The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a publicly owned utility, and Tim Lewis Communities (TLC), a Citrus Heights, Calif.-headquartered home builder, have agreed to build another 183 homes with solar power and energy efficiency features. Under the terms of the agreement, SMUD will provide funding to buy down the cost of solar and energy efficiency equipment in all the homes.
According to the companies, groundbreaking has begun and models are being constructed in three California communities, which include 61 SolarSmart homes in the Madeira Ranch subdivision in Elk Grove, 34 homes in Brentwood Estates in Citrus Heights and 88 homes at Brentwood Villas (also in Citrus Heights).
The energy efficiency measures include efficient heating, venting and air-conditioning systems; radiant barriers in attics; added insulation; duct sealing and compact fluorescent lighting. Residents may save up to 60% per year on their electric bills because of the solar and energy-efficient design, the companies add.
The deal is the latest SMUD has signed with home builders to construct SolarSmart homes in the area. In March, the utility announced a partnership with Lennar Homes to build more than 1,200 SolarSmart homes.