Trilogy by Shea Homes will offer free BP solar systems to new-home buyers in its Active Lifestyles high-end active adult resort communities in Arizona, California, Florida, and Washington. The systems will be available at no cost through Aug. 31 and offered as an upgrade option after that.

The builder reports that the 3-kW BP EnergyTile and Integra systems will reduce each home's electric bill by up to 60%. Both systems are designed to integrate aesthetically into the homes' roofs, and homeowners will be able to monitor power production and environmental savings via the Web.

"Integrating a solar system into a home during construction is less expensive than adding it later, making solar more accessible and affordable than it's ever been," said Rick Andreen, president of Shea Homes' Active Lifestyle Communities, in a release. "Trilogy Homes pass the true test of a green home by integrating a mix of energy-saving and energy-generating devices that deliver immediate and long-term benefits for our customer."

The solar offerings are in addition to the Shea Green Certified Standards, the builder's own program based on specifications set by LEED, the NAHB, and Environments for Living. Elements in Trilogy's green homes include solar attic fans, blown-in cellulose insulation, advanced framing techniques, and Energy Star-rated appliances. The company says the certified homes use 30% less energy; savings brought about by the photovoltaics will be in addition to that.