Lennar Corporation is the nation’s largest new solar homebuilder. Since 2006, Lennar has partnered with SunPower to install photovoltaic (PV) systems on over 1,700 homes in California. Now following the completion of a pilot project, the high-production building company is offering solar leasing options on new homes in Sacramento, Fresno and parts of southern California.
Leasing options eliminate nearly all up-front costs for home solar power and enable homeowners to save energy and money immediately upon signing and moving into the home. Lennar’s leasing program, which for the last year has been tested on 150 homes in California, leases a rooftop PV system to homeowners below current utility rates. Reportedly, homeowners involved in the pilot have reported utility bills as low as $1.19 per month and satisfaction has been high overall.
An average Lennar homeowner within the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) pays about $31 per month to lease a solar power system.
Lennar is now offering solar leasing under its PowerSmart program. PowerSmart homes are built extremely energy efficiently and include features such as efficient lighting, energy efficient appliances, programmable thermostats, efficient heating and cooling systems, radiant barriers in attics, extra insulation and more. PowerSmart homes are currently offered in California, Texas and Minnesota.
All Lennar solar homes are equipped with high-efficiency SunPower solar panels. SunPower Corp and Lennar have partnered for the last four years to offer solar power on new homes, and this new leasing partnership should only increase the pair’s volume of solar homes. The program is receiving broad support from government leaders, including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who noted that, “It is companies like Lennar and these innovative partnerships that are creating jobs now while helping us reach a cleaner, more sustainable future.”
Recently, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law California’s first statewide feed-in tariff for solar power, requiring utilities to pay homeowners a set rate for the solar electricity their home produces. In California, payment varies depending on time of production, with a higher rate going to renewable energy produced between 8am and 6pm—perfect timing for solar energy.