Is solar energy worth the cost of installation? The answer is a resounding “Yes”, according to data collected by the Department of Energy’s 2016 Sunshot Initiative. Funded by the Redfin realty firm, Sunshot Initiative found that solar paneled homes in Northeastern cities sold for an average of $99,000 more compared to non solar paneled homes in the same cities.
In 2015, the Department of Energy reported that adding a solar array could net the homeowner approximately $15,000. Just a year later, this solar array addition jumped to a net increase of approximately $99.000. when compared to homes without energy producing modules.
The methodology used by Redfin and Sun Number, a company that has developed an automated system to determine the solar potential of homes, for this research involved creating a “Sun Number” between 1-100 to assess the potential for a roof installed with solar panels. The two companies then looked at various cities in the northeast that had Sun Numbers over 70. Redfin went on to examine those same northeastern cities to determine which cities had the lowest percentages of listed homes mentioning “solar panels” in sales listings. Redfin concluded which cities would potentially benefit the most by adding “solar panels” in sales listings descriptions to increase the resale values of homes.
Providence, RI, turned out to be the number one northeastern city that increased its average home sales prices the most. Attributable solely to solar panels, its median sales price went from $139,400. for a non-solar home to its median sales price of $329,000. for a solar paneled home! Landing in third place was Syracuse, NY, with a median sales price for a non-solar home at $95,000 and its median sales price for a solar home at $262,500. Boston, MA and Concord, NH had lower Sun Numbers than other northeastern cities studied at 71 and 72 respectively but each city experienced substantial median sales price increases when comparing non-solar to solar homes. Boston came in with a median sales price for non-solar homes at $450,000. and a median sales price for solar homes at $629,251. Concord had a median sales price for non-solar homes at $182,500. and a median sales price for solar homes at $290,000.
Clearly, solar energy affects the homeowner’s bottom line as well as the environment’s.