Do Solar Panels Increase Your Home’s Value? Everything You Need to Know
It’s no secret that increasing home value is a priority for homeowners. Solar panels are among the most researched home improvement projects across the country.
Today, solar power makes up just 3% of U.S. energy generation, but the number is growing as solar initiatives become more affordable.
But do solar panels increase home value, and if so, how much value do solar panels add to your home? Let’s explore!
Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
Currently, the demand for solar panels is higher than ever. With more people adding solar panels to their homes, you may wonder, “does solar add value to your home?” and if it’s a worthwhile investment.
Figures vary regarding how much extra value you’ll get from installing solar panels. According to numbers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you save on your electricity bills, your home’s value rises by $20.
On the other hand, Zillow explored, “how much does solar increase home value?” They found that homes with solar panels see 4% higher sales prices. The amount will vary because many factors go into calculating your home’s value.
Regional variations are also a significant factor, with solar panels generating more electricity in sunnier states, and contrary to popular belief, solar panels continue to function even in cloudy weather.
Nevertheless, regardless of where you live, what is clear is that everyone can benefit from a solar increase in home value.
Which Factors Impact Solar Panels and Home Value?
Simple calculations offer a ballpark figure for how much solar panels can increase your home’s value. Today, states like California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon see homeowners gaining the most value from installing solar panels.
Across the country, the cities generating the most power from solar energy include New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Honolulu.
So, what factors can influence your ROI for solar panel installation?
- Location – Some communities are better equipped to generate more power than others. Different communities also have varying electrical costs. Sun exposure, social benefits, and the cost of electricity in your area are three big factors influenced by where you live.
- Installation Costs – Solar installation costs aren’t standardized nationwide. The cost of getting a new system in your area will tell you how long it will take to recoup the costs of investing in solar.
- System Output – Larger systems generate more electricity. Spending more on a more extensive system now will contribute more to your home’s value later.
- System Age – Older solar systems remain an excellent investment, but homeowners must factor in depreciation. If your system has been running for the last 10 years, any buyer needs to consider any repairs they may need to make after moving in.
- Replacement Value – How difficult it is to find replacement parts will influence how valuable a buyer considers your solar panel system. If you installed a system from a brand that no longer exists, you would get a far lower home value with solar panels than a well-known brand with a robust supply chain for replacement parts.
Speaking to an expert about the pros and cons of each type of solar system can direct you toward the best possible decision. Don’t just speak to solar experts. Local realtors will also know the systems with the highest demand in your market.
Types of Solar Panel Systems
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, homebuyers are willing to pay a premium of $15,000 or more for a home with a moderately sized solar array. But the type of system you install will determine precisely how valuable your home becomes.
What are the Types of Solar Panel Available?
First, there are two primary types of solar panels on the market today.
Silicon panels are available in two forms: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Both types of silicon panels perform similarly. Monocrystalline panels are some of the oldest types of commercial solar panels. Today, the most common form of silicon panel is the polycrystalline panel.
According to government statistics, silicon panels offer up to 22% efficiency, making them the most efficient panels available to homeowners.
The other type of panel you can choose from is the thin-film solar panel. Solar tiles and shingles use thin-film solar panels. They’re popular because they’re less expensive to manufacture and install than silicon panels. On the other hand, they’re significantly less efficient, with a 13% efficiency rating, according to Energy Sage.
Grid-Connected vs. Off-Grid-Connected Systems
Homeowners have two choices of solar systems. You can either connect your solar system to the energy grid, where you can sell any excess energy generated back to your local utility company.
Off-grid systems stand-alone and usually consist of a backup generator and batteries for those sunless periods.
The most common type of solar panel system is the grid-connected system. These are the least expensive to install because less equipment and maintenance are required to get them up and keep them running.
Since they’re connected to the public electricity grid, any excess electricity you generate is fed back into the grid. Your local utility company will pay you for any additional electricity generated.
However, during the winter, the grid intervenes to provide a constant energy supply when your system isn’t covering your energy needs. Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean you lose power at home.
The advantage for homeowners is you don’t need to worry about paying for expensive batteries and backup generators. However, you’ll still need to pay a monthly power bill to your utility operator.
Off-grid systems are independent of the public power grid. You generate, use, and store your own power. These systems make sense for homes in remote areas because running a power line through your home would be too expensive.
Off-grid systems require expensive batteries, constant maintenance, and reliance on the weather. Long periods of limited sunshine could force you to switch to a petrol or oil-powered generator, increasing your costs.
While many homebuyers love the independence that comes with an off-grid system, many homeowners would consider this a negative. So, do solar panels add value to your house if they’re not connected to the grid? It depends on who’s buying and where you’re located.
For example, running a power line in a remote area costs between $15,000 and $50,000 per mile, meaning for some rural areas, it’s impractical to opt for anything but an off-grid system.
If you want to guarantee that a solar panel increases your home’s value, grid-connected systems are the safer choice for most homeowners.
How Much Value Does Solar Add to Your Home?
Ultimately, when it comes to solar, it increases your home’s value, but by how much? The answer is quite nuanced. What is certain is that there are significant environmental benefits when it comes to switching to renewable energy. Your home won’t lose any of its value by making this investment.
Off-grid systems are most cost-effective in remote areas, but grid-connected systems are the most in-demand solar systems in major metropolitan areas. You also need to consider which state you live in, how many sunlight hours your neighborhood receives, and how much it will cost to install your system in the first place.
Opt for polycrystalline silicon panels if you want the most efficient type of solar panel available. The initial investment is greater, but you’re likelier to gain more in value when the time comes to sell your home.
Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
No. Generally, the opposite is true. Awareness of the benefits of solar panels in your community will impact the resale value of your home. A high-efficiency system that lowers your household energy bills will always be beneficial.
More and more people are searching for energy-efficient homes, so expect a higher home value with solar panels. Add solar panels to your home, and the value will likely increase, paying off in the long run.
How much does it cost to install a solar system at home?
It depends on the costs of installation in your area. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a two-kilowatt system will cost $8 to $10 per square foot. Before incorporating federal and state rebates and other green energy incentives, these systems cost between $16,000 and $20,000.
Note that a two-kilowatt system should cover the energy usage of an average-sized home. With a larger, grid-connected system, you can generate a small income stream by selling extra energy back to your utility operator.
Can I get more value from bigger solar systems?
Installing a more extensive solar array might offer better value than opting for a smaller system. However, the number of panels is not the defining factor in how efficient a system is or how much electricity it can generate. The power output determines how much value you get from a solar system.
Smaller systems with more efficient solar panels can offer the same impact as a larger system with a lower efficiency rating.
Think about the aesthetics of your solar system. Some homeowners may prefer smaller systems if it has a better overall look. Lay out your priorities before committing to installing a home solar system.
Trust EMT Solar with Your Solar Roofing Needs
Choosing the right system will determine how much your home grows in value. At EMT Solar & Roofing, we’re the experts who can provide tailored recommendations for which solar panels will suit your home best.
Instead of trying to navigate the process yourself, let us guide you through it. Schedule a meeting with the EMT Solar team, and we’ll discuss your needs, budget, roof, and goals.