Solar panels gain steam among homebuilders

Get smarter. Grow your referral network at Inman Connect San Francisco
Limited seating still available, July 17-20

Solar panels are becoming as ubiquitous as granite countertops in new homes, according to Bloomberg.

Demand for solar panels is expected to jump 56 percent nationwide this year and at least six of 10 largest U.S. homebuilders are including them in their new construction, the news outlet said. In addition, two California towns, Sebastopol and Lancaster, are mandating the installations.

“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, chief executive officer of the PetersenDean Inc., the largest closely held U.S. roofing and solar contractor, told Bloomberg.

PetersenDean installed photovoltaic systems on about 7.5 percent of the 100,000 roofs it built last year, and the company expects that figure to double this year.

Installing panels during construction, rather than after, is about 20 percent cheaper. Tom Werner, CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower noted that a 3-kilowatt system for a typical midsize home costs less than $15,000 and can be rolled into a mortgage.

Source: Bloomberg