A new study confirms what we at Renova have known for a long time: installing solar panels on the roof of your home increases its value.
The November 2015 study, called "Appraising into the Sun,” was co-authored by a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy. (That’s important. Government studies have more clout and credibility than private studies because they are generally non-biased.) Based on 4,000 home-sale transactions conducted between 2010 and 2014, the study found that solar panels add significant value to homes.
Appraisers in six states compared the sale prices of 43 pairs of home sales in their local markets. They compared properties with photovoltaic solar panels to similar homes without PV.
The homes were in the $400,000 range. Overall, the solar-equipped homes were valued at $10,000 to $20,000 more than those that didn’t have solar.
- The average premium was 3.81% of the sale price of the home.
- The highest premiums were experienced in Oregon, where solar panels typically bumped up home values by 5.41%.
A New Tool for Mortgage Lenders
While there’s nothing new about these figures (earlier studies have come up with similar results) what’s revolutionary here is the practical value of the study. It can be used to assign specific value to PV improvements by realtors, mortgage lenders and home buyers and sellers.
Earlier studies were too abstract to apply to the real-life buying and selling of homes, but this one can be used wherever the rubber hits the road. “If we need to figure out how much a particular feature is worth, such as PV,” says one of the researchers, “the seller of the home now has an accurate tool at his commend.”
Savings and Profits, Too
At Renova, our biggest selling point for solar up until now has been its significant monthly savings. Now we can tout the beauty of renewable energy from another monetary angle. Not only will customers save money on utility bills while they own their homes, they stand to get their investment back when they sell.
The new study is part of a trend toward adding credibility to existing types of renewable energy, something that seems to be happening everywhere these days.
During his final State of the Union Address President Obama urged Americans to replace dirty energy with renewable energy. While accepting the 2015 Golden Globe Award, Leonardo diCaprio promoted renewable energy indirectly by bringing up climate change.
The shift away from fossil fuels is in the air. It seems as though we’ve reached a tipping point. As the media carry more and more messages like these to the public, solar is stepping out of the margins into the limelight.