Makakilo home project to offer solar
STORY SUMMARY »
D.R. Horton's Schuler Division has joined forces with the solar-power installation unit of Hoku Scientific Inc. in what may be the largest-scale private housing project yet to offer photovoltaic systems in Hawaii.
Kahiwelo, which means "setting of the sun," is expected to offer photovoltaic systems as an option on 474 three, four and five-bedroom homes in Makakilo starting at $555,000, to be built through 2015.
Horton will offer homebuyers both solar-power systems as well as solar water heaters in homes with Energy Star ceiling fans and energy-efficient air conditioners.
Mike Jones, Schuler Division president, said homebuyers are becoming more energy conscious as the cost of oil continues to rise. They are also more environmentally conscious.
D.R. Horton plans to team up with Hoku for more residential projects in the future.
Hoku estimates owners of the PV systems could potentially save up to $25,000 over 25 years as electricity costs continue to go up.
FULL STORY »
D.R. Horton's Schuler Division has joined up with a unit of Hoku Scientific Inc. to offer solar-electric power to buyers at its new 474-home subdivision in Makakilo.
Kahiwelo at Makakilo, Horton's latest isle project, will be offering 2 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) systems to homebuyers, as well as solar water heaters.
Mike Jones, president of Schuler Division, said the team plans to look at expanding the PV solar technology to other projects.
"More people are becoming conscious about energy costs, with the cost of oil going up," said Jones.
PV technology converts solar energy into electricity using solar panels, which can be connected to the Hawaiian Electric Co. grid for "net metering." That way, residents with a PV solar system can receive credit at times when their home is producing more electricity than it is using, but still draw power from the grid at other times.
Kahiwelo at Makakilo is to have homes ranging from 1,400 to 2,000 square feet, to be built through 2015. Prices for the three-, four- and five-bedroom homes listed on the Web site range from $555,000 to $635,000.
Homes at Kahiwelo at Makakilo will also be offered with features qualifying them as "HECO Bronze" under Hawaiian Electric's recently announced sustainable housing programs. The bronze standards include installing Energy Star ceiling fans, compact fluorescent lamps and energy-efficient air conditioners. Low-flush toilets and dual pane vinyl windows are also energy efficient features.
D.R. Horton is one of the first private developers offering PV systems in a large-scale subdivision, though interest has been picking up.
Gentry Homes offered 1-kilowatt PV systems to homebuyers for 185 of its Latitudes by Gentry in Ewa last year. Only 29 have been released for sale, but there have been no takers so far, said a sales representative.
Dowling Co. planned to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its upscale 69-unit Maluaka residential community, which would include solar panels.
Actus Lend Lease LLC began building military housing projects last year incorporating solar power.
Karen Nakamura, CEO of the Building Industry Association, says more private developers are taking initiative in becoming more green due to demand.
"It is the trend because there is consumer demand," she said. "Developers are so conscious that the market is asking for it."
Federal and state tax credits of 30 percent and 35 percent, respectfully, have been available to homebuyers installing solar systems.
Jones said the PV solar systems range from between $20,000 to $27,000, but that D.R. Horton is able to cut some of the costs due to the scale of the project.
Hoku Scientific estimates that owners of the PV systems could potentially save as much as $25,000 over 25 years.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
The president of D.R. Horton’s Schuler Division is Mike Jones. Originally this story incorrectly gave his first name as Tom.