Recently on the Solar Blog we talked about three different ways a solar thermal heating system can both save and earn you money. Today we are going to focus on just one of these areas in more detail by examining just how solar adds tens of thousands of dollars to a home’s value. In our experience here at SunPump, many people have come to expect savings on bills and reduced emissions (and emissions taxes!) when changing to solar thermal heating. However, very few people are aware of just how much value a solar heating system adds to a home. Part of the problem is that people simply aren’t informed – there just aren’t that many studies out there that focus on property value and solar power. There really are only a bare handful of studies done in recent years on this topic, and so it shouldn’t really be surprising that most people don’t know about them.
The study we will focus on comes from the Berkeley Labs in the United States. The thinking behind the study was simple; they scoured six states across the U.S. and paired together homes that were very similar – identical, for all intents and purposes – in terms of size, surrounding location, price, etc. The only tangible difference between each pair was that one home used solar and the other did not. Of course, no two houses are utterly identical, but with careful selection they were able to find 43 pairs of homes (one with solar and one without) that were as similar as possible. At this point it was a simple matter of comparing the valuation of one home against the other to see the effect an installed solar energy system had.
Solar Adds Thousands Of Dollars
The key finding of the study was that solar systems adds between $2.68 per Watt and $4.31 of value per Watt in every home. This put the average value added to homes using solar power at $14,329 USD, 3.74% of the average sale price of the home.
This is big news for homeowners thinking about moving to solar power (either solar thermal or solar
PV), because one of the main barriers for people switching to solar is the upfront cost. In reality, people need to start looking at this initial cost as an investment. Now, the savings on monthly bills made by adding solar to your home will more than pay back the initial cost of virtually every system over time, but if you also factor in the value the system adds to your house, the move to solar makes even more sense.
So the next time someone tells you that solar is too expensive, tell them that not only does solar pay for itself several times over with savings on monthly bills, but actually solar adds tens of thousands of dollars to your home’s value in the process. Solar thermal and solar PV make financial sense and have become affordable.