Eight out of 10 Americans believe homebuilders should offer solar power as an option for all new home construction, according to a recent Roper survey commissioned by Sharp Electronics Corp.

When it comes to the cost of solar energy, the survey showed that two-thirds of Americans are willing to pay a premium for homes that have solar systems installed. Half of those surveyed would spend up to 10 percent more for a solar-equipped house, indicating that the cost of a solar power system will not prevent Americans from embracing forms of clean, renewable energy.

“Solar has been popular for a long time in areas like California and Arizona. Now we’re seeing that the rest of the country is ready to embrace solar energy, and consumers want the option of having solar power in their new home,” said Ron Kenedi, vice president, Solar Energy Solutions Group, Sharp Electronics.

The survey also showed that, given the current energy situation, three-quarters of Americans feel that solar energy is more important today than ever.

The No. 1 reason for homeowners to use solar power is to save money on monthly utility bills, but respondents are also concerned with using solar to decrease the United States’ dependence on oil.   EC