It's another California trend, which, as with so many other positive environmental developments that emanate from there with San Andreas-like shocking power, we fully expect will ripple outward to other US states. "One of the central San Joaquin Valley's largest home builders is taking the alternative-energy movement a significant step forward with the announcement that it will make solar energy standard on all its new houses.
Officials at Lennar Homes said they will begin with 258 houses at their Chateau at Cathedral project in Clovis and Orchard Estates II in Reedley, and then spread the program to other projects as they come on line. Each house comes with a rooftop solar electric power system as standard equipment. The 2.3-kilowatt system, which would cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to install on an existing house, is expected to cut energy bills 40% to 60%, said Charles Schein, ma keting manager. Home buyers also get a one-time tax credit of $2,000. Lennar officials said they are not increasing the prices of the houses to absorb the additional cost but do get a break by purchasing the systems in bulk."
"...The California Building Industry Association estimates that 1,500 new solar-powered houses were built last year for about 2% of total construction." A much as 5% of new construction this year is expected to have solar power as a built in feature.""...The SunPower system features 10 panels on a one-story house and 12 panels on a two-story home. It is part of Lennar's Solar Plus package, which also includes a radiant barrier in the attic to reflect heat, increased insulation, more efficient air conditoning and tighter ductwork."
Key driving factors are:
Homeowner desire to "do the right thing" and achieve a modest amount of independence in the face of historic grid unreliability.
Bulk purchasing power of large developers contracting with experienced, turnkey system suppliers.
Via:: Fresno Bee, "Lennar Homes plans to install solar energy systems on all its new houses." IImage credit:: Fresno Bee.