Solar panels are a great idea if you want to reduce or even eliminate monthly electric bills. Adding solar to your roof is also an excellent investment in a brighter environmental future. Though what about resale value? How does going solar stack up in comparison to other types of home improvement projects when it comes to affecting your home’s value?
Good news for solar homeowners
As it turns out, research suggests that homeowners can breathe easy when it comes to solar panels and home value. A comprehensive study released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory reveals that homebuyers are indeed willing to pay more for homes equipped with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The study analyzed over 22,000 home sales in eight states between 2002 and 2013. The solar homes were compared with similar, non-solar homes in the same areas and over the same time frame. The study excluded very high-priced homes. Researchers found that home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets. The average premium worked out to about $4 per watt or approximately $15,000 for an average-sized 3.6 kilowatt PV system.
New construction vs. existing homes
At this point, you might be wondering whether some of those solar sales included new construction, and if so, whether those sales could skew the data for homeowners looking to put solar on an existing home.
It’s a valid question, and one the researchers thought to address. In comparing new versus existing solar homes, the study found no statistically significant overall difference in home valuation. If anything, value increase was slightly stronger for those adding panels to existing homes.
Will a solar lease increase your home value, too?
The Berkley study focused exclusively on homes with host-owned solar panels. Leased panels were not included. Do potential buyers view solar leases in the same positive light as they do panels that are owned exclusively?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that they do not. Solar leases introduce an additional layer of complexity to a real estate transaction, because the panels are actually owned by a third party. First, the buyer has to agree to take over the contract, which is typically a decades-long commitment. Also, the solar leasing company has to approve the new buyer. Some sellers have reported that their leased panels interfered with selling their home.
This is quite different from the experience of homeowners who purchased their panels outright. In fact, studies of these homes have found that solar homes sell faster than comparable non-solar homes.
If you think you might move after installing your solar panels, evidence suggests that buying your PV system outright is a safer way to go to preserve your home value. This is especially true when investing in a quality system with American made solar panels and other high-quality components.
Need help determining solar panel costs?
Fortunately, financing solar panels for your home is easier now than ever before. In addition to incentives such as Solar Energy Renewable Tax Credits (SRECs) and renewable energy rebates, many banks and other lenders are now familiar enough with the technology that solar loans are no harder to secure than any other home improvement loan.
Adding solar panels to your roof truly is an investment that pays back in multiple ways. For personalized assistance and a free solar estimate, call [company_phone] or contact us online