SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) is becoming a force to be reckoned with as it expands yet again with another service.
This time the solar leasing company is offering the service to home builders, encouraging them to put solar on new homes with Zero-Down financing. That means home builders don’t pay a cent for the solar systems that come with their homes and buyers save up to 20% on utility bills when they move in.
This is a great benefit for home builders because having solar on the roof increases the value of homes. And since SolarCity does the installation and gets the permits, there’s no extra work for builders.
The program is first launching in California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Maryland and New Jersey and will expand to other states in coming months.
Incredibly, new home construction is experiencing a surge in demand, with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expecting 650,000 new single-family homes on the market this year, and growing another 30% in 2014.
Energy efficient homes have risen near the top of the list of features people look for in new homes.
SolarCity already has partnerships with about 30 national and regional home builders, such as Brookfield Homes, De Young Properties, Del Webb, Elliott Homes, McMillin Homes, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, SheaXero from Shea Homes and Woodside Homes.
Many of the biggest builders in the US have pledged to build Energy Star homes.
Since 2006, SolarCity has brought solar to more than 57,000 customers – it is the second largest installer in the US after SunPower.
Last month, SolarCity hauled in its biggest investment fund yet, $500 million from Goldman Sachs. That brings the company’s funds to $1.57 billion, which pay the upfront costs for solar systems.
This year, SolarCity plans to install 110 megawatts including its most exciting project with the Army, SolarStrong. It is currently installing 24 MW on 6,500 homes at Hawaii bases.
Since its IPO in December 2012, SolarCity’s stock has quadrupled in price.