PHOENIX, Apr 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Del Webb is including solar and other enhanced energy-efficient features at its two new home Sun City communities in the Phoenix metro area. The green standard features represent the largest new home solar offering in the state and responds to Baby Boomers' desire both to be green and to reduce the overall operational costs of their homes.
"With the 55+ market trending to more energy efficient options, Del Webb communities are going green to save customers some green," said David Holt, Arizona Marketing Director for PulteGroup - Del Webb's parent company. Combined, the Del Webb communities - Sun City Festival in Buckeye and Sun City Anthem at Merrill Ranch in Florence - are planned for approximately 11,200 new homes. Holt said the communities will be the largest in Arizona - and among the largest in the nation - to offer solar as standard to homebuyers.
"While recreational amenities have long been a hallmark of Del Webb communities across the nation, the nation's premiere 55+ builder is now capitalizing on sunshine to help Baby Boomers save money and help the environment," Holt said, adding that the builder is not increasing home prices. "The 55+ consumer really believes in the value of hedging future expenses and wants the environmental benefit that comes with the energy efficiency."
The new homes will include a roof-integrated solar-electric power system by SunPower Corporation that blends seamlessly into the roof and features one of the most efficient and reliable solar technology available on the market. The solar panels are on display on a home in each community's model pavilion. The new program includes a 1.8 kW solar system that supplements the energy needs of the home and feeds back into the grid when producing more energy than the home consumes, saving homeowners money on their electrical utility bills.
Other standard energy-efficient features include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems (14 SEER HVAC), CFLs, enhanced attic insulation, tankless water heaters and low water use toilets and fixtures.
In addition to reducing overall operational cost of the home, the standard features will reduce the HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) value to below 50. The EPA and U.S. Department of Energy developed the HERS index. The lower the HERS Score, the more energy efficient the home. Homebuyers can select options, such as larger kW solar units that can result in additional savings.
"Adding solar at these Del Webb communities is the next logical step in the company's pursuit to build a better, more energy efficient home," said Jim Petersen, PulteGroup director of research and development. "This is the right time to make this commitment to the community and our future homebuyers. The tough economic times have made saving money even more meaningful and we expect the technology to be well accepted by our homeowners."
Del Webb already offers solar as an option on new homes to thousands of prospective homebuyers at Woodbridge by Del Webb in northern California; Sun City Shadow Hills in Southern California; and Del Webb River Pointe in New Jersey. Rancho del Lago, a Del Webb community near Tucson, will offer solar and the enhanced energy efficiency standards beginning in May.
PulteGroup's commitment to renewable energy is unique, in that its solar offerings span the homebuilder's diverse brand portfolio including Centex neighborhoods targeted to first-time buyers and Pulte Homes communities for move-up families.
The company has 10 actively-selling communities that offer solar as standard or as an option, with half of them in active adult communities. While the majority of solar is based in Arizona, California and Nevada, the company opened its first solar community east of the Mississippi in New Jersey earlier this year.
"We know energy performance matters to today's homebuyers and this has motivated us to offer even more energy-efficient opportunities in our homes," Petersen said.
PulteGroup and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), the leading national independent authority on home energy performance, are expanding the use of home energy efficiency labels already available in many PulteGroup communities nationwide. The consumer-friendly labels, which have been compared to the miles per gallon (MPG) ratings available on automobiles, highlight the energy performance of new homes. The labels help homebuyers make informed decisions when comparing the value and operating costs of homes that vary in levels of energy efficiency.
About Del Webb
Award-winning Del Webb communities provide a vibrant, enriched lifestyle for those ages 55 and older, creating an unmatched experience for the next phase of life. Del Webb communities began with the original Sun City, which opened outside Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 and have grown to include more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 21 states. Del Webb is the leader of active adult communities in America and draws on its 50 years of experience of providing residents an engaging life that fulfills their creative, physical, mental and social needs. Together with Del Webb residents, the brand is redefining retirement. For more information on Del Webb, visit www.delwebb.com.
SOURCE: Del Webb
for Del Webb
Jacque Petroulakis, 480-391-6169