Environment Massachusetts joins 10-state campaign calling for new homes to be built with solar

For Immediate Release

Boston – Environment Massachusetts is joining with counterparts in nine other states to call for new houses to be built with rooftop solar panels.

In January 2020, California became the first state to require rooftop solar on new homes. Together with other groups in the Environment America network, Environment Massachusetts is launching a first-of-its-kind campaign calling on additional states across the country to set similar policies.

The coordinated national campaign will advocate for a solar homes policy in at least ten states: Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. The campaign’s intention is to introduce bills establishing rooftop solar requirements in each state over the next two years.

“For a generation facing the threat of climate change, the new American Dream is not ‘a car in every garage,’ it’s ‘a panel on every roof,’” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “We can power our lives without polluting our air and water or changing our climate. The roofs of our homes are a great place to start.”

Installing solar panels on all new homes from 2020 to 2026 would result in more solar energy capacity than the entire U.S. currently has installed. A solar homes requirement would cut an estimated 161 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2045, the equivalent of taking more than 34 million of today’s cars off of the road.

Environment Massachusetts is supporting a bill (H.2825, S.1957) filed by Representative Jack Lewis, Representative Mike Connolly, and Senator Jamie Eldridge that would require rooftop solar panels on most new residential and commercial buildings in Massachusetts.

“Installing solar panels during the construction phase of new buildings isn’t only cost-effective, it directly combats climate change and supports and expands green energy jobs," said Representative Jack Lewis (Framingham). "It is time for Massachusetts to join municipalities like Watertown, states like California, and countries like France in requiring that the majority of new construction be include solar.”

“Enacting these solar standards would represent an incredible leap forward in our transition away from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy," said Representative Mike Connolly (Cambridge). "Combating climate change will require robust solutions and so I am excited to work with my House and Senate colleagues and Environment Massachusetts on taking this bold step forward for the planet."

“Requiring new homes to be built with solar panels would help unlock the potential of solar in Massachusetts. It would also help us reach the demand for renewable energy growth in the region while bringing us closer to meeting our obligations under the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton). “I believe that we must use the incredible opportunity that solar presents to power the state with energy that is clean and local while stabilizing the utility grid and creating thousands of new jobs. It is time that we take bold action here in Massachusetts and join California in the passing of legislation to make significant progress on growing renewable energy.”

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Environment Massachusetts works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment Massachusetts is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.