Meritage Homes is now building houses that offer the Echo solar system installed by Morrisville-based SEM. Echo, from EchoFirst, is sold across the U.S. Southwest and Texas, but this marks the first time Echo technology has been deployed in the East.
Echo delivers twice the energy of a basic solar electric PV system by supplementing conventional panels with a solar thermal technology that captures the heat from the PV panels, EchoFirst says. This enables Meritage to offer homes that use 70% to 80% less energy than a standard code-built home in the U.S.
SEM is providing the third-party verification services for the Energy Star Certified homes Meritage builds in the Carolinas, and installing solar to offset a portion of the remaining energy needs. The combination reduces energy consumption by 50% or more over the same house built in 2006, according to the companies.