Report – Solar panels can boost home values

Invest the money to install solar panels on your home now, and when it comes time to sell the house you’ll probably recoup the investment and may even make a profit.

New research by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory finds strong evidence that homes with solar
photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar
The study released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered that solar boosts the resale value of homes, both new and old.

solar home
The study analyzed the sales of roughly 2,000 solar homes in California from 2000 through 2009 and compared the prices to 70,000 similar houses without solar. A solar system added around $5.50 per watt to a home’s resale value. The typical home has a 3.1- kilowatt solar system, which represents an extra $17,000 above the cost of a similar home without solar.

The study found that an average home solar system costs about $5 per watt.

For the most part, the research showed that people got the same value out of the home sale as they put in. Not to mention, those with solar power saved dramatically on their electricity bills.

Many homeowners not only broke even, they earned a profit. Solar panels installed on existing homes boosted the resale price by more than $6 per watt. On the other hand, on new homes built with solar included, solar systems only added $2.30 to $2.60 per watt to the sale price.

The researchers involved in the study didn’t find a reason for the difference, but conclude it could be a matter of motivation. Homeowners who spend the money to install solar into their homes are aware of the cost and don’t want to lose their investment. They want to ensure they make their money back.

Developers often consider solar systems as an added bonus and the goal is not necessarily to recoup the investment. Most developers just want to sell the home and move on to the next.

Installing solar panels in your home is a wise investment. Not only will you lower your electric bills, but it’s likely the system will ultimately pay for itself. In the long run, you may be able to make money off of your investment and you are doing your part to help the environment.

To read the full report, go to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory web site, or download the solar home report.


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