You’ve probably heard that solar panels increase home value, but you’re wondering if that’s just clever marketing to get you to spend a lot of money on a system. We get it, and that’s why we’ve taken a data-focused approach to understanding how solar panels affect home value.
But, before we dive right into home value, there’s one thing that’s important to consider. Almost no home improvements give you more money (in terms of home value) than you put into the project: the eight top recommendations from home renovation guru Bob Vila all return less than 90%.
What that means for adding solar panels to a home is that you’ll want to look at two things to see how beneficial it is. First, look at how much you’ll save on energy costs each year — on average, that can be $600 to $1,000 per year. Then, add on the potential increase in your home’s value: probably $15,000 (more on that below).
Add these two up based on how long you plan on living in your home, and you’ll see the complete return on the solar investment. It’s likely that you’ll start saving money right away and will see a beneficial boost to your home’s overall value, too.
So, Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
Your specific answer to the value of adding solar panels to a home depends entirely on your home, where you live and what kind of system you choose to install. Each situation is unique, so don’t let someone fool you by saying you’re “guaranteed” to a see a specific increase in value no matter what.
To best address your concerns about when solar panels increase home value, let’s look at a broad set of reports from an independent source: a large study from the U.S. Department of Energy and Berkeley Lab.
That study looked at nearly 25,000 homes, some with solar and some comparable homes without solar panels, and found that home buyers are willing to pay roughly $15,000 more if the home has a 3.6kW solar system installed.
How Much Can You Expect in Our Region?
The great news is that the study found the $15,000 increase in value is applicable to homes in the northeast, but Pennsylvania homes average a home value increase closer to $16,000.
For larger homes, you’ll typically see a larger boost to your property value in terms of dollars, but this will be a lower percentage increase. Like the size of your home, the size of your solar installation will also impact your property value. Typically, the larger the solar system the higher the return you’ll see, but sometimes a system can detract if it’s big enough to harm the aesthetics of your home.
The final consideration for adding solar panels to a home is whether you’ll purchase or lease the system. Owning a system is the quickest way to get the largest increase in your home’s value. Leasing a system increases the value less — on average — because you’re generating lower lifetime savings, and the person interested in buying your home may be concerned about having to take over your lease.
Interested in increasing your home’s value with residential solar panels? Contact us now to learn more!