Homeowners seeking lower utility bills in North Carolina have a new option, according to vendors making it happen.
Solar-powered electricity and hot water, along with efficient thermostat controls, are all being wrapped into a single package, under to a new partnership between three companies: Meritage Homes, EchoFirst solar systems and Southern Energy Management (SEM).
The deal marks the first time Echo technology has been deployed in the eastern United States.
Echo said it delivers twice the energy of a basic solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system by supplementing conventional panels with a unique solar thermal technology that captures the heat from the PV panels. Echo systems generate electricity and also hot water for washing and bathing. This enables Meritage to offer homes that use 70% to 80% less energy than a standard code-built home in the United States. Additionally, the systems include Energy Star-qualified thermostat controls designed to automatically reduce heating and cooling bills by about another 10%, along with mobile phone-enabled remote thermostat control.
“Meritage Homes understands that homeowners are looking for ways to save money on utility bills without sacrificing features, amenities or lifestyle,” said Meritage Homes VP marketing Eric Rosson. “By building new homes with solar PV and water heating in one, we’re offering homes the way they can, and should, be built.”