According to a recent Roper survey commissioned by Sharp Electronics Corporation, nearly 90 percent of Americans think that solar electricity should be an option for all new home construction. The Sharp survey further noted that three-quarters of survey respondents perceive solar power to be more important than ever, evidence that Americans recognize the value of solar as a modern, renewable form of energy. The good news for builders is that it's still not too late to add solar as service business as it moves rapidly toward the mainstream.

One partner for builders to consider is Solar Night Industries, a renewable energy company formed to accelerate the adoption of Modern Energy Solutions. The company recently introduced Solar Synapse, a product, sales and marketing program designed to help builders capitalize on the burgeoning demand for renewable energy alternatives among potential new homeowners.

"We feel the Solar Synapse is a unique solution for builders who seek to differentiate their business and attract the mainstreaming green market. Education is an important aspect of our business model and we believe this program teaches builders about the potential of using modern energy solutions as a best-practice, and educating the homeowner regarding their options," said Tim Corbet, CEO of Solar Night. "The Solar Synapse Pre-Wire Kit is part of an overall program designed to empower homeowners to add energy efficiency in the future."

The Solar Synapse Pre-Wire Kit is installed during construction and prepares a new home for adding photovoltaic solar panels (electricity).

"With new federal, state and local subsidies changing and the price of solar panels projected to halve in the next five years, the timing is perfect to make these new homes 'solar ready' now," added Corbet. "The program includes marketing materials to help the builder sell Pre-Wire Kits and provides a post-purchase activity for the new homeowner."

Another solar provider who's ready to partner with builders is BP Solar. BP's integrated approach works with a builder's schedule from beginning phases to completion, in an easy five step process: 1) Contact BP when a potential project arises. Go to this site for an online request form or call 1-866-BP SOLAR, 2) BP will provide a preliminary assessment and offer based on builder needs and drawings of the home's roof and site plan, 3) Once the preliminary offer is accepted, a BP Solar representative will meet with the project team and develop a more detailed offer that incorporates variables such as permitting requirements, construction schedule, subcontractor coordination, sales and installation training, and post sale, 4) The complete design with engineering validation to support the submission of the necessary permitting package, and 5) Trained and certified BP Solar installers test the system to ensure proper operation. Other services designed to make adding solar to existing offerings easy and trouble-free include solar marketing expertise, comprehensive sales training, model home sales DVD, promotional materials, events and media support, a website link, and an instruction manual to give to the homeowners.

"We'll also assist you in educating community stakeholders to create good will and help speed the approval of future developments," BP wrote. "BP Solar Builder Solutions enable you to enhance the value of your developments and improve quality of life, family by family. Partner with us and you'll provide your home buyers with clean, quiet electricity and lower bills every day the sun shines."

There is a strong business case for pre-building solar energy systems into the homes. Increasing energy costs and generous state and federal rebates and incentives make solar electric systems one of the most economical choices -- and one that some day in the near future will become mainstream. The question is, will you be, too?

Log in to comment