Switching to solar power can pay you back in more ways than a lower electric bill.
Houses with solar panels have been proven to have a higher resale value. Even if you sell your home before you’ve had the opportunity to use solar power over a long period, the panels are still a great investment.
After 8 years of research on U.S. home values, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs concluded that houses with solar power sell for more.
For a house with about 3kW of solar power– the average amount in the study– the sale price was about $17,000 more than a non-solar home.
The researchers pointed out that the average boost in resale price was more than the average amount homeowners spent to get their solar systems.
During the study period (2001-2009) solar purchasers spent $5/watt on average, which allowed them to not only recoup their original investment, but to also make money on top of it. The cost of installing solar power is even lower now – closer to $4/watt. With the declining cost of solar panels, homeowners are now getting an even better return on their investment.
Why do buyers pay more for homes with solar power?
While there are many benefits to going solar, and many are motivated at least in part by environmental reasons, you can’t argue with the math: the new owners will be saving so much on their power bills that the premium makes sense.
Another way to estimate your house’s resale premium is to calculate how much you have reduced your annual electric bill, and then multiply that by 20. So, if you’ve reduced your annual electric bill by $1,000, you can expect that your house will be able to sell for about $20,000 more than it would have without solar panels.
Why 20? Your home solar panels are expected to last at least 25 years at 90% of their original efficiency. 20 years makes for a nice conservative estimate of future savings and valu
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