Buyers Will Pay A Premium For Solar Homes


Photovoltaics have added value to homes in six markets, according to a new report published by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Researchers engaged a team of seven appraisers from across the six states to determine the value that solar PV systems added to single-family homes using the industry-standard, paired-sales valuation technique, which compares recent sales of comparable homes to estimate how much the premium buyers would pay for PV.

According to the report, the appraised premiums also confirmed statistical modeling results from a large Berkeley Lab study conducted in 2013 that found that buyers were willing to pay $15,000 more for a home with an average-size solar photovoltaic system (3.6 kW), though premiums for any individual home are market dependent and are likely smaller, given currently falling installed solar prices.

For each of the 43 pairs of comparable PV and non-PV homes, appraisers found premiums were highly dependent on the underlying system and market characteristics. These characteristics include the size of the system, the available incentives and installed prices at the time of sale, and the underlying retail electricity rates.

The study also found that price-per-watt was the appropriate metric for valuing PV systems and that there was no consistent difference in days on the market between PV and non-PV homes.

"These results will benefit appraisers, real estate agents and mortgage lenders who increasingly encounter PV homes and need to understand the factors that contribute to, and detract from, market value," says Ben Hoen, an energy technologies researcher at Berkeley Lab and co-author of the report.

Download the report, ‘Appraising Into The Sun: Six-State Solar Home Paired-Sales Analysis,’ as well as a fact sheet and summary slide deck, here.

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