Kaitlin LindrosJuly 12, 201915820
It’s obvious that going solar can save money on your electric bill and help the environment. But did you know that solar panel installation can also increase the overall value of your house?
On average, going solar in the U.S. can raise the value of a home by 4.1%, which comes out to an additional $9,274 on the median-valued home.
A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, affiliated with the Department of Energy, examined established solar markets, like that in California, and found that solar property values increase by 4% or more compared to non-solar homes. The research lab’s 2015 report found that buyers were willing to pay premiums of $4/watt of PV solar capacity.
It may even be enough to completely cover the cost of installing solar panels, depending on where you live and what kinds of offers you take advantage of (like solar incentives, rebates, and tax credits) upon installation.
While the value of your house will likely go up with solar installation, how much depends mainly on where you live.
Here’s a quick list of the top urban hubs and the premium increases you can expect in these areas, according to Zillow:
New York, NY - 5.4%
Orlando, FL - 4.6%
San Francisco, CA - 4.4 %
United States average - 4.1%
Los Angeles, CA - 3.6%
Riverside, CA - 2.7%
Homeowners in the major metropolitan areas - especially New York, where cost of living is high - can get more added value for their home. Expect to get more value in active solar markets, like New Jersey, compared to homes in less developed markets.
Other major factors affecting the selling value include:
- The price of electricity in your area
- Size, condition and original value of your house
- The size, energy savings, and age of your solar system
According to one study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), solar homes sell up to 20% faster than non-solar homes, for 17% more. The study, conducted across several subdivisions built by California builders, compared sales of home built with solar systems against “control” homes built without solar.
So if you plan on selling in the future, adding solar may not only increase your home’s value, but also help you close the deal quicker, which can be a great help in a sluggish real estate market.
There are several reasons you can expect to get more value on your solar-powered home:
Future energy cost savings
Not having to pay much for electricity down the line is extremely attractive in the age of electronics. With more and more devices and smart home products taking up power, reducing the power bill is the number one reason buyers want solar.
Green technologies are trending and help protect the planet
With green technologies like net-zero energy homes and dual flush toilets trending, solar homes are all the rage in today’s housing market.
Today’s generation places much more importance on environmentally conscious initiatives, seeking to reduce their carbon footprint by driving electric cars, recycling, and more. Purchasing a solar-powered home is just one more way for people to invest in green living.
Solar homes more likely to have other desirable energy-efficient features
Many solar homes also come with other desirable features installed, like energy-efficient appliances, solar water heaters, programmable thermostats, and more. A buyer looking to purchase a solar home will likely have a preference for other energy-efficient features as well, and more than 80% of home buyers say energy efficiency is an important factor, according to Zillow.
“Move in ready” solar
A buyer who intends to install solar in the future may find a home that already has it installed more attractive, as that means they do not have to do the leg work of installing it themselves.
In the previously mentioned study by NREL, interviews conducted with home buyers found that if a house already had solar and was factored into the price, they were more likely to choose a solar home. If solar was presented as an option to add, they were less likely to buy.
In conclusion, whether or not you sell your solar home, you can pretty much expect your solar panels to pay for themselves over the life of the system, either through reduced energy costs or increased property value, making solar a worthwhile investment.
What makes solar an attractive investment to you? Leave a comment below!
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