Tokyo to require homebuilders to install solar panels

Tokyo to require homebuilders to install solar panels

Solar panels are set up on a facility in the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government will require homebuilders to outfit their newly built homes with solar panels starting in April 2025.

A legislative measure to introduce quotas for solar panel installations will be submitted to the metropolitan assembly in December this year, according to a Sept. 9 announcement by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

It won't come with penalties to enforce the new requirements.

The change would make Tokyo the first place in Japan to require new homes to come with solar panels installed. Similar frameworks have already been put in place in Kyoto and Gunma prefectures, but they do not cover detached houses.

At a Sept. 9 news conference, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said that we will be nurturing a movement so that power will be generated on rooftops as naturally as houses have roofs.

If the reform effort goes smoothly in the capital, the central government may follow in Tokyo's footsteps.

The move is intended to counter the trend of rising emissions from households. Tokyo is looking to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2000 levels. There are 30 percent of its carbon footprint coming from households alone.

In the fall of last year the central government set a goal to have solar panels installed on a greater number of newly built residences. It has refrained from making it compulsory.

Under Tokyo s plan, owners who build large buildings with a total floor space of 2,000 square meters or greater would have to equip them with solar panels.

They're supposed to install them on homes and other small and midsize structures. Some 50 major corporations that meet certain requirements, such as those that have a total floor space of at least 20,000 square meters per year, are expected to fall into this category.

The metropolitan government wants to make the program more affordable by giving homebuilders a fair amount of control in the process, and having them take responsibility for installing solar panels while homeowners can decide whether to use or sell electricity.

Homebuilders will be able to decide how many solar panels they will install, based on how many homes they build along with their locations. The companies will be able to choose which properties to equip with solar panels, as long as they meet their targets.

Even if contractors and developers don't meet their targets, they wouldn't face penalties.

Tokyo will encourage corporations to stick to their goals by giving guidance and publishing their names. It will name and shame any laggards.

It is estimated that adding solar panels to a roof will cost about 1 million yen $6,900. Tokyo will give subsidies for home buyers and solar panel rental agents to reduce the burden on consumers.

The metropolitan government is planning to increase the speed of decarbonizing residences by improving their heat-blocking and energy-saving abilities and making it mandatory to install charging stations for electric cars in new residences.