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Does Solar Increase the Value of my House?

I bet you don’t know that there is a home improvement investment that you can make that will increase the value of your house more than the investment cost. It’s not remodeling your bathroom (2% return). It’s not landscaping with a designer (break even). It’s not remodeling your kitchen (2% loss). The best home improvement investment is rooftop solar (43% return). Surprise!

A recent study by Lawrence Berkeley Labs clearly shows that your home’s value will increase much more than a rooftop system costs. “Selling into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes” found that a home’s value will increase based on the size of the rooftop solar system at the rate of $4/watt. So for a typical 5,000 watt system that costs $14,000 after the 30% Investment Tax Credit, a home’s value would go up by $20,000. This is a big deal for anyone considering solar as an investment.

But there is one catch: that $4/watt increase in value only applies if the system is owned by the homeowner (unsecured and secured loans, as well as PACE loans, also apply). However, if there is a third party who owns the system (the case with leases and PPAs), the $4/watt valuation metric does not apply. Whether new home buyers want solar because of its “green cachet,” monthly energy savings, environmental benefits, or just poking their local utility in the eye — it is now clear that rooftop solar is a good home investment. So please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show for more about LBL’s groundbreaking solar real estate study.


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