This is a very interesting study because it illuminates the value solar adds to home prices. This is above and beyond the actual savings from the solar system itself, based on unpredictable utility rates.
A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs shows that residential photovoltaic energy systems in California help to increase home sales prices. The report, “An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California”, finds that on average, homes with photovoltaic energy systems receive a $3.9 to $6.4 per watt premium on home sales. This cooresponds to a $17,000 premium for a home with a 3.1 kilowatt system.
This was the largest-ever study that quantifies the value of rooftop photovoltaics (PV) on homes that sold across eight states and 12 years.
All of this suggests that if you sell your house soon after you have solar system installed, you will recoup most or all of your investment, even as you save money on your power bills. It also confirms what we’ve said before: Payback periods on solar power systems are not something to be overly concerned about. Your solar system will either increase your home value significantly should you decide to sell your house, or it will pay itself off in power bill savings before you move out. In both cases, solar is a sound investment.