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California Plan Aims to Add Solar Energy to Homes

California Plan Aims to Add Solar Energy to Homes
SAN FRANCISCO - California should try to add solar energy systems to 1 million homes by 2017 to save electricity and cut pollution from power plants, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

New legislation by state Sen. Kevin Murray to implement the energy plan would require home builders to offer solar panels as an option for new homes in the state by 2008.

Home buyers would get an estimate of costs and energy savings from installing a solar system, and the state Energy Commission would offer rebates to add photovoltaic solar panels.

The program could save 2,700 megawatts of electricity during peak demand periods and offset more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, the governor\'s office said in a release. One megawatt is power for about 1,000 homes.

\"This proposal is about smart, innovative and environmentally friendly technologies that will help improve the state\'s ability to meet peak electricity demand while cutting energy cots for homeowners for years to come,\" Schwarzenegger said.

Funding for the plan would come from an initial $200 million already approved by the state Legislature for renewable technologies.

California\'s energy plans call for making renewable energy 20 percent of state electricity resources by 2017.

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