When pricing homes, what’s solar energy worth?

01/20/2015

When pricing homes, what’s solar energy worth?

WASHINGTON – Jan. 16, 2015 – A research team led by the Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory determined that homebuyers are consistently willing to pay more for residences with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems.

But how much more? The study's findings – which apply across states, housing cycles and property types – points to a premium of nearly $15,000 for a typical PV system.

Researchers analyzed nearly 22,000 home sales, almost 4,000 of which contained PV systems, in eight states from 1999 to 2013. "We more than doubled the number of PV home sales analyzed, examined a number of states outside of California, and captured the market during the recent housing boom, bust and recovery," says Ben Hoen, lead author of the study.

More than 500,000 U.S. homes had PV systems as of last year, and the number continues to increase at a rapid clip, meaning that the real estate industry will need reliable methods to value these properties.

The report found only a negligible difference between PV premiums for new and existing homes.

Funding from the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, a collaborative national effort that looks to drive innovation and make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before 2020, supported the research.

Source: PhysOrg.com (01/14/15) Chen, Allan

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