Growing Demand for New Production Homes with Solar

Based on data provided by the California Solar Initiative (CSI), sales of new production homes with rooftop solar power systems nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, signaling increasing home buyer demand to control monthly electricity costs using clean, renewable solar power.

An estimated 4,000 new production solar homes were built in California last year, ten times the number built just seven years ago during the housing construction boom. SunPower Corp.  is the market leader in providing solar energy solutions to major production homebuilders such as KB Home —  who built the most solar-powered production homes in California in 2012 — Richmond American Homes, Lennar and Pulte. SunPower estimates that strong growth in the sector will continue, with more than 20 percent of new production homes being solar powered this year.

Underscoring the trend, SunPower announced today that it is installing the company's 10,000th high efficiency solar power system on a new production home. To celebrate the milestone, SunPower is providing an upgraded solar power system on the 10,000th home that is expected to generate all of the home's electricity needs. Homebuyers Justin Levine and Bethany Rutstein, who are finalizing their home purchase with KB Home near San Diego, Calif. while simultaneously planning their June wedding, are thrilled with the complementary system upgrade.

"When you're watching your monthly expenses carefully, choosing a home with solar is a no-brainer. We chose to build our new solar-powered home with KB Home because we were able to personalize nearly every aspect of our new home, including its energy efficiency through a process KB calls Built to Order," said Rutstein. "The SunPower system is designed to generate all of the power we'll need, and we'll get a fair credit from our utility company for the excess energy it produces. This will leave more in our budget for groceries, car expenses and other needs."

"KB Home has partnered with SunPower to build more than 1,500 solar homes across the country, and we see very high levels of satisfaction with our solar homeowners," said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home, Southern California. "For KB Home, building solar powered homes is a priority because of the value they provide to homeowners in terms of potential energy and cost savings. In addition to the monthly savings that Justin and Bethany will be able to enjoy, their SunPower system could increase the future re-sale value of the home."

The market for new production homes with solar in California has been strengthened by the New Solar Homes Partnership program under the CSI. The California Energy Commission oversees the program, which provides incentives for homebuilders to construct energy efficient, solar powered homes.

"By helping reduce the cost for homebuilders to offer solar in their communities, the New Solar Homes Partnership has helped make solar more affordable for families that might not otherwise have access to solar," said California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. "The program has contributed to a critical transition that is allowing more Californians to use clean, renewable solar power, moving solar into the mainstream and ultimately helping to bring its cost down for everyone."

"Justin and Bethany and thousands of homebuyers like them understand the return on investment that a high quality, energy efficient, solar-powered new production home delivers," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "Working with leading homebuilders like KB Home, SunPower delivers turnkey energy solutions that include the world's most efficient and reliable solar, as well as monitoring applications so homeowners can better control their electricity costs."

Werner continued, "By the end of this year, we expect one of every five new production homes in California will be solar powered."

Source: Sunpower
Date: Jun 6, 2013