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Houses with solar features rise in popularity

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Sales of new production homes with rooftop solar power systems nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, suggesting homebuyers are searching for ways to control monthly electricity costs, the California Solar Initiative said.

In California last year, an estimated 4,000 new production solar homes were built, 10 times the number built seven years ago during the housing construction boom, said homebuilder KB Home (KBH) in a press release.

SunPower Corp. (SPWR) expects growth to continue, with more than 20% of new production homes being solar powered this year. 

Putting even more power behind that statement, SunPower announced Wednesday that it will install its 10,000th high efficiency solar power system on a new production home. 

SunPower will add an upgraded solar power system on the house as well for the home’s soon-to-be owners, Justin Levine and Bethany Rutstein, who are soon to be married.

"When you’re watching our monthly expenses carefully, choosing a home with solar is a no-brainer. We chose to build our new solar-powered home with KB Home because we were able to personalize nearly every aspect of our new home, including its energy efficiency through a process KB calls Built to Order," said Rutstein. 

"KB Home has partnered with SunPower to build more than 1,500 solar homes across the country, and we see very high levels of satisfaction with our solar homeowners,” said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home. 

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