Buyers are showing a clear enthusiasm for newly-built homes that have solar power equipment installed. Some believe this is the boost that solar power systems need to start selling in more significant quantities.

In a slower real estate market, homebuilders are especially sensitive to incentives that catch potential buyers’ interest. Buyers have been showing up at new home open houses where the homes feature solar power. Part of the response is curiosity; part of it is a growing desire to decrease energy costs in their new homes.

Retrofitting a home with solar power equipment is costly, of course, even though it holds out the eventual promise of paying for itself (often in roughly 20 years) and providing the homeowner with the pleasure of selling electricity back to the local utilities.  In many cases, the cost of purchasing of solar power equipment is reduced by local, state and federal energy-saving programs.

The possibility of buying a new home that is fully equipped for solar power, though, lessens the sense that the buyer is paying a premium for the equipment. Some builders are using the equipment as much as they use incentives like free landscaping—and buyers are responding with great interest.