To boost sales in a gloomy housing market, many builders are now offering “net-zero” solar-powered homes that produce as much energy as they consume.
One such builder is Meritage Homes, which launched a new model of zero-energy homes last Friday. Starting at $140,ooo in Tucson, Arizona, these homes are incredibly affordable, especially considering they come with solar panels rolled right into the deal.
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The Western U.S. will see a good number of these green power-producers in the months to come, as Meritage Homes are being sold in regions of Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado and Central Texas as well.
The solar specs are equally impressive. Each home comes with a standard system of nine solar PV panels (approximately 1.9 kW), but homeowners may also purchase a $10,000 upgrade for 24 more solar panels (about 6.8 kW).
The upgrade then brings the home’s energy bills to zero.
Meritage is the first homebuilder of its size to provide affordable, net-zero single-family homes. But many others are trending in the green direction.
“Just about all the larger builders are focusing on energy efficiency,” said Kevin Morrow of the National Association of Home Builders.
The opportunity is there. In an age where solar power is cheaper than ever, homeowners need only take advantage of it.