Solar Panels on New Home Development

I have a friend who is waiting on his new house to be completed in Arizona. One of the cool parts of buying a new home in a new home development setting is that you get to pick out all the stuff for your house like granite counter tops, hard wood floors, cabinets, etc†¦ And of course the builder is clearing some sort of margin off every decision. But it seems like the most obvious up sell (especially in Arizona) is not offered†¦solar panels.

I haven’t done any hard math here, but I have lived in Arizona and gone through their hell-like summers. And I don’t know many people that don’t have their air conditioning running 24 hours per day for at least 3 months of the year, and 12 hours per day most of the rest of the year. So you can imagine the electric bills they get.
On the other side of things, you have a homebuilder who is looking to up sell you on every feature possible. Doesn’t it make sense to sell you a solar panel system and just make a little more? The expense would just be rolled into the cost of the house, and therefore the mortgage. Which is not really a horrible thing because even though your payments would be a little more each moth, that has to work out to be less than en electric bill, which you should manage to avoid all together with a good panel system.

I won’t even get into the environmental benefits of this, except to say that obviously a new tract of 200 homes in Arizona must be a significant increase to the town’s electric needs. And as we seen from the dark days of California, this can be a nightmare in a shortage.

I grew up in Irvine, California. They had a very well planned community. I can only image how much power they suck up every year. The idea of all those homes being built to self sufficient, maybe even producing a power surplus, is amazing to me. And it feels very much like what the future must look like. I for one look at the power lines going to houses as a very archaic technology much like the telephone cables I see connected to old houses.

I have to believe that homebuilders like Beezer have thought about this. So if anyone out there knows why they don’t do this, please let me know. I am really curious about this.

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