Thursday, June 22, 2006

Majority of Americans Think Solar Power Should Be Offered on All New Homes

SAN FRANCISCO-June 21, 2006--Eighty Percent of Survey Respondents Would Like Solar Systems Available on New Home Construction; Strong Majority of Americans Believe Solar Power is More Important Than Ever.

Eight out of ten Americans believe that homebuilders should offer solar power as an option for all new home construction, according to a recent Roper survey commissioned by Sharp Electronics Corporation. The survey was conducted in May among 1,004 adults to measure their perceptions of solar power.

When it comes to the cost of solar energy, the survey showed that two-thirds of Americans are willing to pay a premium for homes that have solar systems installed, when told that solar homes have a proven higher resale value. One-half of those surveyed would spend up to ten percent more for a solar-equipped house, indicating that the cost of a solar system will not prevent Americans from embracing forms of clean, renewable energy.

"Solar has been popular for a long time in areas like California and Arizona. Now we're seeing that the rest of the country is ready to embrace solar energy, and consumers want the option of having solar power their new home," said Ron Kenedi, vice president, Solar Energy Solutions Group, Sharp Electronics Corporation. "As the world's leading solar manufacturer, Sharp is encouraged to see that more and more Americans recognize the economic and environmental benefits of solar and understand that it is a vital part of the energy solution."
The survey also showed that given the current energy situation, three-quarters of Americans feel that solar energy is more important today than ever. The number-one reason for homeowners to utilize solar power is to save money on monthly utility bills, but respondents are also concerned with using solar to decrease the United States' dependence on oil.
The findings of the survey include:
-- 79 percent feel that homebuilders should offer solar power as an option for all new homes.
-- 84 percent of Americans ages 25-49 supported solar on new homes; 69 percent of those over 65 years agree.
-- Those living in the South and West are more likely to favor solar on new homes (83 percent) than those living in the Midwest or Northeast (74 percent).
-- After being told that solar homes have a proven higher resale value, 64 percent would be willing to pay more for home with a solar system.
-- 73 percent believe that solar energy technology is more important today than ever.
-- 42 percent say that saving money on monthly utility bills is the most compelling argument for installing solar power. Other respondents indicated it was to decrease the nation's dependence on oil (31 percent) or reduce environmental pollution (18 percent).

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