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What tops granite countertops?


For a long time now, homebuilders have made granite countertops a standard option for American homebuyers. And for good reason. People like it because along with the beauty of its one-of-a-kind natural surface, it’s sanitary, resistant to heat and easy to clean. And best of all, granite adds value to a home and doesn’t depreciate.

While granite’s popularity may not change anytime soon, there is a new amenity gaining favor by homebuilders on the horizon. Or more correctly stated, on the rooftop. Solar panels. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, demand for home electricity-generating systems will jump over 50% across the country. And no less than 6 in 10 of the largest American homebuilders include the photovoltaic devices in new construction.


Jim Dean, CEO of PetersenDean, the nation’s largest residential roofer and solar contractor said, "In the next six months, homebuilders in California and the expensive-energy states, will be going solar as a standard, and just incorporating it into the cost of the house like any other feature." By making solar a part of the building process, there is a 20% savings compared to the cost of adding it after a house is built.

Of course, the main reason for the continued growth of solar is the amount of money homeowners save in their electric bills. And so how is it making a difference? Power companies are feeling the effect of less demand as they struggle to lower their rates in line with the falling prices of home solar systems.