Now, solar panels are not the ugly duckling of the architecture, home developers promoting solar energy as newest feature in a new home.
12 Developers in California have kicked off plans in recent weeks Solar tiles PowerLight integration in hundreds of new homes in the next few years. PowerLight SunTile Solar tiles are integrated into the roof so that she far less flashy than traditional solar panels, which are tuck in a framework that sits on a roof.
One of these has begun California developer, group homes, houses with PowerLight SunTiles in his Carsten crossings development in Rocklin, in less than three months equipped to sell California, has the company 23 of 30 Green it has offered homes for sale, sold. These houses are also energy-efficient water heaters and heating systems.
"There is to show a lot from." "They invite their friends and say:" show dir mein House ' ", said Group Executive Mark Fischer."A competitor attempts, steal one of our customers, by them $30,000 off a home."
Centex Homes, has meanwhile begun, similar systems in its Avignon homes in Pleasanton. A further developer, Lennar, is to introduce solar roof tiles in 450 houses up in Roseville in the next two years.
State and federal subsidies play around $7,000 per household as a whole, a significant role in the demand for solar systems. Some developers, such as group, are also absorbed a large part of the additional costs including solar and energy efficiency technology due to the current buyer favorable market conditions.
Aesthetics, but cannot be ignored. Group has considered solar, outside investors to the developments were generally lukewarm to the idea in recent years but said Fischer.
"It is easier to sell made to investors." Any of these solar arrays, which sit on the roof is used. "When they saw it, they were pleasantly surprised," said Fisher.
Bill Kelly, Vice President of the residential Division PowerLight, agreed with the: "it is a huge problem if most people of solar, image they think something that is not attractive, that may be the biggest problem for developers..."
The exceptional design of SunTile is a former Stanford University engineering largely from SunPower, by Richard Swanson, Professor founded. (SunPower makes the solar panels that PowerLight integrated in a roof tiles.)
SunPower has invented a novel silicon solar cells that stores more energy per square inch than a standard silicon solar panel in particular because of the way as the electrical contacts in the Panel are inserted. SunPower panels are also thinner.
At the end, this means that a SunPower PowerLight tile system can harvest as much energy as a conventional system on a frame. The total costs are about the same.
"It makes for a Panel, to make this a little more expensive because it is smaller, but it reduces installation costs," Swanson said. "The entire range of new home construction is the new frontier for this field."
PowerLight has sold solar systems in the commercial market for year, but only just begun pitching its technology to residential builders a year ago. The first offers for houses was announced end of February.
The Solar tiles are not completely invisible and are slightly darker than traditional roof tiles. From a distance, it looks a bit like the roof has been patched. Set Builder rule to reduce the solar-activated tiles on the side and back of the House no striking differences.
So, how much?
Getting a bottom-line figure on the cost or savings of these solar systems is difficult. Installing one of the roofing systems probably adds about $20,000 to $25,000 to the builder's direct costs, Kelly said. The state of California then gives builders a $4,000 to $6,000 rebate after installation, knocking the net additional cost down to $15,000 to $20,000.
Homeowners then get a $2,000 federal tax credit (which goes directly to the landlord, not the owner or developer), allowing the price to $13,000 to $18,000.
$500 $1,300 Ranging from utility savings. Payoff thus may be as short as 10 years or as long as 36 years. But math teaching not yet completed. Prices for services continue to rise, so the payoff time will be probably shorter for many buyers because of the save electricity bill, Kelly said. The solar system increases the resale value of the House, he said.
The type and price of the houses are very different. In Pleasanton, Centex builds will sell the houses for more than $1 million and sport 3, 5 kW solar systems. These systems will provide the home electricity about 65 to 70 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, Division for initial and middle income is buyers to integrate Victoria homes solar panels in hundreds of homes in a Victorville.
The effectiveness of solar systems vary depending on the region. Most of the developments are announced so far for subdivisions in the long, hot Central Valley of California. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees are common (and often bills take air conditioning.)
While California is the only State where builders started to adopt these tiles have, are in New Jersey, Colorado and Arizona, incentives were expected the alternative energy, according to Kelly.
Right now, the purchasers of benefit, because the full cost is not propagated are at, but that will likely change.
"We are not loaded the full premium, but I expect that we the", the Fischer group said. "In a few years, you're going to see this everywhere."