ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rooftop solar can add to home values
Rooftop solar owned by the user can add to home values, LBNL research shows; A new study uses side-by-side home comparisons to put a more accurate number on the value of solar systems
Herman K. Trabish, December 17, 2015 (Utility Dive)
Rooftop solar panels owned by their users can significantly increase the value of homes, recent research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) suggests. LBNL's appraisal-based analysis supports conclusions from previous studies with different methodologies that adding a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar array returns real value when the home is sold. Appraising into the Sun: Six-State Solar Home Paired-Sales Analysis provides additional strong evidence that PV adds value to homes in a variety of markets.
Not enough of today’s residential appraisers have the skills to accurately determine a PV home’s premium, LBNL concluded. The researchers compared homes in six states and concluded that a PV system on a home provided a premium of $2.68-$4.31/watt but the national average premium of $3.78/watt is of limited value because the premium is specific to the PV system and property. Market characteristics like retail electricity rates and local incentives are key factors. It is inaccurate to simply describe the premium as a percent of the home value or a profit on the solar installation because the homeowner gets solar-generated electricity in return for the solar investment. But when a house with PV is sold, it goes for a higher price than a comparable house without PV. click here for more