每日英語跟讀 Ep.K225: California’s Plan to Make New Buildings Greener Will Also Raise Costs
California has led the nation in fighting climate change by encouraging the use of renewable energy and electric cars. Now the state is taking on an even harder challenge — reducing emissions from homes, businesses and other buildings that have to be heated, cooled and powered.
Last month, state regulators updated California’s building code to require new homes and commercial buildings to have solar panels and batteries and the wiring needed to switch from heaters that burn natural gas to heat pumps that run on electricity. Energy experts say it is one of the most sweeping single environmental updates to building codes ever attempted by a government agency.
But some energy and building experts warn that California may be taking on too much, too quickly and focusing on the wrong target — new buildings, rather than the much larger universe of existing structures. Their biggest fear is that these new requirements will drive up the state’s already high construction costs, putting new homes out of reach of middle- and lower-income families that cannot as easily afford the higher upfront costs of cleaner energy and heating equipment, which typically pays for itself over years through savings on monthly utility bills.
The median single-family home in California sells for more than $800,000 compared to about $360,000 nationwide, and businesses pay more for rent in cities like San Francisco and San Jose than anywhere else in the country. A big reason costs are higher in California is that the state is not building enough homes, something lawmakers tried to address this past week by advancing legislation that would allow more than one home on each parcel of land.
Adding solar panels and a battery to a new home can raise its cost by $20,000 or more. While that might not matter to somebody buying a million-dollar property, it could be a burden on a family borrowing a few hundred thousand dollars to buy a home.
“You’re going to see the impact in office rents. You’re going to see it in the cost of the milk in your grocery store,” said Donald J. Ruthroff, a principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning in Pleasanton, California. “There’s no question this is going to impact prices across the board.”
加州普萊森頓市道林建築設計公司總監魯斯羅夫表示：「你會看到這對辦公室租金的影響。你會在食品雜貨店牛奶價格上看到它所造成的衝擊。這勢必會波及到各類商品的價格。」Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5754437