Homeowners make enhancements and improvements to their houses for a number of reasons: to make them look better, to provide convenience, to save money, and to add value to their properties to ensure that they’ll be able to sell their homes at price points that are respectably more than what they initially invested. Beyond building decks, adding sunrooms and remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, there’s another option for increasing a home’s value: installation of a solar energy system.
In addition to providing ongoing energy expense savings, solar panels can add equity to a home. And unlike granite countertops, designer flooring and custom cabinets, they don’t go out of style to become a negative rather than a positive when you’re looking to sell a property.
Certainly there are some costs associated with installing solar renewable energy systems, but homeowners start to save on energy costs from day one and could realistically save $100K or more over the life of the system. Adding to the value proposition is that as soon as you purchase a solar electric system, it’s likely that your home equity will increase. Assuming we can apply the results nationally, evidence from a Berkeley Lab study done in California supports that homes with solar energy systems sell for a premium over comparable homes without solar panels. And industry professionals calculate that a home that shows $1,000 in annual savings on electric costs might sell by as much as $20,000 more (based on a 20-year mortgage by a new buyer) than it would if it doesn’t have a renewable energy system in place.
According to solar energy industry data provided by the SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), the residential photovoltaic (solar electric) market has shown steady, incremental growth. Residential installations were up by 42 percent in the second quarter of 2012 over the second quarter of 2011. So it’s becoming more apparent that homeowners are beginning to recognize the investment value of adding solar energy systems.
As you explore the many options available for increasing your home equity, you might want to seriously consider the return on investment that a renewable energy system could bring. Weighing the initial expenditure against the ongoing savings on electric energy costs and the boost in home value, installing a solar electric system could be one of the best – and most financially beneficial – home improvement choices you could make.