KB Home Establishes Solar Power as a Standard in New Homes

Written by Judith Ceja
Mar 24, 2011 at 01:48 PM

KB Home has long been a leader in building homes. Their announcement this week that they are partnering with SunPower to build residential solar power communities demonstrates their innovative thinking. The plan is to build entire communities where every home is equipped with a solar power system. They will test out the innovative concept in ten Southern California cities. KB Home has already built three residential solar communities in Eastvale, Temecula, and Chula Vista. Home buyers will be able to choose from five additional communities which are planned to open within the next 60 days. The remaining two communities will open in the fall of 2011.

Picture source: silas216

Installing solar power systems in an entire community has not been done before. Although KB Home has previously offered photovoltaic systems as an upgraded option in California and Colorado, they now want to make the technology part of their standard installation in the homes they build. They intend to expand this green concept to include all 12 states they build homes in if the test market in Southern California is received positively.

Each home will be installed with a 1.4 kilowatt system which uses six solar panels on the roof. Since the solar power system will be part of the standard installation, home buyers cannot opt to buy a home without a solar power system. However, they will have an option to upgrade to a larger solar system for an additional cost.

KB Home is integrating the solar technology into the homes they build in an effort to stay competitive in a declining housing market. Homeowners continue to struggle in these difficult economic times, and KB Home plans to use the green technology to make their homes more attractive to potential buyers. The standard solar units will save homeowners 30% on their energy costs (based on a 1,800 to 2,000 square feet home). Additionally, the solar power systems may help homeowners qualify for a federal tax credit. This will benefit both homeowners and the environment for years to come.

To demonstrate just how much the homeowner can save, the company is also planning to include an Energy Performance Guide (EPG) in all of its new homes. The guide will provide estimates on how much the homeowner can expect to pay per month for electric and gas. The guide is similar to Energy Star stickers found on appliances. The guide will also provide comparisons between the energy efficient home and a typical home.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that KB Home is thinking outside the box. They were named the #1 Green Homebuilder by Calvert Investments and the #1 Homebuilder on the 2011 World’s Most Admired Companies list in FORTUNE magazine. They are known for delivering quality, “Built to Order” homes at a price the average home buyer can afford. Now they are making affordable solar power technology available to the typical homeowner. Clearly, KB Home is leading the way in green home building.

Last Updated ( Mar 24, 2011 at 01:49 PM )

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