One of the strongest selling points of residential solar energy has always been that it’s an investment that eventually pays for itself. Upfront costs are paid back in the reduction—or complete elimination—of electric bills, and most solar customers should expect to see a significant return on their initial investment over the lifetime of the system.
But some homeowners might balk at the notion of a long-term investment in solar energy for the simple reason that they can’t see into the future. Understandably, their reservations have everything to do with the fear that they might not live in that particular house long enough to reap the benefits of their up-front investment in solar.
Well, keep reading and we will assuage those fears!
Outfitting your home with a grid-tied solar energy system drives up property values and offers an enticing selling point for real estate agents to market a listing—and we’ve got the research to back that up. Even if you don’t live in your home long enough to break even on energy costs, the premium that home buyers are willing to pay to move into your solar-ready home will be more than enough to cover the investment.
Solar Panels Increase Home Value
In no uncertain terms, buying a solar energy system and installing panels on your roof will increase your home’s value. A recent study found that, in the real estate market, solar panels are viewed as upgrades, much like a renovated kitchen or finished bathroom. As such, the research reveals that the installation of solar panels increases home value by approximately $15,000 on average. What’s more, homes equipped with solar energy systems sell for 3.74 percent more than comparable homes without solar energy systems.
"Outfitting your home with a grid-tied solar energy system drives up property values and offers an enticing selling point for real estate agents to market a listing"
The research involved a team of appraisers from across the country who determined the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems added to single-family homes using the industry-standard paired-sales valuation technique, which compares recent sales of comparable homes to estimate the premium buyers would pay for PV.
The study evaluated the sale price of 22,822 homes across six states to determine what effect solar power systems have on home resale value. The study compares the sale price of 3,951 PV homes (homes equipped with photovoltaic systems) to 18,871 non-PV homes.
What Does It Mean For You?
The average cost of a solar energy system is close to $12,000 (after federal tax incentives), which means that homeowners can reasonably expect to recoup the cost of hardware when the time comes to sell their home. Keep in mind, that’s on top of the cash savings enjoyed through reduced energy bills and tax incentives that both already pay for the system two-to-three times over during the lifetime of the system.
And while there’s no property tax exemption in Delaware, solar customers in the First State pay less for solar PV systems than homeowners in other states because there is no sales tax here. The elimination of sales tax means more savings for homeowners who switch to solar power.
A second analysis comes from Zillow, which delivers another round of positive news for homeowners with solar panels. The online real estate marketplace company found that solar panels raise a home’s value by 4.1 percent across the country. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.
Homeowners in the U.S. are investing in solar power more than ever, with 5 gigawatts of solar PV capacity installed as of early 2021—that’s enough to power 18.6 million American homes. What’s more, solar has accounted for 58 percent of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the country this year. We’ve come to learn that the reason for the increase in solar interest is about more than saving or eliminating electric bills—it’s about the realization among homeowners that the value of their house gets a true jolt of power from solar energy.