This has crony capitalism written all over it. A very nice payday, paid for by taxpayers, for the solar industry.
We’re for solar energy. If fact your editor had solar heated water in his home way back in the 80s. But we are for solar within the market.
Unfortunately solar energy seems chronically infected with cronyism.
Few industry groups outwardly oppose the plan after working for years with the commission to shape the regulations. But Republican legislative leaders said Californians can’t afford to pay any more for housing in the state’s already expensive market.
“That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live,” said Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber’s Republican leader.
The solar panel decision is just the latest example of what critics see as the state’s ever-evolving nanny-state policies. California often is at the leading edge of government mandates and bans, having recently prohibited everything from plastic bags to foie gras – and even flirting with phasing out internal combustion engines.
Bill Watt, a homebuilder and design consultant, told The Orange County Register the added solar panel costs, in addition to other building mandates, will make homeownership out of reach for many buyers.
“We’re not building enough housing already,” Watt, former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association, told The OCR. “Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues, then circle back?”
California, when factoring the cost of living (which is the highest in the country due in large part to regulatory restrictions) is the poorest state in the USA per capita. Now housing will be even more expensive.
But the solar lobbyists will probably be able to buy second houses so maybe it’ll all even out. Ahem.