Del Webb Makes Solar Power Standard at River Pointe in N.J.

At River Pointe, a housing community catering to the 55 and older crowd, residents are embracing a decision made by developer Del Webb to make solar power standard.

Solar panels on the roof of the Snohomish County Administration West building in Washington

Energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly popular theme at new residential developments, and it’s not just the young and hip who are embracing it. At River Pointe, a housing community catering to the 55 and older crowd, residents are embracing a decision made by developer Del Webb. The company has taken green to new heights at the Manchester, N.J., property by making solar power standard, as opposed to optional, for River Pointe’s homes.

Carrying the address of 2517 Ridgeway Rd., River Pointe sits just a half-hour from Atlantic City and 90 minutes from Manhattan. The property’s amenities–such as a putting green and the Retreat CafĂ©–place it in the state-of-the-art category in the world of independent living or active adult housing, but not as much as its solar power.

Del Webb joined forces with solar cells and panels manufacturer SunPower Corp. to bring solar energy generating facilities to River Pointe as part of the developer’s solar energy initiative, which centers on protecting the environment, as well as facilitating savings for the housing community’s residents.

All homes at River Pointe are equipped with a 2.25-kilowatt, high-efficiency solar system. And just like every kitchen and bathroom, or unlike specially chosen fixtures or other extras, the system is integrated without any additional fees. The option to upgrade to a 3.15-kilowatt system, however, is not a freebie. Regardless, savings are obvious. With the 2.25-kilowatt system, residents will save approximately $300 on annual property tax, and with the upgraded system, the savings increase to roughly $450 per year.

River Pointe’s solar-powered homes have been well received. “The solar system feature is definitely attracting more people; it draws many of them in for their initial visit,” Allison Striano, a sales representative at River Pointe, tells MHN. “It seems some are a little hesitant because they may not like the look of it on their roofs, but for the most part, there’s been a positive response to it.”

The systems are not new for Del Webb. They come as standard and/or optional features at many of the developer’s residential communities, which presently total more than 50, spanning 21 states.