Solar mandate could change California home building

California’s new residential solar mandate could change the look of new homes and solar panels themselves. California Energy Commission adopted regulations that will require electricity-producing solar panels on most new homes in 2020. Although any type of roof can accommodate panels, some designs are more solar-friendly. A basic gable roof with a large south-facing slope is ideal, according to Ann Edminster, founder of Design Avenues, “Oftentimes roof designs are just too convoluted,” with hip forms and fake dormers that leave it looking chopped up, she said.

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