Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lennar Home Buyers Can Rent Solar Equipment

The builder offers a financing option that allows buyers to lease their energy-generating cells, paying for the power they produce.

One of the country's largest home builders is offering a new financing option that could make it easier for people to afford solar-powered homes.

Calling it the first large-scale program of its kind, Lennar Corp. plans to announce Tuesday a partnership with solar panel manufacturer and installer SunPower Corp. to lease panels rather than requiring home buyers to purchase the technology outright along with the house. Last year, Lennar and SunPower launched a successful test run of the leasing option in 150 Sacramento homes.

Under the program, customers would essentially buy the electricity produced by the solar panels, making monthly payments to SunPower that the company says will average $65 over 10 years, or about $7,800 total.

Previously, the roughly $20,000 cost of the system was automatically folded into the price of a new home and added to the mortgage. The actual out-of-pocket cost was less because of rebates and tax credits.


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