Central Florida has certainly seen its share of dark days since the housing market’s collapse, but KB Home has decided to focus on the region’s bright side—literally—with the announcement that it will expand its collection of communities that offer solar as a standard feature to the East Coast through its new Apopka, Fla.–based Fisher Plantation neighborhood.
The initiative is part of an extension of KB’s solar-standard initiative in Southern California, where the builder has 29 communities that include solar power as a standard offering. While Fisher Plantation, which has a grand opening set for Feb. 10, will be the only community out of KB’s 10 currently active communities in the Central Florida market to come with a standard solar feature, the builder is looking to expand based on how consumers respond.
Fisher Plantation will feature 52 sites with homes averaging around 2,100 square feet and pricing starting in the low-$200s—something KB spokeswoman Cara Kane says was unaffected by the introduction of solar thanks to special pricing the builder was able to achieve through bulk orders. Buyers will also be able to qualify for a $3,000 federal tax credit thanks to each home’s standard 1.4 kilowatt system, which they will have the option to upgrade.
In introducing the initiative to the Sunshine State, KB partnered with Lake Mary, Fla.–based BlueChip Energy, LLC, which produces the panels in a manufacturing facility in Orlando, installs them, and provides a 50-year warranty.
Homes at Fisher Plantation will also be built to Energy Star standards, which when combined with the solar systems will help cut residents’ electric bills by 50% compared to a typical resale home of similar square footage, KB estimates. Standard homes in that area average around $208 per month in energy costs, Kane says, while a Fisher home is estimated to cost as little as $106 in energy use, meaning a little more than $1,200 in savings per year.
Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.