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Home Sellers Getting Stellar Benefits with Solar Systems

May 21, 2015 12:48 am

For years, I have kept readers up to date on developments in solar technology. But it was always hard to pin down how much more value homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could deliver at the time of resale.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, more than half a million homes added PV systems in 2014 alone, in part due to plummeting costs and accessible financing. Remarkably, the DOE estimates if its SunShot PV price-reduction goal is reached, 108 gigawatts of residential rooftop PV will be installed by 2050 - that's 30 million homes.

Now, a breakthrough report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory assures homeowners that as more PV systems become common selling features, the ability to value these homes appropriately will become increasingly important, facilitating a robust residential PV market.

Appraisers, real estate agents, and other property valuers have made strides toward valuing PV homes, and several limited studies have suggested the presence of PV home premiums. But researchers from LBNL and their partners have produced the most comprehensive PV home premium analysis to date - doubling the number of PV home sales analyzed previously.

The results impart confidence that PV consistently adds value across the study's 8 states, housing, PV markets, and home types. These data span from 2002–2013 and cover California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The study used data on PV homes from LBNL’s "Tracking the Sun" report series with corresponding real estate information and information on similar non-PV homes. All PV systems in this dataset were homeowner owned rather than leased. The sample included only homes valued under $900,000.

The bottom line for homeowners is, home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for a property with PV systems. And, the study finds only a small difference between PV premiums for new and existing homes.

Check out a fact sheet on the study here.

Published with permission from RISMedia.