By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Home owners may write off solar panels as too costly (installation can cost upwards of $15,000), but a new study suggests that installing solar panels can pay off.
Researchers find that solar panels not only save money on electricity bills, but also provide a boost to home owners at resale, particularly when added to existing-homes, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Home owners not only are likely to recoup their investment from the installation but even stand to make more at resale, the study finds.
Researchers analyzed the sales of about 2,000 solar homes in California from 2000 through mid-2009 and compared the prices to those of 70,000 comparable homes that did not have solar panels.
On average, solar panels added about $5.50 per watt to a home's resale value. In other words, a home with a typical 3.1-kilowatt solar system stands to make an extra $17,000 above the cost of a comparable, nonsolar home.
So today’s Earth Day, should we go celebrate by adding some solar panels?