The study revealed that homeowners are thumbs up about solar, showing a willingness to pay an average premium of $15,000 more for a home with an average sized photovoltaic system (3.6 kilowatts/3,600 watts), than they would for a home without one. Additional data showed a solar electric system raises the property value of a new or existing home $20 for every $1 in utility savings over a year, or four dollars for every watt of solar power. Impressively, only a small, non statistically significant difference was noted on the premium buyers placed on new versus existing PV homes.
The study, conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, examined sales data for almost 23,000 homes in eight states from 2002 to 2013. The reasons suggested for this perceived value include:
- • Factoring the lifetime savings generated by reduced energy bills
- • Factoring the immediate benefit from not having to install a system
- • The “Prius” effect of placing a higher value on green items
- • Interest in protecting the environment