Austin welcomes first all-solar community

Rooftop solar panels

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Colorado Crossing neighborhood in southeast Austin is getting a major green upgrade.

Executives from home-building company Lennar, will join local elected leaders – including Rep. Eddie Rodriguez – and officials from Austin Energy to celebrate the opening of Austin’s first all-solar community. This was made possible by changes implemented Jan. 1 to Austin Energy’s renewable energy policies. Every home in the community comes standard with a rooftop solar system that officials say adds nothing to the purchase price.

The program is the first of its kind in Texas and officials hope it will help Austin achieve its goal of generating 55 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources
by 2025.

“I think if you ask anyone they would tell you, ‘Yes I want solar it makes sense,” and then maybe you tell them the price and they say, “Maybe not so much, how do I get that done?” And that’s what we’ve done for folks, get it done for the right price,” said David Grove, the regional director for Lennar.

Rooftop solar panels.
Rooftop solar panel system.

More than 300 solar homes are going to be built in the already-existing community. Already 120 of them are on the ground. Officials say one-third of those have already been sold. Thee roofs are not the only green aspect, the homes are also equipped with energy saving features in the thermostat as well.

“These homes with solar are priced in the $190,000’s to the upper $200,000’s and range in square footage from almost 1,300 square feet to almost 2,800 square feet and I just think that makes sense for people,” Grove said.

Grove says despite the public’s heightened awareness about the benefits of solar power, fewer than 500,000 homes nationwide have rooftop solar systems. By contrast, home-builders will build more than 1 million new homes this year alone. He says hopefully a project like this encourage other communities outside Austin to achieve ambitious clean energy goals.

If you would like to tour the solar homes, there is an open house this weekend.

Check out the Lennar website for more information

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