There are many benefits that come with going solar, from cutting energy bills to joining the movement toward a more sustainable society. There is another key benefit that is often overlooked—and probably for good reason. If you’re looking to go solar, you probably aren’t planning on selling your home any time soon. But the truth of the matter is that installing a PV system will increase the value of your home.
The U.S. Department of Energy funded a study called “Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes” to evaluate just how much value solar will add to a home, and the results, released in January 2015, were bright.
The study evaluated the sales of 22,822 homes, both new and old, between 2002-2013. Of those homes, 3,951 had PV systems. Furthermore, the homes were located across eight states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania).
A detailed fact sheet that summarizes the findings of the study can be found here, but these are a few of the main points:
- Home buyers are consistently willing to pay more for a property with PV across a variety of states, housing and PV markets, and home types.
- Home buyers are willing to pay an average of $4 per Watt, or $15,000 for an average-sized 3.6-kW PV system.
- The difference between the increase in value among new and old homes is insignificant.
While this study was larger in scope than other similar studies in the past, the researchers say that there is still more work to be done. Future studies could look at how leased solar PV systems affect the value of homes, as all of the systems in this study were owned. Furthermore, a wider variety of states could be evaluated.
But overall, the study shows that solar is a good investment for both the present and the future—regardless of whether you plan to live in your home for the rest of your life.