Study Finds Solar Power Systems Add 3% To A Home’s Value

A recently released research paper concurs with another U.S. study that found a rooftop solar power system boosts the value of a home.

In April, we reported on a study from Berkeley National Laboratory’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division indicating homes with rooftop solar panels achieved better sale prices than non-solar houses.

Another study carried out by researchers from the University of California compiled in late 2010 based on a study a large sample of homes in the San Diego area was released in early July this year. The study found solar homes sold for roughly 3% more on average than houses without rooftop panels. The premium was higher in environmentally focused communities, areas with a higher percentage of Prius drivers and also regions with a higher number of college graduates.

According to the authors, “.. similar to other home investments such as a new kitchen, solar installation bundles both investment value and consumption value.”

The authors’ research also suggests that while remodelling a kitchen or replacing a roof has a small impact on a home’s sale price, high value renovations with costs similar to solar panels are estimated to have a similar value on prices.

Aside from solar power systems being seen as a way to buffer against increasing electricity prices, the authors note, “some households may take pride in
knowing that they are producers of ‘green'” electricity.” The solar panels provide “existence value”, with households recognising they are playing a part in the battle against climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, a home solar power system may contribute to status within a community. “Such households may be recognized by neighbors for their civic virtue,” say the paper’s authors.

The study, entitled “Understanding the Solar Home Price Premium: Electricity Generation and Green Social Status”, can be viewed in full here. (PDF)