Solar Neighborhood in Las Vegas: Homes Where Solar Panels Come Standard

Solar Panels Standard in Las Vegas Neighborhood

A new 185-home subdivision in Las Vegas includes an upgrade that the developer hopes will bring in new buyers during this tough economy: solar panels come standard in this neighborhood.

Each and every home in the Villa Trieste in Summerlin development by Pulte Homes has solar panels installed on its roof. Not only will the panels cut the homeowners' grid power requirements by 65%, but when buyers seek to resell the homes in the future, they can expect a greater return on their investment. Studies show that renewable energy installations like solar panels increase the value of real property from $3000-5000.

It makes perfect sense for developers to consider solar energy in an area like Las Vegas. The sun shines brightly and often. During summer months, the energy required to cool interiors from triple digit temperatures can be pulled from the very source of the heat: the sun!

A solar neighborhood
A solar neighborhood

Solar Neighborhoods: Affordable and Green

Villa Trieste, the solar neighborhood in Las Vegas, was showcased in January 2009 to potential buyers. Priced from the mid-$200,000, the homes may be an attractive bargain, particularly for people that are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint. This is energy-efficiency at a whole new level!

Division President, Scott Wright observed:

"If you look at where we're headed in the future, it's a great educational process for people to come through and see these houses, and see the way solar works. It can help people start thinking about the bigger picture."

Pulte Homes is certainly leading the way for other developers, by including solar as a standard feature in its Las Vegas neighborhood.

Example of grid-tied solar energy system
Example of grid-tied solar energy system

Why Home Builders Like Solar Panels

Here, Pulte Homes was able to save on the cost of solar panels by purchasing them in bulk for the subdivision. In addition, further cost defrays were provided by a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Even if you're not in the market for a new house, and don't want to move to Las Vegas, you can strive to live in a solar powered neighborhood. Try joining forces with other homeowners in your neighborhood. Make a plan to get bids on solar panels and installation costs from several companies. Ask if you can get a discount for numerous homes. Pull your neighbors together and work to navigate the maze of tax incentive forms and peak load calculations. Teamwork will lighten your load, without lightening your wallet!

Residential solar panels can help you save energy, money and increase the value of your home.

Its an excellent time to go green. The Administration is focused on alternative energy and has ensured that funds are devoted to investments like solar panels for homes. Companies are also willing to negotiate attractive deals in order to make a sale. Make it a neighborhood effort and watch your energy costs plummet. Its one figure you'll be happy to see go down!

Residential Solar Panels

Install Solar Panels at Your Own Home

Even if you don't live in sunny Nevada, you can still harness the power of the sun. Government incentives and tax breaks have dropped the cost of solar panels by 50% or more. Many solar power companies will help you prepare and submit forms to get your credit. Most systems pay themselves back in energy savings in 5 years or less.

Why would you want to consider living in a solar-powered home? For starters, you can have additional reliability in case of grid interruptions or power outages. Grid-tied solar energy systems can also allow you to feed excess generated power back into the grid, to give you a credit on your energy bills.

How would it feel to see your meter turning backwards? It can happen.

Other benefits of living solar include security against rising electricity prices. And we cannot forget the "green" benefits. The vast majority of grid-based electricity in the U.S. comes from coal plants. Any reduction in power demands from that source can reduce tons of CO2 emissions, minimizing the size of your carbon footprint.

Lest you not believe that one person can make a difference, click on the calculator in the link below to see how much you can save in energy costs by switching to solar power:

How Much Can You Save By Switching to Solar Power?

More by this Author


Comments 32 comments

Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Steph, Great hub, this is also starting to happen in South Africa, mass marketing and advertising on the radio stations.


anyabluesky profile image

anyabluesky 7 years ago from Thailand

Look interesting! The Sun is a good source for clean energy. PR: wait... I: wait... L: wait... LD: wait... I: wait...wait... Rank: wait... Traffic: wait... Price: wait... C: wait...


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol

This is very interesting. There are things called eco-towns in the UK which will use a similar scheme - although I expect the panels on this development will be more productive!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Just_Rodney, solar neighborhoods are springing up everywhere. In fact, there is a solar city in Japan. I'll have to do some more research about what's happening in South Africa. Best, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi BristolBoy, you should write a hub about the eco-towns in the UK. I'd be very interested to read it! Steph


laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

Prices have gone for solar panels. This is something my husband and I have been talking about quite a bit lately. Your Hub has energized me to look into some more.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hooray! That is wonderful laringo. If you want more solar panels information, check out my 2 solar blogs (links from my profile page here). Cheers, Stephanie


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey

Hi Steph-- I love the idea of a whole neighborhood getting together to install solar panel, and of course I love the idea of solar panels anyway and am seriously thinking about it but in the meantime this is such great information and so well presented--absolutely fabulous hub and a big thumbs up to you:-)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Awww... Hi and thank you Robie! I so appreciate your warm words. I too, love the idea of living in a solar neighborhood. Going green can be even more fun together. :) Best, Steph


anitak profile image

anitak 7 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

Hi Steph,

This is a great hub - I learned a thing or two and always enjoy reading your material. THanks again.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you so much anitak! I love sharing information on solar.... and other subjects. :) Steph


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Living in Las Vegas does not sound bad if you have a job out there. It is a great idea for those who want to save on their energy bills by having solar power. Very informative hub as always.


eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Great, With the sun in Las Vegas, this is one of the best places for solar panels. I am glad this technology is finally getting getting viable.

Do you know all of the reststops on I-80 in Wyoming are totally solar. And there are a lot of solar houses too. They have to catch the sun in the winter, and do not need AC in the summer.

Thanks for hubbing this.

Keep on Hubbing!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi SweetiePie - thank you! Vegas wouldn't be a bad place to live, I agree!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

eovery,

thanks for the tip on the solar rest stops in Wyoming! Makes perfect sense!

take care, Steph


ftclick profile image

ftclick 7 years ago

Hey, I always like this type of news..Corporations adapting energy saving methods. Can solar panel roofs and green top roofs co-exist? This would be nice too.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi ftclick, Yes, solar and green roofs can co-exist. Solar panels need to be on the south-facing side of the structure to face the sun (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). You can also incorporate other green roof elements on the remainging roof area. I did a blog post a few months back about a winery in Oregon that had a green roof, collected rainwater from the roof and also solar panels.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Wonderful Hub! An uncle began using solar panels in 1960 and saved 10's of 1000s of dollars in utilities for 40 years.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Patty - your uncle must have been REALLY ahead of the times in the 1960s to be using solar panels. And, I believe he saved a ton of money. :) Steph


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Another top hub Steph. Australia is big in solar technology, and we have huge subsidies for installed systems. There is oodles of sunshine here. A friend of mine in Melbourne has a water catchment and solar system on his roof and the roof of his shed as well. A solar powered water pump keeps the panels clean, and a solar powered filter cleans the water before it goes in to his rainwater tank. The glass is clean chemically anyway (no paint) and by "rinsing" his roof he has plenty of clean water as well.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I think having a solar-powered home is the absolute way to go. A win-win thing. If I owned a home, it would be completely solar-powered.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yep - I agree! We do own, but are looking into solar panels or solar shingles right now.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

It's initially pretty expensive, right? But it'll pay for itself in no time. What I really like about the whole solar-polared home is the idea of independence. You are no longer at the mercy of the local power company. They've decided to raise their rates, tack on a BS fee, one of their kids needs a boob job (and it's a boy!), tough! What can you do about it?!?!

Go solar ... THAT'S what.

No more worrying about how high the power bill will be in the winter!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey CW - here in Oregon, we enjoy some of the highest tax credits/incentives for solar in the nation! That's great news. Up to 80% of the cost can be covered. Still, many should expect a $20,000 investment. Savings in energy, plus increased home value means it pays for itself in a 5-8 years (or less).

LOL about your boob job comment (and its a boy!) ROTFL!!! ;-) Energy Independence is the way to go. SOLAR!!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I'd forgotten about that. Yep, Oregon rocks!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Dontcha know it?! :)


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 7 years ago from london

Another beautiful hub from renown environmental evangelist: Stephanie Hicks. Bravo, Steph! I am a total fan of solar power.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Awww - you are so nice! I enjoy writing about solar power and other environmental issues. Glad you enjoyed it!


MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 6 years ago from Henderson, NV

Obama just handed the Housing Industry $33 Billion so companies like Pulte are gaining huge windfalls. I would not expect the price of their homes to decrease which brings to light a competitive marketing problem in the Las Vegas Valley. We have 1 in 68 homes in foreclosure and 81% of all Las Vegas Homeowners with a mortgage are "Upside Down" in their Mortgage. One really has to consider the upfront cost in light of the economic situation here. I don't see Solar as a big selling point right now... but who knows in the future. The Government spent $100 Million on a Solar Farm here that will save $1 Million per year. That's not a long term investment, that's waste. Private owners are smart enough to cost justify their purchases, the Government Just Taxes and prints money. There is so much talk of "green" and "carbon footprint"... and for every scientist that is on board there is a scientist that is not on board. If you look at Carbon Emmissions over time there have been many periods in History where there was much much more Co2 in the Atmosphere. I'm all for reducing the pollution on our planet. But the "Green" movement is a guise for Governments to impose even more taxes on people. A perfect example is the impending banning of the incandescent light bulb. CFL bulbs contain dangerous mercury. CFL's do not last anywhere near their claims. CFL's cost many times more than incandescent. So is there an advantage? No. LED's hold potential but they are not ready. So much hype and so little real honest evaluation. Another example is the Hybrid Car. There is a car that already outperforms hybrids - the "Clean Diesel"... but it doesn't get press. There are not enough rare earth metals to put everyone in a Hybrid. Everything is about perspective. And I'm for Solar Power, but it has got to be at a cost that makes sense. When the Government steps in and subsidizes industry it throws the market dynamic out of whack and we end up with projects that don't make sense.


Attention Getter profile image

Attention Getter 5 years ago

Nice. We have been wanting to get solar panels for a while now and it would be nice if it became a requirement instead of an option in the future.


helene.bliss 5 years ago

great hub. I've been reading your hubs and I really like it. Very informative and easy to understand.


rjon78 profile image

rjon78 4 years ago

--

Ever increasing utility rates, government incentives, reducing CO2

footprint, consequences of climate change and upfront-investment costs seem to point to a day when solar neighborhoods will begin to spring up in Southwestern Michigan,too.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working