By South Florida Business Journal

Miami-based Lennar Corp. is rolling out a new program that allows homeowners to rent sunshine â¿¿ or at least the equipment â¿¿ to power their homes.

Lennar recently completed a solar panel pilot project in Sacramento, Calif., with 150 homeowners leasing the technology.

Lennarâ¿¿s PowerSmart program was done in partnership with SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA; SPWRB).

Lennar (NYSE: LEN; LEN.B) and SunPower have been working together since 2006, installing 1,700 homes with solar panels.

In addition to Sacramento, the program is offered in Fresno and Southern California, including San Diego and the Inland Empire.

â¿¿Lennar has become an industry leader in the delivery of solar-powered new homes," company COO Jon Jaffe said in a news release.

A typical Lennar homeowner in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District pays about $31 a month to lease solar energy equipment for a three-bedroom home. In some instances, buyers of homes with the solar technology actually generated more electricity than they consumed, resulting in a credit to their monthly bill, according to Lennar.

Paul Mask, a resident in Lennar's Kavala community, cited the solar technology as a big factor in his decision to purchase a Lennar home, the company said.

⿿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,⿝ Mask said in a news release.

It was not immediately clear whether Lennar plans to bring its sunshine power program to the Sunshine State.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010