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KB Home widens solar power offering in SoCal

November 21, 2011

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LOS ANGELES—KB Home says it has made solar power a standard home feature in nearly all of its Southern California developments and plans to include the energy saving systems in homes it builds in the region starting next year.

The Los Angeles company said Monday that it now includes solar power as a standard feature in 28 home communities in Southern California. That's up from 10 communities in March.

The company said that sales at its communities featuring homes with a solar power standard have been 30 percent greater than in communities that don't offer homes with the systems included.

The strategy is part of the builder's effort to make more energy efficient homes and lure buyers away from foreclosed properties and other previously occupied homes that often sell for less.

When it launched its solar standard initiative in March, the builder offered photovoltaic systems of 1.4 kilowatts each that generate enough electricity to cut energy costs about 30 percent for a home of 1,800 to 2,000 square feet.

Now, KB will offer homes with solar power systems ranging from 1.8 kilowatts to 3.15 kilowatts. The highest-end system is capable of reducing monthly energy bills by up to 80 percent, the company said.

KB builds homes to order in 11 states for entry-level, move-up buyers and seniors. It was ranked the fifth-largest homebuilder in the nation last year, by closings.

Shares of KB Home ended the regular session on Monday down 24 cents, or 3.3 percent, at $6.98. The stock rose a penny to $6.99 in aftermarket trading.