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February 2014

Report: Solar Panels Increase Home Values

A study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that each kilowatt of solar capacity could add about $6,000 in value to a home — at least in California, Fast Company reported Jan. 3.

A typical residential installation consists of a 5KW array, which could increase a home’s value by $30,000.

The study compared the value of 1,894 California homes with solar panels against 70,425 homes without a solar installation. All the homes were sold between 2000 and 2009, and had systems purchased outright rather than leased (leasing is more common).

The study noted that “solar premiums” fell sharply as arrays got older, dropping about 9 percent per year across the homes studied. However, the solar premiums fell at a rate significantly higher than the rate of panel performance, which the research showed only dropped about 0.5 percent per year, Fast Company reported.

“[The panels] might be perceived as older technology, even if they're still producing electricity at the expected rate,” lead author Ben Hoen explained, Fast Company reported.

Hoen said he plans to do research in other states, and for homes with solar leases.

The findings mirrored those reported Oct. 31 by the Appraisal Institute, which partnered with the Colorado Energy Office and found that solar arrays increased market value and almost always decreased marketing time of single-family homes in the Denver metropolitan area.

See the Appraisal Institute and the Colorado Energy Office's findings.

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