SolarCity partners with Del Webb to build new retirement homes with solar in Florida


One of Del Webb's home designs in Florida. Courtesy Del Webb. New homes being built in two of Del Webb’s active adult communities in Florida will come with their own solar arrays thanks to a new partnership with SolarCity. Homes in the Del Webb Orlando and Del Webb Stone Creek communities will include a 2 kilowatt photovoltaic array. However, Del Webb (a subsidiary of the PulteGroup, that specializes in retirement and pre-retirement buildings) is only offering the arrays as a standard feature for a limited time as an incentive as they start building the communities.

Each system will also help the retirees save money. The arrays are expected to save the homeowners more than $300 annually, compared to what they’d pay for grid-supplied electricity. Homebuyers can also choose a system up to 8 kilowatts under the agreement with SolarCity. "With solar as a standard option on every new home, Del Webb Orlando and Del Webb Stone Creek homebuyers will enjoy savings from the very first day they move into their new home," said Walter Cuculic, SolarCity's national manager of Builder Programs.

In the Del Webb communities homebuyers can choose from 13 house models in Orlando and 17 at the Stone Creek community in Ocala, Fla. "We partnered with SolarCity because they handle the whole process of adding solar to a new home which gives our homebuyers the chance to save money and benefit from their new solar powered homes with peace of mind," said Sean Strickler, vice president of Sales, North Florida Del Webb.

Solar is increasingly becoming a selling point for people, according to Strickler. "Boomers are more environmentally conscious than previous generations,” he said. “As more boomers start to retire, they are choosing Del Webb homes which are packed with energy efficiency features and now a solar system that will save them hundreds of dollars on their utility bills for years."

Del Webb isn’t the first homebuilder to install solar as a standard feature on new homes. In the past both SolarCity and Sunrun have partnered with homebuilders to install solar in new communities as they’re being built out. For instance, both SolarCity and Sunrun have partnered with Shea Homes to install solar on Shea homes built in a number of states including Arizona, California, Nevada, Florida and Washington. Meanwhile Westinghouse Solar partnered with Lennar Homes to install its AC PV modules on homes in Texas. After all, having a home designed for solar from day one can make it cheaper to install and make sure the home takes the most advantage of the local solar resource.