Installing a home solar system may provide long-term benefits to your household’s bottom line in reduced energy costs — but there’s another key financial perk to consider. A report produced last year by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, analyzed just how much you can increase your home’s value with solar panels.
The report looked at data from eight different states, comparing the values of more than 22,000 homes with and without solar systems, and the results are sure to pique the interest of any homeowner looking to make improvements before putting their house on the market. According to the report, a home’s value will increase about $15,000 if it includes an average-sized PV system (about 3.6 kW). When analyzing the data in terms of units of energy produced, the researchers found that property value goes up about $4 per watt of energy generated by the solar system installed on a given home.
Also of note: The researchers found only a small and insignificant difference in the value added for new homes with solar systems compared with existing homes that were retrofitted with a PV system. This means you can use solar to increase your home’s value even if it’s an older home.
Vikram Aggarwal, the founder of EnergySage, an online solar marketplace that helps homeowners compare solar installation prices, says the value jump you’ll get from installing a home solar system depends somewhat on where you live. “Because solar reduces or eliminates your electric bill, your 20-year savings from installing a solar energy system will be greater in areas where electricity is more expensive. That means high electricity prices can result in greater solar home values because potential homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home with greater solar savings,” he says.