The study, Appraising into the Sun: Six-State Solar Home Paired-Sales Analysis, found that having a house with solar power, e.g. having a photovoltaic (PV) system, added increased the value of that home in six different markets. Photovoltaic refers to the method of generating electricity using solar cells that convert energy from the sun.
Previous research had indicated that potential purchasers would pay $15,000 per year more for a home that had solar power; those findings were confirmed.
The study, funded in part by the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, will benefit appraisers, realtors and mortgage lenders. All parties are increasingly encountering PV homes in their lines of work, and by having this research, they will be more educated on what can add to or detract from value of a home.
There is a convention that solar power is unaffordable, or a waste of money. However, a solar powered home may not incur any additional cost once tax credits and rebates are accounted for. Alternatively, having a home with a PV system could add to the selling price of the home, and the costs can be recouped upon sale.
If a home owner saved $125 per month on electric, the annual savings would be $1,500. Over the course of a decade, that becomes $15,000; are there any other investments that would yield that type of money in that timeframe? Putting that money back into the home, to cover maintenance or renovations, would also be beneficial.
There is a drawback, however, to selling a solar powered home. Many are not appraised at their full value, as it is not always be easy to find a comparable residence to use as a benchmark. If the benefits outweigh the costs, though, it may still be worth pursuing a PV home.