Solar panels are becoming the new standard for homes

In a development that's sure to please energy efficiency advocates across the country, a new report from Bloomberg indicates that solar panels are quickly becoming a standard feature for newly built homes – or as Bloomberg puts it, "the next granite countertops."

According to the source, six of the country's 10 largest home builders are now including solar panels as part of housing construction, with demand for solar-generated electricity among homeowners set to rise to 56 percent nationwide by the end of this year. In 2012, home solar panels generated 494 megawatts of power. That number is expected to hit 770 this year and potentially 2,175 by 2016.

"In the next six months, home builders 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," Jim Petersen, CEO for PetersenDean Inc., told Bloomberg. PetersenDean Inc. is the largest roofing and solar contractor in the United States.

The National Association of Realtors reported that implementing solar panels during construction is effectively 20 percent cheaper than after the fact. While the cost for solar panels can range from $10,000 to $20,000, they reap tremendous savings in reduced utility expenses.

While solar power continues to prove to be one of the more promising avenues for the future of renewable energy in this country, its price puts it out of the affordability range of many American households. To compensate, consider investing into more affordable solar control window film. This tinting film absorbs sunlight to reduce solar heat gain in a house, leading to more consistent indoor temperatures, fewer energy expenditures and cheaper utility bills. Maryland residents interested in learning more about window tinting in MD are encouraged to contact R and J Tinting today.