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SolarWorld solar panels power first net-zero-energy, zero-combustion home in Southern California

Ed Begley Jr. to speak at ‘Green Idea House’ dedication on April 6 in Hermosa Beach

HILLSBORO, Ore., April 4, 2013 – The owners of the “Green Idea House” – Southern California’s first net-zero-energy, zero-combustion home – will host a public dedication ceremony at the Hermosa Beach residence on April 6. The home is a cornerstone case study for Southern California Edison’s Net Zero Energy Initiative, the utility’s program for implementing California Public Utility Commission guidelines that all new residential buildings be net-zero-energy by 2020. With 6.25 kilowatts of high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, and a host of energy-efficiency and sustainable-climate-control technologies, the 2100-sqaure-foot, all-electric house generates more green energy than it consumes on an annual basis and burns no fossil fuels.

Entertainer and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. will speak in the ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. at the home at 1556 Prospect Ave.

Two years ago, property owners Robert and Monica Fortunato and their son Carter set out to affordably retrofit their family home into a net-zero-energy, zero-combustion residence using ordinary building techniques and off-the-shelf technology and at no greater cost than standard construction. Energy-efficient architectural design, appliances and lighting have enabled the family, which resumed residence in the renovated house in suburban Los Angeles County in March 2012, to consume 75 percent less energy than they did prior to construction, despite adding 700 square feet to the structure. Moreover, the 26 SolarWorld solar panels on the home’s roof generated about 2,000 kilowatt-hours more electricity than the Fortunatos consumed in the last year, earning the family a several-hundred-dollar credit from Southern California Edison.

“Our objective with the Green Idea House was to build community around the idea that anyone can and should build with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind,” Robert Fortunato said. “We used American-made SolarWorld solar panels because their quality and reliability took us furthest in meeting our power-production and environmental goals.”

The project received the 2012 Green Leadership Award from Los Angeles County, 2012 Environmental Leadership SEED Award and Build It Green’s Green Point Rated Builder of the Year Award. “The Green Idea House is an inspiration for many things that individuals, families, contractors and homebuilders can do to cut energy consumption, curb carbon emissions and boost environmental sustainability,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company’s commercial hub, based in Camarillo, Calif.

SolarWorld is a leading manufacturer of high-performance solar panels and complete solar systems for the residential market. The Freedom Plan, the company’s residential solar-financing program, is available throughout California.

The Fortunato family will offer home tours and interviews to media representatives by appointment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 5. Contact Robert Fortunato at (310) 594-5924 or to schedule an appointment.

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit

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