BALTIMORE, MD -- On the heels of California becoming the first state to require all new houses be built with solar panels, Environment Maryland is embarking on a new campaign that calls for a similar solar mandate in Maryland .
“In order for Maryland to be a leader on clean, renewable energy, change can and must start at home,” said Kate Breimann, an advocate with Environment Maryland. “Americans have made it clear that they want solar power, and by creating a direct path for every new home to include this essential resource, Maryland will make a big contribution toward combating climate change and making our state healthier and cleaner.”
Nearly half of American homeowners have seriously thought about putting solar panels on their home and almost nine out of 10 Americans favor expanding solar power, according to the Pew Research Center.
Maryland has been a leader in passing strong environmental protections, including goals for renewable energy expansion and greenhouse gas reduction. As Breimann explained, “We must do more to ensure we meet our goals of increasing solar capacity. Environment Maryland is launching a campaign to expand solar homes in Maryland by requiring solar panel installation on all new construction of single-family homes in the state and cutting the red tape for Marylanders to retrofit their homes.”
Environment Maryland’s effort is part of a growing movement. In January, California began serving as an example of what building all new homes with solar power can look like. The implementation of the solar homes rule will help increase that state’s existing solar capacity by 22 percent by 2045. Now, along with Maryland, efforts are underway in nine other states, including Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas to include solar power in the construction of all new homes.
Implementing this solar installation would be a game changer. Doing so nationwide from 2020 to 2026 would result in more solar energy capacity than the entire U.S. currently has installed. In addition, a solar homes requirement would cut an estimated 161 million metric tons of climate-damaging carbon dioxide in 2045. That’s the equivalent of taking more than 34 million of today’s cars off of the road.
“Solar power is supported by a majority of Americans and building all new homes with solar panels is achievable,” said Breimann. “We cannot miss the opportunity to generate the renewable energy that comes with powering every new home with solar. The most efficient time to install solar panels is when workers are already on the roof, and by making homes solar, it will lead to healthier and safer communities for years to come.”
Environment Maryland is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We work to protect clean air, clean water, and open space. We have thousands of members across the state and are based in Baltimore.