California’s Plan to Make New Buildings Greener Will Increase Costs, Too


But in other places, like San Bernardino, a much less affluent city east of Los Angeles, where a typical home sells for around $529,000, the cost of solar panels and batteries can be a greater burden for home buyers.

“If we push it and do things that are modern and efficient and green, we tend to do it in Los Angeles,” Marini said. “In the rest of the country, that’s not entirely true. We can’t do that in San Bernardino. In the end, the consumer bears the cost.”

The Sycamore Square townhouses were the last homes developed in San Bernardino before the solar mandate took effect last year. Project partner Glenn Elssmann, who hired Mr. Marini’s company as the contractor, said the additional cost of solar power need would make development construction impossible. Homes in Sycamore Square started at $340,000 for four-bedroom, three-bath units and went up to $370,000.

Jimmie Joyce, 44, who works on the payroll for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, will soon close on buying a home in Sycamore Square after working for nearly a year to buy a home closer to Inglewood, a city near Los Angeles International. The airport where he currently lives. Its journey will likely increase from around 40 minutes to an hour and a half.

“For one, I didn’t even plan on moving that far,” said Mr Joyce. “The way the market is, people overbid just to try to get into things.” He said he made an offer of $10,000 to $15,000 higher than the asking price for a home that resulted in more than 70 bids, $60,000 more than he did.

He said his new home was already expensive for him, and adding another $10,000 to $20,000 for solar power, batteries and other amenities would “make it much more difficult.”



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