Jim Petersen contributes to Green Homebuilder Magazine

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The steady rise in demand for solar is a good benefit for U.S. builders and homeowners.

Fremont, CA
January 28, 2014

In the Article, “The steady rise in demand for solar is a good benefit for U.S. builders and homeowners.” published by Green Homebuilder Magazine, January 28, 2014, Jim Petersen contributes his thoughts on affordable solar power and the potential of solar ownership for homebuilders and homeowners.

Now more than ever, it makes sense to buy solar power systems instead of leasing them. The savings are significant, since purchasing a system now pencils out to about 50% less than leasing it over the long term. Recent reports show that the payback period of solar power systems is now as low as three years. As prices continue to drop, more builders and developers are offering solar as standard in their new communities and we expect the trend to continue.

Historically, installed PV prices have declined an average of 5 to 7% per year from nearly $12/W in 1998, with particularly sharp reductions occurring since 2009. The recent price decline in large part is attributable to falling average global module prices, which fell by $2.6/W from 2008 through 2012, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s “Tracking the Sun”.

The ROI for builders and developers is significant, particularly since the price of solar continues to drop, as more communities offer solar as standard and customers come to expect it. We recently opened a new community with JMC Homes in Lincoln, CA that offers all new homes with solar as standard. The community has 150 homes with 1.5 kW Canadian Solar Standard on every home powered by what are considered some of the industry’s highest-efficiency solar modules backed by a 25-year linear product warranty and warranty insurance, offered by Canadian Solar.

The homebuyers have the opportunity to upgrade to as much as 5 kW on their homes. The estimated annual energy savings for a home with a 5kW system is about $1,700 a year or $85 a month. Tax credits totaling about $2,500 are also available for most homeowners with solar roofing. With examples such as this, it’s very easy for builders to tie affordability and savings back to consumers, who are starting to demand solar more and more. It’s the new granite countertop. Projects such as this also prove that it’s financially feasible—which benefits everyone involved. Thanks to great pricing and shorter paybacks, builders and homeowners especially can reap all the benefits and long-term value by installing solar, without having to use third-party or leases. “Residents of the top states in the index can see their investment would be completely paid back in four to six years, and then receive free energy worth another five times that amount,” said Mark Wirt, Geostellar’s senior analyst.

PetersenDean Roofing and Solar recently launched the Solar4America Campaign highlighting the PowerSaver Series solar packages and $0 down loan options for homeowners to convert to solar energyon a path to solar ownership. http://www.Solar4America.com