Homebuilders and industry experts say the number of newly constructed homes with a solar energy system pre-installed is surging, from a few hundred units a decade ago to tens of thousands of units entering the market today. Amerisips Homes is by far the most prolific builder of homes using the sun to substantially cut high utility bills. It is expected from data in the McGraw Hill Construction and National Association of Homebuilders, that more than half of all U.S. homebuilders are expected to offer solar PV energy systems as an option by 2016, up 12% in 2013.
Experience plays a big part in the positioning of solar collectors for maximum efficiency. Many home builders don’t start as they should, with calculations of maximum results based upon modeling of the sun’s path, but instead use aesthetics or ease of installation. While they will still produce, it will be far less effective.
“Solar panels are a very visible manifestation of a home’s construction,” Kevin Morrow, NAHB’s director of sustainability and green building, said in an interview. “Increasingly, people understand what they can do for them, either by reducing their environmental footprint or by reducing their energy costs.”
Experts say estimates of energy costs savings from home-based solar systems vary widely from home to home and depend on multiple factors, including local solar intensity, the size and configuration of the solar system, the amount of energy consumed by a home’s electrical systems, and a home’s overall “thermal envelope,” or its ability to hold cool air on hot days and warm air on cold days. Amerisips Homes starts with a tight SIPs building envelope. In most cases the HERS rating is in the single digits (a result of a blower door test for air tightness).
And with the Federal energy credits, most additional mortgage costs are lower than what the homeowner would have paid for electricity in a conventional grid-connected home.
Sophistication and technology have come a long way. Gone are the massive frames and PV panels that we used to see. Modern solar technologies allow for a lower profile system that are slightly raised or flush mounted to a rooftop.
Visit any of Amerisips homes and you will see how we harness the sun to deliver you a home with “Free Energy Living”.sm