Vignette 3: California Solar Panel Policy

in News & Politics/Vignettes by
2 minute read

The Golden State puts forward a new solar panel policy. The policy would require outfitting new homes with the technology in 2020.

Workers install solar panels on the roofs of homes
Workers install solar panels on the roofs of homes under construction south of Corona Thursday morning May 3, 2018. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

First of all…

Should the state of California involve itself further in the solar panel market?
Only 15-20% of new homes are currently including solar panels in their construction process. Is it morally responsible to force that percentage to increase on behalf of environmental and energy efficiency concerns? Also, what does this mean for the California housing market?

Further more, should California bureaucrats be increasing dictates to people looking to build new homes?
This proposed policy comes from the California Energy Commission. An organization run by unelected officials. Should a committee of appointees be crafting policy that affects such significant aspects of California’s economic and environmental sectors?

The source…

This policy was detailed in a piece from the Orange County Register, and distributed widely by the Los Angeles Times. Does the source of information affect the perception of government action?

Most important…

Should California put the policy before the voters as a statewide ballot measure?
More so, is this so impactful to the housing and energy sectors that no single government agency should have the power to craft this policy without the approval of the citizens?

It’s these questions and more that drive this conversation between Sean and myself. The battle between moral high grounds hits hard here. On one hand there’s the concern that this is crony capitalism in its clearest form. You have a bureaucratic group forcing the action of individuals in the housing market. On the other hand, there’s a level of common sense attributed to the policy in terms of long term savings on energy costs. What is clear is that without the backing of government solar power on residential properties would have a certain amount of market support, but likely not as widespread as it currently is.

Check out the conversation in the Pippa player above, and comment with your own opinion on the California Energy Commission’s new directive. For more conversations about environmental policy listen to Episode 4: Mountains and Mole Hills.

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