U.S. Aims for Zero-Energy: Support for PV on New Homes

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As a market segment for solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption, new homes have a number of attractive attributes. Homebuyers can easily roll the cost of the PV system into their mortgage and, with rebates or other financial incentives, potentially realize an immediate net positive cash flow from the investment. PV system performance can be optimized by taking roof orientation, shading, and other structural factors into account in the design of new homes. Buildingintegrated photovoltaics (BIPV), which are subject to fewer aesthetic concerns than traditional, rack-mounted systems, are well-suited to new construction applications.1 In large new residential developments, costs can be reduced through bulk purchases and scale economies in system design and installation. Finally, the ability to install PV as a standard feature in new developments – like common household appliances – creates an opportunity to circumvent the high transaction costs and other barriers typically confronted when each individual homeowner must make a distinct PV purchase decision.

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