New California building requirements save energy — and not just with solar panels

Installation of solar panels in a South Sacramento home on Monday, May 18, 2015.
Installation of solar panels in a South Sacramento home on Monday, May 18, 2015.
Carl Costas/ CALmatters

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California is now the first state in the country to require all new houses to have solar panels, starting in 2020. The goal is to slash greenhouse gas emissions. But until we can store solar power affordably, we’re still going to be relying on fossil fuels when the sun goes down.

Kirk Nason shows how he tracks the electricity generated by his solar panels on his phone. Some of the power is stored in his Tesla PowerWall, a home battery system visible in the background.
Kirk Nason shows how he tracks the electricity generated by his solar panels on his phone. Some of the power is stored in his Tesla PowerWall, a home battery system visible in the background.
Emily Guerin/KPCC

KPCC spent some time in Huntington Beach with Kirk Nason, whose home is super energy efficient. Nason says of the new building code requirements: "It's a no brainer."

This story comes to us from member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Ariz. To commemorate Arizona's birthday, KJZZ has dispatched reporters across the region to find unique stories about the state in its Untold Arizona series. It is also part of a new collaboration, Elemental: Covering Sustainability, which focuses on sustainability in the West and involves KJZZ, KPCC, Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, Rocky Mountain PBS and Southern California PBS.