Rooftop, Solar

Listen Up: 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 percent return). It’s not landscaping with a designer (break even). It’s not remodeling your kitchen (2 percent loss). It’s rooftop solar (43 percent 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 percent 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 on Renewable Energy World for more about LBL’s groundbreaking solar real estate study.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock