PV Systems Increase your Home’s Value

solar-panel-on-farmBerkeley National Laboratory just released a report entitled “An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sale Prices in California.”    The study was funded by the US Department of Energy.  The main focus of the study was to determine whether homes with installed PV systems sold for more money than comparable homes without PV.  The authors studied 72,000 homes in California of which 2000 had PV systems installed when they were sold.

The research found that homes with PV systems in California have sold for a premium compared to homes without PV.  When the sale prices were compared to the size of the PV systems installed, the average home sale price was $5.5/Watt with a range of $3.9 to $6.4/Watt.  This is higher than the homeowner’s original investment on the installation which averaged $5/Watt from 2001 to 2009 after all the state and federal incentives.

When the authors studied the relationship between new and existing homes sales prices they found an interesting result.  The new homes showed a premium of $2.3 to $2.6/Watt while the average premium for existing homes was $6/Watt.  The authors blamed this disparity on the fact that the homebuilders install photovoltaic systems on their new homes as a standard, and possibly accept a lower premium to sell the houses faster.

The last part of the study compared energy cost savings of the homeowners to the sales price of the homes.  When the results were expressed as a ratio of the sales price to the annual electricity cost savings associated with PV the average was around 20:1.  This means that for every $1000 saved in energy, the houseswith PV systems sold for $20,000 more than a house without a PV system.  This was the average for existing and new homes.  The averages for both ranged from 7:1 to 31:1.

The authors of the study showed that, in California, having a PV system installed on your house will increase your home’s sale price.

There is a 2-page summary located here:

http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-4476e-rs.pdf.

Here is a link to the full report:

http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/reports/lbnl-4476e.pdf

Rural Energy for America Program Grants and Loans

solar-panel-on-farmAlthough the grants from the state of Ohio have expired, there are still grants available for small business or farm owners in rural Ohio to install solar panels and offset their electrical costs.  These are called REAP grants.  REAP stands for Rural Energy for America Program and they are available from the USDA.  The following is taken directly from their grant brochure.  They are currently accepting applications for grants and loans for 2012.  The program is in effect until the end of 2012.

 Purpose

  • The Rural Energy for America Program is intended to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development for rural small for-profit businesses and agricultural producers.
  • The grant will not exceed 25% of the total eligible project costs. Priority consideration will be given for requests of less than $20,000. ($80,000 project cost)
  • The loans are intended to provide “gap” financing for energy related projects. The guaranteed loan will not exceed 75% of the total eligible project costs.
  • Combined guaranteed loan and grant packages cannot exceed 75% of the total project costs.
  • Renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements cannot benefit a residence.

Eligible Applicants

  1. An applicant must be a rural small business or an agricultural producer.
  2. The size requirement for a small business is defined by SBA at the following website: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/getting-started-contractor/make-sure-you-meet-sba-size-standards.
  3. An agricultural producer is defined as an individual or legal entity which receives 50% or more of their gross income from agricultural.
  4. Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or have at least 51% U.S. citizen ownership.
  5. Applicant may not owe delinquent federal taxes or liens.
  6. Applicants must meet the demonstrated financial need requirements.

Eligible Areas

The project must be in a rural area or in an incorporated community under 50,000 population and not adjacent to an urban area. Project location eligibility can be found at:

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

Grant Request Limits

  • Renewable energy systems:
  • Maximum grant request is $500,000.
  • Minimum grant request is $2,500

There is a $500 fee for processing the grant application.  If the grant is awarded a fee of 1% of the project cost is due.  If you are interested in finding out more about this grant and loan, contact SunRock Solar at info.sunrocksolar.com or give us a call at (513) 766-6025.