New data on home premiums could change your mind about rooftop solar

A1A Solar provides the information you need to know

How much is your home truly worth? When you make home improvements, will you reap a fair return on your investment? If you install energy-saving rooftop solar panels, the answer is yes; they do increase your home’s value. And now, there is proof.

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and other institutions have completed the most comprehensive study ever on home premiums and the true value of rooftop solar panels. The study spans more than 10 years and eight states and determined that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems progressively add value. This data is very valuable for real estate agents, appraisers and homeowners.

How researchers collected data

Limited studies in the past have suggested an increase in PV home premiums, but the information hasn’t really trickled down to make an impact on the housing market. The ability to value these homes appropriately will have a significant impact in the PV housing market nationwide.

Using data from LBNL’s Tracking the Sun report as well as real estate information and comparisons with non-rooftop solar homes, the researchers conducted the study to help fill in the gaps of understanding what all the information means for housing markets and homeowners. They studied homes in Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania.

In the study, homeowners owned rather than leased their rooftop solar systems. The homes were less than $900,000 and researchers used methods to account for neighborhoods, models and market characteristics. You can learn more at

The findings
  • Homebuyers are consistently willing to pay more for homes with rooftop solar panels.
  • The increase in value extends across various states and home types. This is for both newly built homes and those that were not new when rooftop solar was installed.
  • Photovoltaic systems can save homeowners up to $4 per watt or approximately $15,000 for many homes.
  • Homebuyers get double rewards. In addition to the energy savings achieved by solar panels, they may also receive tax credits.
  • Besides helping you sell your home for more money, rooftop solar panels can also be a factor in selling your home faster.
  • You can experience a possible 200 percent return on investment, which more than makes up for the cost of solar panel installation. By contrast, most kitchen remodels fetch about 60 percent return.
How the study helps homeowners

When buyers and real estate professionals better comprehend the value of rooftop solar systems, home prices will be more rational, based on data instead of conjecture. Additionally, the more people understand the effect on home premiums, the more they will be willing to invest in rooftop solar.

As an added benefit, the popularity of rooftop solar may continue to bring costs of installation down. With attractive, innovative financing options, rooftop solar systems are more affordable than ever before.

There are now more than half a million U.S. homes enjoying the benefits of rooftop solar. If you decide that it’s for you, make sure you hire someone certified and experienced for maximum benefits when buying or selling your home.

Other benefits of rooftop solar installation

Even if you never decide to sell your home, rooftop solar panels have numerous other benefits. For instance, as utility rates rise, your electricity bill savings increase. In fact, you’ll begin to see energy savings immediately, before you pay your next bill.

Also, sunshine is free and abundant. The more homeowners turn to rooftop solar, the less we rely on fossil fuels. This leads to better health, cleaner air and more green jobs.