Arizona homebuilder adds solar to offerings without a mandate

 

 | Solar Power World

The California solar mandate on all new homes starting in 2020 means many homebuilders in the state will need to adjust their business models. We asked Geoff Ferrell, chief technology officer for Arizona homebuilder (and solar installer) Mandalay Homes, how he thinks this will play out in California and beyond.

SPW: As a homebuilder that installs solar in-house, how do you think companies like yours that offer building+solar services in California will make out?

Ferrell: As a high-performance home builder, we focus heavily on the optimization of the home before applying renewable or storage technologies. At Mandalay Homes, we feel that the better the home is as a system, the more attractive it is as a competitive product in the marketplace. For example, our average 2,000-sq. ft home that has been optimized for solar+storage only requires between six and eight solar panels and a very modest battery storage system to drive the home’s HERS score very low and offer near-zero electric bills for homeowners.

In terms of a business model, Mandalay has approached our homes this way specifically in response to utility rates and programs in our service areas so that we can offer this type of home as a standard. This demonstrates how vastly superior it is over just offering solar as an option or burdening buyers with an oversized solar system without working to first optimize the home to use less.

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