Will Solar Panels be Standard in New Homes?

Solar panels, much like air conditioning, two-car garages and granite countertops, are quickly becoming a standard feature in new home designs.


Consumer demand for photovoltaic power is soaring, and home builders throughout the country are responding by incorporating photovoltaic systems into more new communities.

Solar Panels Are Now Required in Some Locations

Did you know that home builders in some California cities are required to install photovoltaic arrays?

Lancaster was the first city to mandate solar energy systems on new single family homes, back in 2013. Sebastopol quickly followed suit, passing similar legislation. Then in June 2016, two much larger cities, San Francisco and Santa Monica, passed laws that require new homes to include photovoltaic panels.

These laws mirror similar statutes that mandate minimum insulation levels and maximum water flow volumes for toilets and showers. Experts believe it’s quite likely that solar mandates will spread to other cities across the country.

In a decade or two, we could reach a point where every new home comes complete with photovoltaic panels already in place.

More Home Builders Offer Solar Panel Options in New Communities

California isn’t the only state where photovoltaic panel installations are becoming a standard in new home construction.

Home builders in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and many other areas of the country already offer solar panels as an option. And for builders in some communities, PV power isn’t an option — it’s a standard feature.

Installing a photovoltaic system during the home construction process is cheaper than adding a rooftop solar array later on. Plus, pre-planning allows for optimal rooftop orientation and tilt to capture the maximum amount of solar energy. So photovoltaic power systems that are incorporated into new constructions can be highly cost-effective.

Why New-Home Buyers Look for Solar Panels

Home buyers get excited about solar energy systems because they know that photovoltaic power offers big savings on monthly utility bills.

And as new home communities are connected to the utility grid, excess power can be returned to the electricity company if a net metering agreement is in place. Over time, the savings can add up to thousands of dollars, all from a system that requires little maintenance.

Buyers can purchase their systems outright in many new communities, with the expenses built in to the construction. However, some home builders offer leases. Leasing is less expensive initially, but the builder retains ownership of the solar panels. That means the builder — not the home buyer — collects the lucrative federal solar tax credit and other government rebates for installing a photovoltaic power system.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait to buy a new home in one of these communities to take advantage of photovoltaic energy. In Utah and the Intermountain West, Intermountain Wind & Solar provides professional installation to both residential and commercial customers.

Contact us today to learn more about the significant cost savings and energy independence that solar panels can offer you.

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