Solar panels: Yes or no?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably looked into installing solar panels on your roof once or twice before. There’s a 30% Federal Tax Credit on the table to incentivize us to seriously consider solar and I’m here to say that I’m intrigued!


By How Much Does Solar Increase Your Property’s Value?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory offers a useful guide when determining how much your property’s value will go up. According to its research, each additional $1 in energy bill savings (from your solar installation) adds $20 to your home’s total value.

It’s important to note that these statistics only apply to today’s housing prices and utility rates. As electricity prices go up (as they most certainly will), the advantages of solar energy rise proportionally as well.  In fact, an article on states SDG&E rates have increased 500% over the pas 15 years!

In addition, installing solar panels not only helps you fetch a higher asking price, but it can also help your home sell 20% faster vs properties without solar installations. For homeowners who want to reduce exposure, paperwork, and wait times, this can be a huge advantage – especially in today’s sluggish housing market.

To substantiate the claim that solar panels improve property values, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory produced an interesting report that provides hard numbers from calculations that were made after examining real estate transactions across the country in eight states from 2002–2013.

On the other hand, can we count on realtors to educate prospective buyers on why paying a premium for a solar-powered house is justified?  I suppose that remains to be seen.  Truth be told, there are very few home improvements that will affect a homeowner’s bottom line like having it equipped with solar power. I haven’t seen a dramatic improvement in cost for these systems, nor have I seen any significant improvements in the technology of late, but I expect (and hope) solar to stay around for the long haul, which to me makes it one home improvement you may want to consider.