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California law exempts wildfire victims from solar rules

Posted: 6:05 PM, Sep 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-06 21:07:53-04
Population of California town torched by wildfire down 90%

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California homeowners forced to rebuild because of a wildfire won't have to install solar panels under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

New rules taking effect Jan. 1 make California the first state in the country to require solar panels on new homes. Thousands of homes across the state have been damaged or destroyed in recent years because of wildfires and other natural disasters.

Newsom signed a bill Friday that temporarily exempts homes from the rules in areas where the governor has declared a state of emergency prior to Jan. 1, 2020. The exemption would expire in 2023.

Newsom said he supports efforts to rebuild communities as fast as possible. But he urged all Californians to consider installing solar panels.