Top Posts of 2014: Renewable Energy in New Homes


With the end of 2014 approaching, NAHB’s Eye on Housing is reviewing the posts that attracted the most readers over the last year. In July, we published survey data on power production equipment in new homes.


A rising number of new homes include renewable energy features, a trend that is apparent in both single-family and multifamily construction.

McGraw Hill Construction’s data and analytics team surveyed a set of NAHB single-family and multifamily members in 2013.

According to the findings, 12% of single-family builders reported including solar photovoltaic panels in new home construction in 2013. More popular for single-family construction was geothermal groundsource heat exchange property, used for some projects by 26% of home builders. Wind power is less popular, with only 1% of single-family builders reporting its use.

renewable energy property


Multifamily developers were more likely to use these power production features in at least some of their projects. For example, 45% of multifamily developers used solar panels, 42% installed geothermal property in some projects and 13% reported using wind turbines.

That said, the frequency of use of these items was more common on the single-family side of the market, perhaps due to incentives like the section 25D power production tax credit for new and existing homes. More than half of single-family builders who report installing solar panels do so on more than 25% of their projects. And more than 75% of single-family builders who install geothermal property do so on more than 25% of their homes.

In contrast, for multifamily developers who report installing solar panels, more than 75% do so on fewer than 25% of their projects. And nearly all multifamily developers who report using geothermal do so on fewer than 25% of their properties.


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