Introducing The Solar House
Lennar unveils home that makes its own energy.
Friday afternoon, the next generation of homes was introduced by Lennar, who has developed new housing models quipped with solar panels. The homes are a part of the West Creek Development off of Copper Hill.
The homes are called Solar Plus, because aside from generating their own energy through solar panels on the roof, they are built to be incredibly energy efficient as well.
With energy costs rising, the new home will take full advantage of Santa Clarita’s most reliable source; sunshine. Solar panels built into the roof actually produce a good portion of energy that the home uses, thus cutting the amount and cost of electricity dramatically.
SunPower Systems, who partnered with Lennar to include the technology in the home, says that in some cases during minimal daytime energy consumption, the amount of energy generated by the panels outweighs usage. “You actually see your electric meter go backwards,” said Addison Marks, representative of SunPower.
While the solar panels may steal most of the thunder, the real power is in the home’s ability to use the energy it makes efficiently. The homes are built 30% more energy efficient than code requires, and they offer a host of features.
“We have increased insulation value in the homes, and we have a radiant plywood roof sheeting barrier, which will lower the temperature of the attic space in the summer months,” said Robert Tummolo, Regional Vice President for Lennar’s LA/Ventura division.
Also among the features are a tank-less water heater and “low-e glass” windows that allow visible light to shine through, while blocking ultraviolet rays. In addition, a special water control system measures how much hydration your landscape needs based on current weather data it collects.
Homeowners will even have the ability to chart their energy usage and production online.
The system itself is relatively low maintenance in that it only requires the solar panels be cleaned every so often, and the system is estimated to have a service life in the 40 year range.
While the money saving features speak for themselves, there’s more.
“The Solar Plus systems in our homes are an included feature and there is no additional cost,” Tummolo said.
Plus, owners of the homes could qualify for a $2,000 federal tax credit.
The homes are the first of their kind in Los Angeles County, although they have been built in Northern California.
Overall, 96 of these homes will be built in the Patina neighborhood of West Creek.