Buyers Will Pay a Premium for Solar Homes, Appraisers Find

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by Steven Bushong. Originally published at solarpowerworldonline.com

Photovoltaics added value to homes in six markets, according to a new report titled “Appraising into the Sun: Six-State Solar Home Paired-Sales Analysis,” led by a researcher from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and a home appraisal expert. Researchers engaged a team of seven appraisers from across the six states to determine the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems added to single-family homes using the industry-standard paired-sales valuation technique, which compares recent sales of comparable homes to estimate the premium buyers would pay for PV.

The appraised premiums also confirmed statistical modeling results from a large Berkeley Lab study conducted in 2013, which found that buyers were willing to pay $15,000 more for a home with the average-size solar photovoltaic system (3.6 kilowatts), or about four additional dollars per watt of solar power, though premiums for any individual home are market dependent and are likely smaller given currently falling installed solar prices.

“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 study co-author Ben Hoen, a researcher in the Energy Technologies Area of Berkeley Lab. The soaring growth in U.S. home PV systems—which totaled more than half a million homes in 2014—highlights the need for additional valuation options.

Read the rest of the article at Solar Power World

Top Photo Credit: Gray Watson/Solar Panels on House Roof