North Coast Solar Stocks

June 24, 2008

New Homes With SunPower Solar Systems are Bright Spot in Market

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Tuesday June 24, 8:00 am ET

New Homes with Solar Selling Twice as Fast; 92 Percent of Homeowners Would Recommend a Solar Home

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — While much of the residential real estate and building markets have faced severe challenges in recent months, there is one area that is shining brightly. SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced today that new homes powered with SunPower solar electric power systems are selling more than twice as fast, on average, as new homes without solar. Additionally, a survey of owners of new homes with SunPower systems indicates that 92 percent would recommend a new solar home to a friend.

Solar Sells Faster

SunPower has installed, or is currently installing, its high-efficiency solar power technology in more than 75 new home communities throughout California. A recent study conducted by The Ryness Company found that new homes in 13 communities with SunPower solar systems were selling at an average of 3.46 homes per month, while sales of comparable homes without solar in adjacent or nearby communities were selling at a rate of 1.71 per month. Comparable communities were selected based upon geographic location, square footage and lot sizes, publicized sales prices and development concept. The data was gathered from sales in 2006 through March 2008 from three regions in the state.

— In the Sacramento region, new solar homes are selling at a rate of 3.20 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 1.90 per month.

— New solar homes in the San Francisco Bay Area are selling at a rate of 3.24 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 1.33 per month.

— In the Central Valley region, new solar homes are selling at a rate of 4.72 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 2.37 per month.

“Homebuyers value solar systems today because they can significantly reduce their electric bills and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jon Nicholson, division president of Standard Pacific Homes in Sacramento. “Families in our energy-efficient solar communities are reducing their utility costs by up to 60 percent, and enjoy the satisfaction of generating their own clean, renewable energy.”

Satisfied Solar Home Owners

In a SunPower survey of 133 people who own new homes with SunPower solar systems, 92 percent of respondents said they would recommend a home with solar to a friend. Ninety percent indicated that inclusion of a solar power system was very important or somewhat important in their decision to buy their home. Eighty-five percent responded that they would definitely or likely buy another solar home in the future.

Comments gathered as part of the anonymous survey included the following:

— “We would not have purchased the larger home had it not been for the solar savings.”

— “We have already recommended [solar] to many of our friends.”

— “We have looked at other homes, even really liked the floor plans, but without solar it was out of the question.”

“Most of the builders we work with include the installation of high-performing SunPower solar power systems with high-quality energy efficiency features,” said Bill Kelly, general manager, New Homes Division, for SunPower. “This combination of solar technology and energy efficiency results in very low utility costs for the homeowner while improving home comfort. This is a great value for homeowners, and an investment by our homebuilder partners towards cleaner air and a better environment.”

Most homebuilders working with SunPower install the SunPower SunTile® system on their homes. SunTile is a roof-integrated system that blends seamlessly into the roof and features the most efficient solar technology available on the market.

SunPower’s survey is supported by a recently completed market research study of new construction home buyers commissioned by the California Energy Commission (http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/builders/marketing_resources/index.html), which found that solar is generally seen “as a proven, reliable technology that can pay for itself and will help reduce global warming.” In addition, nearly all respondents consider residential solar power systems to be “user-friendly” and “low maintenance.”

SunPower works with homebuilders such as Centex, Standard Pacific, The Olson Company, and Woodside Homes.

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