We have been talking about how much solar panels increase the value of your home for years. We use a simple calculation to determine the increase in value: We add the energy savings you’ll see per year for 20 years. Well, it looks like we’re not just blowing solar smoke; study after study after study comparing sales of solar and non-solar houses show clearly that homes—even near-identical homes in the same community—sell for more with solar. But we know you don’t want to read a 200-page PDF to find out, so we’ve collected some of the most important information below.
But wait, I can almost hear all you smart people saying “that was before the housing bubble burst! Those numbers can’t be right anymore!” Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re nearly as good today. Researchers responsible for the most recent study out of California concluded that “each 1-kW increase in size equates to a $5,911 higher Premium,” meaning that homes with a 5-kW installation (the size on which we always base our estimates) sell for a price almost $30,000 higher than a similar home without solar.
And that value is shown to remain even years into the solar panels’ usable life span. A Colorado study from 2013 that compared numerous sales of solar and non-solar homes from around the state showed price premiums of between $1,100 and $3,920 per kW for systems that were between 3 and 5 years old. We’re still talking between $6,000 and $20,000 more for solar homes, even in snowy Colorado.
The bottom line with home value increase is that, should you decide to sell, you can be sure to recoup your investment in solar, even if your system hasn’t paid for itself yet. Just another way that solar is a safe bet. And the best solar states recognize that value and provide property tax exemptions for the added value as an incentive to homeowners who install panels.