KB Homes, which has seen success offering solar as a standard on new homes it builds in several California neighborhoods, is taking the program to sunny Florida.
The company will install 1.4-kilowatt solar systems as standard on the 52 homes it’s constructing in the Fisher Plantation development in Apopka, Fla., outside of Orlando.
“We thought this was a good opportunity to offer our consumers something different and provide them with energy savings,” said George Glance, president of Central Florida division of KB Homes.
The company just finished its first model home and launched a soft opening last week. Prices in the neighborhood start in the low $200,000-range.
This is the first time KB homes has offered solar on its homes in Florida, Glance said. It wasn’t even introduced as an option before this. But it was extremely well received at the model home opening, Glance said.
“Some people who may not have understood at first, we walked them through the house and explained the energy savings,” Glance said
The homebuyers will benefit from the Federal tax credit on the solar array, and they can upgrade and get extra panels, which the tax credit will pay for completely in most cases since the 1.4-kilowatt system is included in the price of the home.
The systems retail for about $10,000m and the homebuyers are eligible for a tax credit equal to one third of the cost.
In some cases, homeowners could save as much as $1,200 on their utilities, he said.
There are no additional utility or state incentives for the solar array in Apopka, Glance said. That makes the installations there less enticing and less economical than the ones in the California neighborhoods where KB is offering solar as a standard on new homes.
KB is working with BlueChip Energy to purchase and install all of the solar panels on its homes in the development.
“Because of our major volume business, we’re able to get the panels at a discount,” Glance said “And we pass that on to the homebuyers.”