KB Home (KBH) recently announced the installation of solar power systems as a standard feature in 10 of its communities in the Southern California region. This is the first time the company intends to build solar power systems for every home in communities. Previously, the company had kept the solar power systems optional for its homebuyers in the chosen communities of California and Colorado.
KB Home, which is an industry leader in building energy-efficient homes in the U.S., has teamed up with SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) for the purpose. SunPower will supply KB Home the highest available solar panels and systems employing the most efficient solar technology available in the market.
The new initiative taken by KB home is intended to cut down the monthly energy bills of the homeowners, thereby reducing the overall cost of homeownership. Alongside, the program will also benefit the environment as solar panel system is considered a reliable alternative to electricity sourced from non-renewable fossil fuels.
Among the selected 10 communities, KB Home has already offered the new program in three of its communities in the region: Newbury at the Enclave community in Eastvale, Manzanita at Paseo del Sol community in Temecula and Monterey at Otay Ranch community in Chula Vista. Five other communities, featuring the solar power systems in each home, will be inaugurated in April-May while the remaining two are expected to open in the fall of 2011.
Similar attempts have also been made by Lennar Corp. (LEN) with the introduction of solar-powered homes under the ‘PowerSmart’ banner. According to the company, these homes have huge demand in the U.S. and thus more than 1,600 units of such homes have already been sold since 2006.
In the face of declining home sales, many of the homebuilders are attempting to provide additional features to add value to the homes, thereby making their new homes more attractive to buyers. Moreover, the prices are kept at affordable levels in order to grow home sales in the country.