SOURCE: EchoFirst Inc. (previously PVT Solar, Inc.)

EchoFirst Inc. (previously PVT Solar, Inc.)

May 03, 2011 09:50 ET

Echo Solar Systems Make Net Zero Energy Homes a Reality in New Home Communities

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - May 3, 2011) - EchoFirst™, the creator of Echo®, a revolutionary new solar energy system that delivers twice the energy of a basic solar electric (PV) system, announced today that Echo had been chosen to power multiple new home communities for leading builders in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes, Inc., an Energy Star Builder and the 2011 EnergyValue Housing Award National Builder of the Year, has chosen Echo for its showcase net zero energy home. Said Mike Nimon, the president of Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes: "A net zero energy home -- a home that generates as much energy as it uses -- has long been the dream of homeowners seeking energy independence and financial security. Echo provides the technology to deliver -- affordably and efficiently -- a zero energy home at a more attractive cost basis than the basic solar electric systems seen in the market."

"Echo is the ideal zero energy home solution because it generates all the types of energy used in the home: electricity to power the home, hot water for washing and bathing, and solar home heating and cooling," added Mr. Nimon. "And Echo's technology is highly reliable -- Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes is the winner of the 2011 National Housing Quality Award and we only install the best in our homes."

The Echo solar system is now powering net zero energy homes in communities across California and the Southwest. Meritage Homes, one of the nation's largest Top 10 production homebuilders, just introduced their Echo-powered line of new, highly affordable net zero energy homes. C.R. Herro, vice president of environmental affairs for Meritage Homes, said: "Meritage Homes is delivering the next phase of what we're calling a residential revolution. The net zero energy home powered by Echo illustrates how new homes can and should be built."

Other innovative builders (outside of the production home environment) are also utilizing Echo to deliver a net zero energy home today. ZETA Communities, a producer of net zero energy / highly energy-efficient homes, has installed Echo in a net zero energy home recently completed in their Sacramento, CA factory. "Echo, in conjunction with our advanced manufacturing technology, can deliver net zero energy homes cost effectively to the general public," said Andrew Silverman, vice president of project development at ZETA.

"Echo is an affordable, practical solution for homebuilders and homeowners who want a complete solution to their energy problem. With Echo, a net zero energy home is no longer 'the home of the future' -- it's a practical, available option today," said Vikas Desai, CEO of EchoFirst. "Echo delivers zero energy home performance -- and the beautiful roof-integrated aesthetics and curb appeal demanded by builders and homebuyers alike."

About EchoFirst Inc.
EchoFirst Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets the Echo solar system. Echo supplements conventional solar electric PV panels with a unique solar thermal technology that captures the heat from the PV panels. Echo generates not only electricity, but also hot water for washing and bathing, and thermal energy for home heating and home cooling. EchoFirst headquarters are in Fremont, California. For more information, please visit

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