California's Solar Homes Defy Slumping Housing Market

Builders say buyers are seeking them out, and solar industry officials say growth is going through the roof.

Published: 29-Sep-2007

With foreclosures rising and home prices diving, there is a bright spot in California's residential real estate market: Solar-powered homes are starting to outsell traditionally electrified new homes in several markets, and developers are stepping up their use of the technology.

Perhaps it's only fitting for a state that so openly celebrates its sunshine. Still, the growing popularity of household solar power is an encouraging sign for the thousands of solar enthusiasts and vendors gathering in Long Beach this week.

"Those builders are seeing that they'll get more buyers coming to their developments when they have solar. They sell like hot cakes," said Bernadette del Chiaro, energy specialist at the advocacy group Environment California.

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