Dow Chemical Company (DOW) announced it will bring the DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle to U.S. markets this month, starting in Colorado and rolling into targeted states through 2012. The Powerhouse Solar Shingle is a revolutionary new roofing product that combines the performance and protection of a conventional asphalt roof with an integrated photovoltaic (PV) system that powers the home. It is designed to install, look and function in a way that has never been done before. According to Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris, the market introduction of the Powerhouse Solar Shingle is integral to Dow’s transformation, and a key part of its strategy to invent and innovate new technologies that are defined by the intersection of megatrends such as energy and Dow’s new and invigorated research pipeline.
“The introduction of a differentiated solar product like our POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle, is a significant development for the advancement of alternative energy, homeowners, U.S. based manufacturers, as well as the world’s energy challenges,” said Liveris. “It is also clear that the continued success of the global solar industry will require the kind of technical excellence, market insight, ease of adoption and manufacturing know-how that is embedded in the Dow Powerhouse product and at the core of Dow’s strengths.”
The Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle protects the home like a standard roofing shingle while providing energy that saves the homeowner money. Behind a strong brand reputation and warranty, Dow is transforming the residential market by making a solar installation as easy as installing an asphalt rooftop – all while maintaining the home’s attractiveness. Dow can now serve the need of homeowners who want to go solar, but aren’t willing to accept the complexity and sub-optimal aesthetics currently offered by bulky, rack-mounted systems.
Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles Product Details
Just as the advent of indoor plumbing in the early 20th century fundamentally changed the expectations people had of their residences, Dow believes its new solar roofing technology unlocks the same potential to revolutionize the way people think about their roof. No longer is it a passive depreciating asset, but an active source of value. The Powerhouse Solar Shingles are engineered to address the historical un-met needs of the residential homeowners by functioning differently from any other product available to homeowners with asphalt rooftops – which represent approximately 85 percent of U.S. homes. It operates as both a roof and solar product, and is installed directly onto the roof deck along with standard asphalt roofing shingles. Powerhouse Solar Shingles are both the roof and the solar energy generator, and look like they actually belong on a home. According to Dow Solar Vice President Jane Palmieri, providing a solution that has solved the “aesthetics issue” is a critical success factor for bringing solar technology to new populations and communities.
“There is a lot of amazing technology in the Powerhouse product,” Palmieri said. “But what we learned from the consumer is that they value the look of their homes because it is an expression of who they are. Homeowners want, expect and deserve a solar product that they can be proud to display. And POWERHOUSE™ makes that possible.”
Channels to Market
As a new roofing option, the best time to choose a POWERHOUSE ™ solar roof is when a homeowner is purchasing a new home, or replacing an existing roof due to repair or replacement. Dow is proud to partner with national homebuilders, developers and professional roofing contractors to bring the POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles to U.S. homeowners, driving industry growth and solar adoption. This will be accomplished through two service models: Powerhouse Solar Communities: Dow will provide a full turnkey service to production homebuilders, utilities and developers to create more Powerhouse Solar Communities. Powerhouse Rooftops: Dow will address the re-roof and custom home market through an Authorized Dealer network comprised of professional roofing contractors who are recognized leaders in their local market, and will create Powerhouse homes one rooftop at a time.
Dow is excited to introduce Powerhouse in U.S. markets where demand is anticipated to be the strongest. A rolling launch into markets from California to the East Coast will begin in October 2011, starting with the state of Colorado. D.R. Horton has been ranked as America’s #1 homebuilder for nine consecutive years by Builder Magazine, and its Colorado division, currently ranked #1 by the Denver Business Journal, has entered into an agreement with Dow to be the first national homebuilder to offer the Powerhouse Solar Shingles on their new homes. Details about this and other market-specific launches will be part of a release later this month. Approximately a dozen states have been targeted for introduction of the Powerhouse product between now and the end of 2012. Dow will ramp up in each market as product quantities increase, and Authorized Dealer networks are put in place. While Dow plans to eventually make the Powerhouse Solar Shingles available more broadly across the U.S., initial launch states have been targeted because they have the best “solar landscape” — ones that currently offer the best combination of financial returns and receptivity to solar.
Complete Solar Solution
Recognizing that consumers also need solar to be an easy choice, Dow has designed the Powerhouse Solar Shingle as a “complete solar solution.” It includes a custom designed array that fits the homeowner’s goals and complements the home’s style; an inverter that converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) to power the home; and a monitoring system delivering real-time readouts showing how much energy your system is creating and how much the home is using. Powerhouse has the safety backing of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and is certified to withstand rain, hail and wind.
Competitive Pricing, Long-Term Value
As with many building-industry products, the cost to homeowners for the Powerhouse system will be set by the channel to market, and will depend on the size and configuration of the home and desired power generation. According to Dow Solar Vice President Jane Palmieri, Powerhouse has been specifically developed to be cost competitive both as a roofing solution and solar power generation solution. An asphalt roof with Powerhouse Solar Shingles can be thousands of dollars less expensive than other integrated solar products installed with high cost tile or concrete roofing materials. Powerhouse is designed to integrate with lower cost asphalt roofing products, and when combined with discounts from incentives and tax credits, make Powerhouse a much more affordable option for American homeowners on a total roof basis.
“There has never been a better time to go solar,” said Jane Palmieri, Dow Solar Vice president. “With the ability to completely re-coup the upfront cost of the Powerhouse system in the first part of its intended life, it has a lower net cost over its lifetime than a conventional roof and grid-supplied electricity.”
Made in the USA
The Powerhouse Solar Shingle is Made in the USA at Dow’s small-scale manufacturing facility in Midland Michigan. Dow has also begun construction of a new, large-scale facility at Dow’s Midland, Michigan Operations site, which the Company expects will create up to 1,275 jobs between now and 2015.