electric bills.
     
  39. Mchart

    Mchart 2[H]4U

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    Take your skills elsewhere.. No one is forcing you to live in CA. If you were smart you'd move.
     
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  40. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's the California way. Raise taxes or prices and force everyone else to pay even more.

    Since this will raise new home prices, existing home prices should also go up.
    That just means I'll get more money for my house when I sell it & retire to another state :p