Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Large Scale Study Finds Solar Systems Increase Home Values

Over the past few decades, many individuals and organizations have sparked considerable debate about whether solar systems on residential housing add any significant value to a home. Studies conducted years ago came to the conclusion a solar system adds roughly 20 times the annual energy bill savings to the value of the home. Of course, this research was likely conducted in a booming housing market and many people wondered if this would hold true during times of economic strife. As many researchers have concluded, determining the exact value a solar system adds to a house is a difficult endeavor.

More recently, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory evaluated home sales and solar a bit more closely. Their results of their study, conducted in California over an eight-and-a-half-year period ending in mid-2009, suggest homes with a solar PV system sold for significantly more than comparable houses without a solar PV system. This study evaluated 72,000 houses, 2,000 of which had a solar PV system installed. Their large data set suggested existing homes with solar, on average, sell for a $5.50 a watt premium over comparable houses without solar. For example, our clients who install a 6 kW system, a 6000 watt system, could potentially increase their home value by $33,000 or $5.50 a watt (6000 watts x $5.50). That's great news for homeowners with solar installed on their rooftop or a groundrack installed in their backyard!

After taking a look at the conclusions of this large scale study, here at Cosmic Solar we think the results are extremely exciting. When you think about it, what these researchers are concluding is that the cost of your solar system essentially raises the value of your home nearly as much as the installation price. Furthermore, after installing your system, you're in for extremely low or non-existent payments to the utility company, thereby smoothing out the icing on the cake even more. Though solar can often times be a significant upfront investment, many people are coming to the realization that solar makes incredible sense and more and more people are speculating that this investment will pay itself off sooner than they imagined. If you're in the market to fix up your house and increase the value, why not install solar and reap the benefits of energy independence, too?

Here at Cosmic Solar, we rather like that idea!


This article cites a published study from April 2011 entitled "An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California." The authors include: Hoen, B., R. Wiser, P. Cappers and M. Thayer. If you're interested in reviewing the aforementioned study, please visit this website: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/re-pubs.html. Additionally, you may contact pey@cosmicsolar.com and he would be very happy to forward you a copy, if that would be easier.


Pey Shadzi
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar
Ph: 760-532-9712

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