If your house has rooftop solar panels installed, it is now officially worth more money, according to research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They estimate that these homes are worth 3-6% depending on location, which ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $22,000.
The Berkeley Lab collected data about the values of homes in certain regions over a period of six years, in California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Maryland and Pennsylvania; the researchers paired similar PV (photovoltaic) homes with non-PV buildings to compare local appraisals. Finding pairs of homes was reportedly difficult for the research team since the process is time-consuming and each market is different. In the end, the team had 43 homes to analyze.
That also means that a homeowner’s actual experience will vary depending on where they live. In some places, homes with PV sold faster while, in others, it took much longer.
Greentech Media reports that this study will help appraisers in the future. Since finding these comparable houses is so time-consuming, the researchers accounted for both the money that can be made from these systems as well as the cost (except in Oregon).
The work of groups like Sandia National Laboratories, who developed the PV value tool, will be crucial to bringing stability to the rooftop solar panel market. More data will make investors and potential buyers more confident.
In addition, very few appraisers have had any education about how to appraise a home that uses solar panels.
Educating both the public and the professionals is the only way to secure the long-term future of rooftop solar.