How Solar Energy Adds Value to Your Home


Has the promise of reduced energy costs not quite been enough to sway you to solar? Sure, you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, but you may be thinking that a solar system is expensive, and that has you running for the hills. After all, won’t you have to stay in your home for years to make the cost pay off? If you think you may be selling your home in the next few years and are curious about how solar could benefit you in the meantime, this is your day.

We believe in making home improvement decisions that are smart for the earth’s future—and your wallet’s, too. Luckily, there’s lots of evidence that investing in solar energy for your home will do both. Let’s take a look at how installing a solar system on your roof can increase the property value of your home.

Increased Property Values

Multiple studies have found that having a solar panel installation on your home increases its property value—especially in more environmentally conscious areas or where the electricity rates are high. Lower utility bills have always been attractive to potential buyers, so it follows that anything that lowers your energy costs will make your home more competitive on the market, especially if you happen to live in an area with pricier electricity bills.

So how much of a boost can it give you? Well, that depends on your area, of course, but these studies showed that solar panels added a premium of anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000. Curious as to how your state ranks in energy costs right now?

Recouping the Costs of Installation

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Okay, solar adds value. So what? It’s still so expensive to install.” And you’re right that solar isn’t exactly cheap. Because of this, homeowners used to think that they’d need to stay in their homes for years for the electricity savings to even come close to paying off the initial startup costs of installation. But now, with numerous incentives and rebates that lower your cost of going solar, plus system prices falling—by 20% in 2016!—you increase your payback from going solar.

How It Compares to Other Improvements

Because solar lowers and can even eliminate your electricity bill, an installation pays for itself in terms of the value it adds to your home. How does that stack up against, say, a bathroom remodel, or adding a garage? The answer is, pretty mightily. Redoing your bathroom is a worthy endeavor, but it’ll only net you around 70% of your initial investment, while building a garage will return about half of the 80-some thousand dollars it took to install (if you’re interested, you can read the full list of improvement returns here).

How Solar Affects the Look of Your Home

Sometimes, people express concerns over the appearance of solar panels—that their bulky presence detracts from the overall aesthetic of a home. But solar technology has been quietly adapting to create more versatile and appealing devices, and many of the panels have a super sleek look.

Solar installations have only grown in popularity over the past few years—and 2016 shattered previous records. If you’re thinking seriously about going solar and want to take advantage of maximum return on investment, now is the time!

Lauren Pezzullo is a writer, editor, and musicophile who’s passionate about vegetarianism and sustainable eating. As an editor for Modernize, she writes about energy-efficient living in the home. She’s currently writing her debut novel.