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Oregon new home buyers will soon be able to order rooftop solar panels just as they do with granite countertops or other custom features — without adding to the home price — under a new program announced Thursday by SolarCity.

San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity enlisted 20 homebuilders to partner with the company’s new program in Oregon. Some participating builders will add the panels as a custom item, while others will install them in each home they build in a project, says SolarCity spokeswoman Molly Canales.

The company or homebuilder offers the solar panels via a lease or prepurchase program, enabling homeowners to take advantage of free electric power the day they move in, with no out-of-pocket costs. SolarCity and other companies that offer such deals take advantage of tax breaks and incentive programs that otherwise would go to a homeowner who installs their own solar panels. Those tax breaks and incentives cover the financing costs for the solar companies to install the panels, and they then share the power benefits with homeowners.

 “Not only can solar offer energy cost savings for years into the future,” says Walter Cuculic, SolarCity’s national manager of builder programs, “but with SolarCity, homebuilders don’t have to endure increased construction costs nor raise their home purchase prices – a win-win for builders and buyers.”

Participating homebuilders include: 45 Degrees Central, Arbor Builders, BC Custom Construction, Cloninger Custom Homes, Elite Development, Fish Construction, JDC Homes, Marnella Homes, Mike Riddle Construction, Michael Wilkins Construction, Oregon Homeworks, Ostercraft Homes, Pahlisch Homes, Quail Homes, Ridgeline Line Custom Homes, Renaissance Homes, Semon & Cross, Shelburne Development, TA Liesy Homes NW and Winsome Construction. Other homebuilders may be added to the program.

SolarCity now operates the program in nine states with more than 80 partner homebuilders, Canales says.

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Twitter: @SteveLawTrib

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