Now here’s a trend that can benefit homes everywhere—Lennar Homes of California is adding solar panels and renewable energy systems as a standard package to 258 new homes starting immediately. The homes will be built in the San Joaquin Valley and will each have a 2.3 kilowatt solar system that can cut annual energy bills by 40-60%. These solar panels cost about $15,000 to $20,000 to install, but Lennar receives a discount by buying in bulk and is underwritten by a state incentive program that will cover about 30% of the cost. As a result, the panels will not add to purchase price of the home. This is a smart way to make solar power the new standard. California is working to embrace solar power, especially since the rays are so plentiful. Experts predict that 5% of all new homes built this year in California will feature solar panels. That’s up from less than 1% a few years ago. Lennar is not the only builder to offer standard solar packages; Valley Pacific, Sundowner Homes, and Generation Homes are all building solar-powered homes. Generation Homes has even announced that their housses will be strictly solar as of this year. Hats off to the Gov’s office for the incentive plan and the builders for making it work. This is a trend to be followed.