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Renewable Energy in New Homes

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By Robert Dietz

A rising number of new homes include renewable energy features, a trend that is apparent in both single-family and multifamily construction.

McGraw Hill Construction’s data and analytics team surveyed a set of NAHB single-family and multifamily members in 2013.

According to the findings, 12 percent of single-family builders reported including solar photovoltaic panels in new home construction in 2013. More popular for single-family construction was geothermal groundsource heat exchange property, used for some projects by 26 percent of home builders. Wind power is less popular, with only 1 percent of single-family builders reporting its use.

Multifamily developers were more likely to use these power production features in at least some of their projects. For example, 45 percent of multifamily developers used solar panels, 42 percent installed geothermal property in some projects and 13 percent reported using wind turbines.

That said, the frequency of use of these items was more common on the single-family side of the market, perhaps due to incentives like the section 25D power production tax credit for new and existing homes. More than half of single-family builders who report installing solar panels do so on more than 25 percent of their projects. And more than 75 percent of single-family builders who install geothermal property do so on more than 25 percent of their homes.

In contrast, for multifamily developers who report installing solar panels, more than 75 percent do so on fewer than 25 percent of their projects. And nearly all multifamily developers who report using geothermal do so on fewer than 25 percent of their properties.

View this original post on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing.

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