California requires new homes to have solar panels. Should wildfire victims get a break? – Ojai Valley News

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Paradise Fire 5 Years Later CalMatters

Photo by Noah Berger, AP Photo

Jose Villanueva carries siding while building a home in Paradise on Oct. 25, 2023. The project is partly funded by ReCoverCA, a state program providing money to rebuild homes in disaster areas. 

Hundreds of homes in Joe Patterson’s Northern California Assembly district burned to the ground in the Caldor Fire.

In the three years since that devastating summer, many of those rebuilding homeowners have ended up on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to state laws that require solar panels on new homes — even on those that didn’t have them before they burned down.

“Trust me when I say this: $25,000 to build solar onto a house where people do not have solar is 100% an impediment to rebuilding,” Patterson, a Republican from Rocklin, told the Assembly Natural Resources Committee earlier this week.

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