As the cost of sustainably powering homes continues to decrease around the U.S., more landlords and homeowners are exploring the value of installing solar panels.

In addition to curbing emissions, Zillow Research found that within the last year, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 4.1 percent more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the current median-valued home of $226,300 that translates to an additional $9,278 in value, Zillow said.

“Not only can adding solar panels to a home save energy costs and help the environment, it also can potentially increase a home’s value,” Zillow wrote. “One reason houses with solar-energy systems sell for more than those without them is because they can provide substantial future energy cost savings. For homeowners who know they consume a lot of power, these future savings are worth spending a bit more money up front.”

The sales bump from solar panels varies widely according to location. In Riverside, Calif., for example, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 2.7 percent more than comparable homes without solar power, Zillow found.

In the New York City metro area, however, solar-powered homes have a premium at 5.4 percent, which is equivalent to an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. In San Francisco, homes with solar panels can enjoy a 5.4 percent bump, equating to $41,658 in value for the typical home.

Personal home preferences also contribute to the solar value add, as more than 80 percent of homebuyers say that energy-efficient features are important, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. Solar panel installation for an average-sized home in the United States usually ranges from $11,200 to $14,400 after solar tax credits, according to Energy Sage.

To compile its report, Zillow calculated the solar premium by comparing homes with and without solar-energy systems that were listed for sale and sold from March 1, 2018, to February 28, 2019.

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  • Bobby Burch

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