Florida builder Ronald King Construction, of Brooksville, is taking advantage of energy-efficiency tax credit provisions to construct homes that include photovoltaic panels to produce electricity and a solar water heating system-at prices competitive with more traditional homes in his market.

The company is installing the renewable energy systems on homes in its Deerfield Estates subdivision. When combined with Energy Star-rated appliances, lighting and other features, the homes are built to be at least 60 percent more energy-efficient than conventional homes.

The recent federal housing rescue package included a number of tax incentives that make the homes competitive in the Florida market, said John Reventas, the builder’s sales and marketing director.

For example, a 2-kilowatt photovoltaic system costs the builder about $11,500 but there is an $8,000 credit available from the state and a $2,000 credit from the federal government. Other federal incentives enable the home buyer to get back 30 percent of the total outlay. 

Additionally, the homes’ building envelope contributes to its energy efficiency. The concrete block construction, typical in this part of Florida, is augmented with spray-foam insulation inside each block, Reventas said.

Also included is Energy Star-rated windows and other green features including low-flow faucets, native landscaping and low-VOC exterior paints in light colors to help reflect the sun’s energy.

The homes are certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition, a program that partners with the Florida Home Builders Association and also by the voluntary federal Energy Star for Homes program through Progress Energy, the local utility company.

Information about the new energy tax credits is available from the Internal Revenue Service.