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