Added 18 September, 2013
Just as it is with fashion, home design goes in and out of style. Once it was stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Now, real estate agents in the United States are reporting that solar panels are the must-have accessory for new home buyers. At least six of the 10 largest American homebuilders are now including photovoltaic devices in new construction, and some towns are mandating that they be installed. Today, a 3-kilowatt system, enough to power a typical mid-size home, costs less than $15,000 and can be rolled into a new home mortgage. About 494 megawatts of panels were installed atop new and existing U.S. homes in 2012, according to a solar trade group. That figure is expected to swell to 770 megawatts this year as prices continue to slide and may reach 2,175 megawatts in 2016.