A Solar Solution: Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Solar panels on roof

Have you ever thought about installing solar panels in your home?

You may be surprised to learn that their benefits extend far beyond your carbon footprint.

Solar panels have been proven to save families significant amounts of money in energy costs in the long-run. But do solar panels increase home value? Let’s take a look.

Solar panels under a clear sky

The Benefits of Solar Panels

Solar panels work by absorbing clean, pure energy from the sun. This reduces the amount of carbon emitted into the air. Carbon emissions, which result in increased carbon dioxide, are linked to breathing problems, neurological problems, heart attacks, and even cancer.

Besides breathing cleaner, solar energy panels can save the average family a significant amount of money in electrical bills. Most solar panel systems will take care of half of your home’s energy needs.

Besides reducing air pollution and your carbon footprint, solar panels can save you a tremendous amount of money in electrical bills. In fact, if your family’s monthly electric fees are $100 a month, you will save $1,800 a year for the next 20 years. This amounts to a total savings of $35,900!

There are also tax incentives that make solar panels more enticing. Currently, the federal government offers a 30% tax rebate for the cost of solar panel installation.

Some states, such as Maryland, offer a $1,000 grant for solar installation. Utility companies in various states also offer cash rebates.

Some also argue that solar energy is best for emergencies. A backup generator that runs on solar power is quiet, portable, and efficient.

Bright sun over large city

Buyers Love Solar

The Appraisal Institute found that, for every $1 in electricity bill savings because of solar energy, home resale values went up $20. The US Department of Energy found that buyers were willing to pay up to $15,000 more for a house that has solar energy.

A nationwide study by US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that resale value increased $4 for every solar watt installed. So a standard 5kW system could increase your home’s value by as much as $20,000.

Yet how much does it pay to install solar energy, vs. other valuable upgrades?

Using this wallet to buy vs lease

Buying Vs. Leasing

Rather than paying thousands of dollars in installation fees, some homeowners choose to lease solar panel equipment. It seems like the perfect solution, as they can save money in energy costs without forking over a hefty downpayment. Homeowners need only to sign an agreement stating that they intend to use the equipment for at least 15 years.

When it comes to resale, however, leasing may not be your best option. Some buyers may be hesitant to take on the responsibility of a 15-year lease along with the other hassles of investing in a new home. They may also be concerned about credit requirements.

Appraisers will not add value to your home if your solar panel system is leased. Many home-buying contracts have fallen through on account of leased solar panel transfers.

In order to avoid transferring a solar panel lease to a new buyer, you may end up picking up the full bill for the 15 years of solar panel usage you originally agreed to. This could be $15,000 or more. It pays to purchase your system outright before you begin saving energy costs because of solar power installation.

Standing underneath solar panels

Buy It Right

The old saying of “you get what you pay for” holds true with solar power. More expensive systems can give you more power in the same amount of space as less costly models. They also offer better warranties.

A typical manufacturer’s warranty covers the panels for 20-25 years, and an inverter for 5-10 years. They should also cover warranty installation for 2-5 years.

It is important to remember that your model will not be the most efficient one on the market if you plan to sell in 10-15 years. You should also consider the socio-economic status of the area in which you live. If homes in your neighborhood are generally built to be simple and budget-friendly, folks may not wish to pay more for a home with solar energy.

Before installing, you should get bids from multiple companies and compare what they are charging and what they have to offer. The weather in your area will help you determine whether or not solar panels are right for your home. If, for example, your area does not get a lot of sunlight, it may not be worth it to purchase panels that rely on the sun for energy.

You should also think about your roof’s angle and orientation toward the sun to determine how efficiently your home will use solar energy. If you have kids and your house buzzes on electricity every day, the money you save in electrical bills may make your investment worth it.

Think about the starting value of your home before your purchase. Solar panels in the front of your home can be an eyesore, and reduce your house’s curb appeal. Installing them in the back could make a big difference in whether or not solar panels add value to your home.

Modern solar models, however, are becoming increasingly thinner, sleeker, and more efficient. You may also want to consider installing a new roof before putting in solar panels. You don’t want to have to rip them out right after you put them in!

Man walking beside houses without solar panels

Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Do solar panels increase home value? If you buy them and install them in a smart, efficient way, they definitely can. They can also give you a chance to save money in energy costs and help reduce air pollution in your area.

Check out this article for more ways to improve your home’s value.

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