Proposal requires new housing to support potential solar panel installation

Minimum standards for new construction would be established within a year of bill's passage

BOSTON (WWLP) – Putting solar panels on your home currently requires years of planning and building modifications, but that could soon change if lawmakers pass a bill to change building requirements.

Most roofs are not designed to support the weight of solar panels. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require all new construction to be built to accommodate the installation of a solar energy system and solar hot water heater.

But the committee will have to weigh the costs of this new requirement. State Representative Paul Donato told 22News he was concerned about.

“What is going to be the cost to the construction and how much more is it going to cost and whether or not there will be a savings based upon that cost,” Rep. Donato said.

If approved by the legislature, the state Board of Building Regulations and Standards must establish minimum standards for new construction within one year of the bill’s passage.

The legislature sent the bill to the committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy for further review. No word yet on when the committee will hold a public hearing on the bill.