All new homes built in Hawaii would be required to have solar water heating systems under a new bill being considered by the state's legislature.
The Honolulu Advertiser reports the requirement would be for single-family homes built after Jan. 1, 2010, with exemptions on homes in areas where there is minimal sunlight, if the solar thermal installation is too expensive, or if another alternative energy solution is in place.
Reportedly, the legislation also restricts the current state solar thermal energy system tax credit to homes built before 2010.
Opposition to the bill is being led by the state's utility, Hawaiian Electric Co., and the local building and solar industries, which say it would place an unfair burden on homebuyers.
However, advocates say the rising cost of oil and the state's goal of reaching 70% renewable energy by 2020 require greater energy efficiency that can be provided by the solar water-heating units.