Solar panels increase the value of the housing market

By now, most people know that a residential solar system can help the environment and save you money on your electricity bills. But, even further, Slingshot Power* notes that studies show a rooftop solar system can significantly increase the value of your home. It may even help you sell your home faster. Here’s how.

A recent study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of 23,000 home sales in 8 states between 2002 and 2013 found that buyers were willing to pay significantly more for homes with solar panels. In fact, for an average size 3.6 kilowatt system, they were willing to pay up to $15,000 more than they would for “the same house without solar energy.”

The larger the solar system, the larger the premium buyers were willing to pay. On average, a rooftop solar system adds $4.00 per kilowatt to a home’s value.

Here’s more good news, though: The Lawrence Berkeley study also found that homes equipped with solar panels tend to sell 20% faster than similar homes without them.

A home solar system has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. During that time, the price of electricity is sure to go up substantially, so money invested now in a solar system will save you money in the future. The payback on an average system is 6 to 10 years, which means you will be getting your electricity virtually for free for 20 years or more. Right now, the cost of a solar system is lower than it was even one or two years ago. Prices may never be lower.

The housing market is driven by the same factors as every marketplace — supply and demand. More and more prospective home buyers want a residential solar system as part of their next home. If your house has one and the other houses in your area do not, buyers will look first at your house and be willing to pay more to purchase it.

The solar market is still young and many real estate appraisers are not informed about the value of a rooftop solar system, and what it adds to a house. But Gerard O’Connor, an appraiser on Long Island says Fannie May has just amended its rules to allow appraisers to include the value of a home solar system when doing a home appraisal. That one change could help boost the number of home solar systems on American homes substantially.

Source: Green Building Elements

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