Part 1 of 3
SAN FRANCISCO—“Solar adds value to the home, allowing it to sell quicker and for more money.” That is according to PetersenDean‘s Wendi Zubillaga, chief sales officer, who GlobeSt.com caught up with as part of our PCBC coverage. PetersenDean is said to be the largest independently owned solar and roofing company in the US with nearly 30 years of experience. Specializing in new residential and commercial construction, PetersenDean works with some of the nation’s largest builders and developers. With more than a million roofs under its belt, the company operates in five states: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.
GlobeSt.com: Why go solar?
Wendi Zubillaga: Homebuyers are asking for solar and building codes are requiring energy efficiency and renewable energy products for new construction. The message of sustainability also helps to sell homes. With an increasing number of buyers looking to purchase solar-ready residences, more builders are adopting solar as standard.
GlobeSt.com: Do the developers and builders you work with purchase or lease?
Zubillaga: PetersenDean believes in making the solar experience as simple and cost efficient as possible for both the homebuyer and Homebuilder. The leasing model complicates the sale. The leasing contracts on the market have too many unknown clauses that can potentially drive a potential homeowner to another Homebuilder that does not require a 20 year lease. PetersenDean only offers a purchase option to Homebuilders.
GlobeSt.com: Will installing solar disrupt the builder’s schedule?
Zubillaga: There are no additional construction days needed when you hire an experienced roofing and solar contractor. PetersenDean, for example, will coordinate with builder superintendents to insure timely installs. In addition, our certified electricians will prewire the home at no extra charge to the builder for all standard communities.
GlobeSt.com: Why use a roofer for a solar installation? Is it necessary?
Zubillaga: Solar is a roofing product and should only be installed by a fully licensed and insured roofing contractor. Solar companies do not have the insurance nor the roofing knowledge to protect a roof from water intrusion. PetersenDean voids the roof warranty as soon as a solar contractor begins work on our roofs. We are committed to providing high quality roofs that we can stand behind for ten years. If PetersenDean installs the roofs and solar we offer a ten year bumper to bumper warranty
GlobeSt.com: I know PetersenDean partners with American made products? Why?
Zubillaga: To meet supply demands, quality control issues and future possible warranty claims. There have been many struggles sourcing overseas and PD is committed to providing the highest quality products at a competitive price.
GlobeSt.com: Why have costs gone down so much?
Zubillaga: With photovoltaic panel manufacturers continuing to ramp up production in Asia, the United States and elsewhere, the economies of scale have begun to drive down prices of solar power system installation nationwide. Prices have dropped from $10 per watt to $1.50 per watt in the span of five years. As the prices go down, the ROI for builders and developers goes up. This is significant for the home building industry as more communities offer solar as standard and customers come to expect it. We are currently working with a number of builders across the nation who are offering solar as standard, including DR Horton, KB Home, Toll Brothers, and Standard Pacific Homes, to name a few. We know others are following suit.
Check back in the next day or so for part 2 of this Q&A, where we talk about the popularity of solar, the future of solar, and the ROI for builders.