California will mandate solar panels on new homes out of concern for climate change, a policy that will raise prices in the most expensive home market in the country and does little to decrease the state's carbon footprint.

The five-member board of the California Energy Commission unanimously issued an edict Wednesday requiring all new homes to either be installed with solar panels or share solar power in a group system. The rules go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The New York Times called California a "trendsetter" for the move, but expressed surprise that such a costly rule would be approved outside the legislative process by the commission with "little debate."

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