As a homeowner, you already know that installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your property offers several powerful benefits, including:
However, there are 2 additional reasons to love solar power.
Installing solar panels can:
Let’s explore why.
More than a decade ago, the US Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a comprehensive report detailing the impact that solar power had on residential property values.
One of the key takeaways was that, on average, your “home value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills” that your solar panels deliver.
Then in 2015, the Department of Energy and Berkeley Laboratory analyzed 22,000 home sales to determine if solar-enabled homes performed better in the real estate market.
The study concluded that homes with solar panels enjoyed an average price increase of $4/watt over homes without solar panels.
For a standard residential solar installation, this equates to a roughly $15,000 bump in price. And what’s remarkable is that these numbers held constant across economic booms, recessions and recoveries.
In a separate study, NREL found that solar properties earned about 17% more at closing. Equally important, they sold 20% faster than non-solar homes did.
In other words:
Understanding why solar-enabled homes sell for more (and faster) is fairly simple.
Now that you understand the value of having solar when selling your home, you may be wondering about leasing versus buying solar.
If you own your system, the PV panels and energy generated all belong to you. When you sell your home, the panels come with it. Much like the newly renovated kitchen example, we used above. This is very desirable to a buyer as their future home will be saving them money, no strings attached.
If you lease your system, you are not the owner. The next buyer must be willing and able to take over the remaining portion of your leasing agreement. For some, this could potentially steer buyers away, and ultimately drive down the value of your home.
In general, solar leasing created headaches for those selling their homes.
But according to Berkeley Laboratory, this is no longer true.
Researchers examined hundreds of solar-enabled homes in which the installed panels were owned by third-party lessors. Berkeley Lab’s conclusion was that leased panels didn’t impact property values negatively or positively. Buyers weren’t willing to pay a premium, but they also didn’t shy away from moving forward.
Part of this change stems from the growing maturity of the solar industry:
But arguably most important – homeowners across the country increasingly crave the financial and environmental savings that going solar offers. If your home delivers guaranteed utility bill and carbon footprint reductions, taking over the remaining portion of your leasing contract is a no-brainer for most homeowners. That next buyer may even add to your current system so that he or she can enjoy even larger savings down the road.
Not every homeowner is interested in fetching a higher price when they sell their properties. They prefer to transfer their solar panels so that the savings continue at their next home.
The question is – does this strategy makes sense?
Usually not. And here’s why.
If you currently lease your solar panels, the issue is moot. Most leasing contracts stipulate that the installation must stay with the original home – no matter what. And if you decide to move, you’ll need to commission a new PV system at your next home.
If you bought your original system, however, you have the option of taking your panels with you. They’re yours after all.
But here are 2 important things to keep in mind:
Migrating your solar panels is an option. But you’re much better off selling your home as a solar-enabled property. It will fetch a higher price and spend less time on the market. You can then use that extra money to commission a new solar PV installation that is properly configured for your next home.
This approach is significantly cheaper than trying to transfer your solar panels over. It also maximizes your savings since the new PV system is properly optimized to harness the cleanest energy (at your next home).
Here are 3 additional benefits of commissioning a new PV system when you move:
Most homeowners don’t go solar for property value increases. They’re more focused on the immediate and long-term savings that solar power provides.
However, it’s comforting to know that installing solar will either:
Whether you’re buying a new home, selling an old one, or have no plans of ever moving in the future – going solar is a wise decision.
To learn how we can help you maximize the benefits of your clean power investment, schedule a free consultation with us today.
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