Solar panels are soaring in popularity, almost becoming a standard for new homes in several markets, Bloomberg reports. Six of the 10 largest U.S. homebuilders say they now include solar panels in new construction, and consumer demand for them is expected to soar 56 percent nationwide this year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“In the next six months, homebuilders in California and the expensive-energy states will be going solar as a standard and just incorporating it into the cost of the house like any other feature,” Jim Petersen, CEO of solar contractor PetersenDean Inc., told Bloomberg.
Installing solar panels during the home-construction phase is about 20 percent cheaper than doing so after the house is built. Solar panels can cost between $10,000 to $20,000, but they can drastically reduce electricity bills.
Builder KB Home has been offering solar panels as an option in several of its communities in California, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado. It will soon do so in Arizona. It’s developing 22 communities in California that include panels as a standard home feature.
In California, the biggest solar state, as many as one in five homes built this year will have solar panels, according to some industry estimates.
Source: “Solar Panel Is Next Granite Countertop for Homebuilders,” Bloomberg (Sept. 11, 2013)