Press release from Business Wire
California Governor, Environmentalists & Members of Congress Recognize Lennar for Ground-Breaking Solar Lease Program
<p class=' bwtextaligncenter'> <b>Leasing Eliminates Upfront Costs and Cuts Home Energy Bills</b> </p>
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
California Governor, Environmentalists & Members of Congress Recognize Lennar for Ground-Breaking Solar Lease Program08:00 EDT Tuesday, June 15, 2010 MIAMI (Business Wire) -- Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) (NYSE: LEN.B), one of the leading U.S. builders of quality homes, announced today that the Company is the first high-production homebuilder in the U.S. to successfully launch a solar lease program that virtually eliminates up-front costs and provides homeowners with below-market energy rates. In partnership with SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA) (Nasdaq: SPWRB), Lennar introduced the innovative leasing program last year with sales of energy-efficient Lennar homes in California. Under the program, called SunPower Access, Lennar homeowners lease a high-efficiency solar system that generates most of a home's electricity at a cost below current utility rates for the average homeowner. As utility rates increase, so will savings—providing homeowners a hedge against soaring energy costs. Lennar's solar-leasing program is supported by a wide range of government, business and environmental leaders, including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “California's green policies are promoting the expansion of clean, renewable energy in our communities and growing our green economy,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said. “It is companies like Lennar and these innovative partnerships that are creating jobs now while helping us reach a cleaner, more sustainable future.” Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed AB 510 into law to raise the cap on net metering in California, which allows home and business owners who install solar generators to be paid by their electric utility for the surplus power they produce. The Nation's Largest Solar Builder Lennar already is the nation's largest builder of new solar homes. The Company's recently introduced PowerSmart program strengthens Lennar's green commitments by offering homeowners some of the most energy efficient features available in the market today. For more information, go to: http://lennarpowersmart.com/ Since 2006, Lennar has installed SunPower solar systems in more than 1,700 homes in California. The Company recently completed a pilot project launched last year in the Sacramento market that delivered more than 150 solar homes through the leasing program. The lease program is now offered in Lennar communities in Sacramento, Fresno and in Southern California, including San Diego and Corona (in the Inland Empire). "Working together with SunPower for the past four years, Lennar has become an industry leader in the delivery of solar-powered new homes," said Jon Jaffe, Lennar's Chief Operating Officer. "Our PowerSmart program includes a wide range of energy efficient features that saves money and at the same time helps save the environment. The introduction of our solar leasing program makes those savings even greater, and at no additional up-front cost. It's a tremendous model not only for our homeowners in California but for homeowners throughout the nation.” Homeowners Benefit from Solar Leasing Program A typical Lennar homeowner in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) pays approximately $31 per month to lease solar energy for a three-bedroom home. Homeowners in Northern California have reported monthly electric bills as low as $1.19. In some instances, their homes actually generated more electricity than they consumed, resulting in a credit to their monthly bill. Paul Mask, a solar homeowner in Lennar's Kavala community, said the solar equipment was a big factor in why he and his wife purchased their home. “We are paying less in energy costs for our home than we did when we were in our apartment, and that's in the winter months. I would absolutely recommend a solar home.” Melissa Walker, another solar homeowner in Lennar's Kavala community, said her family performed a cost-benefit comparison between purchasing and leasing solar equipment. “Leasing just made so much more financial sense for us. It's proven to be a real benefit. Not only are our utility bills significantly lower than the traditional homes we have lived in before, but our house is actually producing energy,” Walker said. Jim Pape, President of the Residential and Commercial business group of SunPower, said: “The results of SunPower's partnership with Lennar to date speak for themselves. Homeowners are reporting high levels of satisfaction with their low energy bills and performance of their SunPower systems. Coupling SunPower's most powerful solar technology with an innovative lease offering and Lennar's energy-efficient homes is a win for everyone.” Under the PowerSmart program, Lennar's solar-powered homes are equipped with additional features that may include energy-saving appliances, fluorescent lighting, efficient HVAC systems, radiant barriers in attics, added insulation and duct sealing. In addition to the energy produced by the home's solar system, these measures help significantly lower the home's electrical needs. Congressional Focus on Renewable Energy Leasing Picking up on Lennar's successful pilot project, Congress has focused on creating programs to expand the availability of renewable energy leasing across the country. “Leasing makes renewable energy affordable while making a real contribution to our nation's objectives of lessening our reliance on foreign oil, reducing greenhouse emissions and creating new jobs,” said David Kaiserman, President of Lennar Ventures. “The proposed legislation in front of the Congress is a cost-effective means of expanding solar leasing from just a handful of states to potentially the whole nation.” A bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives that would create a loan insurance program--at no cost to the taxpayer--that in turn would help spur a nationwide market in solar leases. This bill lays a foundation for private investment in renewable energy system leases. The U.S. Senate has introduced two pieces of legislation that includes the renewable lease provision, one by Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) and the other by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “What Lennar is doing in California should be available on a wider scale to all Americans,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), author of the legislation that passed the House last year. The legislation has been endorsed by a varied group of organizations and businesses, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Morgan Stanley, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Dow Solar Solutions, Solar Energy Industries Association, ProBuild and Lennar. “Congress has demonstrated real leadership in crafting bi-partisan legislation that establishes a federal insurance program for renewable energy leases,” said Jim Presswood, Federal Energy Policy Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This program will help drive clean energy development in the U.S. by scaling up the use of renewable energy leases.” ABOUT LENNAR Lennar Corporation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation's leading builders of quality homes for all generations. The Company builds affordable, move-up and retirement homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. Lennar's Financial Services segment provides primarily mortgage financing, title insurance and closing services for both buyers of the Company's homes and others. Lennar's Rialto Investments segment is focused on distressed real estate asset investments, asset management, and workout strategies. Previous press releases and further information about the Company may be obtained at the "Investor Relations" section of the Company's website, www.lennar.com. For more information, contact Marshall Ames (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 800-741-4663.