Solar Becoming Standard Feature for Some New Homes


Homebuilder Far West Industries partners with PetersenDean and Canadian Solar to offer solar as a standard feature on their new homes in a Palm Springs community. While more homebuilders are offering solar as an option, providing it as a standard feature may soon become the norm.


When you think of mid-century modern architecture, what comes to mind? Solar power? If not, then think again. Now, solar is being featured on new homes in what Far West Industries describes as their new “mid-century modern community” of Murano in Palm Springs, California.

The homebuilder is offering solar on their new homes in the community in partnership with PetersenDean and Canadian Solar.


If you’re wondering what’s special about this, in light of our recent stories about solar companies partnering with homebuilders, we have some news for you. Many of these arrangements offer solar as an option. While homebuyers are choosing that option in large numbers, the Murano community is a bit different. There, all new homes feature solar as standard.


The community has 42 homes, each with a 4 kW system using Canadian Solar Standard panels, backed by a 25-year linear product warranty and warranty insurance. The estimated energy savings for each home is about $1,980 a year or $165 a month. Federal tax credits totaling about $2,500 are also available for most homeowners with solar roofing. Estimated five-year savings can total up to $10,296.


In addition to the solar panels, the homes offer a number of other green features, such as a tankless hot water heating system, a drought-tolerant drip irrigation landscape system, variable speed pool pumps, and Low-E glass windows.


“Far West Industries has made a commitment to use solar in all of its Coachella Valley new home communities and is pleased to partner with PetersenDean due to their proven track record for integrated installation knowledge and execution of quality roofing and solar installation which go hand in hand,” said Scott Lissoy, President, Far West Industries.


“We are pleased to be selected by PetersenDean and Far West Industries for this exciting installation, which will directly help homeowners reduce their high electricity bills,” said Thomas Koerner, General Manager at Canadian Solar (USA) Inc. “This partnership demonstrates the solar energy’s power to make our daily lives richer through renewable energy and the importance of choosing high-performance solar modules with a proven track record.”


Solar may be on its way to becoming a standard feature — not just an option — for more new homes. Jim Peterson, founder of PetersenDean, noted, “As solar panel costs continue to fall, more and more builders like Far West Industries are offering solar as a standard feature. Consumers are asking for it and building codes are requiring energy efficiency and renewable energy products for new construction. Solar power is a logical technology and is becoming so affordable that paybacks can be as low as three years. After that the homeowner owns the power. As they say, ‘it’s the new granite countertop’ and people love their granite countertops. But a granite counter can’t pay your electricity bills, solar panels can. Plus, Palm Springs is an ideal place for a solar community; it has about 350 days of sunshine per year.”