- Lennar Corp., the second largest homebuilder in the U.S., announced it is building Austin, TX's first "solar-standard community," where owners can either lease pre-installed solar panels for $50 a month or buy them outright for $15,000.
- The solar panels are expected to meet 60% of each home’s electricity needs, according to David Kaiserman, CEO of Lennar subsidiary SunStreet Energy Group. People who buy the solar panels will be able to recoup approximately one-third of the purchase price through tax breaks.
- Lennar’s announcement comes in the wake of developer Taurus of Texas' September announcement that it will build 7,500 "energy neutral" single-family homes in the first development of its kind in the U.S., also in Austin.
Austin Energy, the city’s publicly-owned electric utility, has been under pressure from the Austin City Council to increase rooftop solar, and it approved the Lennar project as part of its commitment to generate 55% of its power from renewable sources by 2025.
"It’s clear that to achieve the ambitious goals Austin Energy has set for itself, we must significantly increase the number of rooftops generating power from the sun," said Austin Energy vice president of customer energy solutions Deborah Kimberly.
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, a long-time proponent of rooftop solar, said, "By having SunStreet incorporate solar right into the home from the outset, Lennar is making it easy to live a more sustainable lifestyle."
The first phase of the Lennar community, called Colorado Crossing, will have 120 homes, and prices will range from $195,000 to $277,000 for homes from 1,200 square feet to 2,800 square feet.