California’s requirements that all new homes have solar panels, starting in 2020 could give homeowners $19,000 in energy cost savings over 30 years proponents claim while opponents of the mandate contend it will push the cost of homeownership further out of the reach of first-time buyers.
There’s another way to look at the question. Does adding solar power increase a home’s value at time of sale? According to real estate information company Zillow, in some states the answer already is yes. Zillow’s research indicates that in the same way homeowners are willing to pay thousands of dollars for renovations like a new kitchen or finished basement, they need to evaluate the return on investment from investing in solar energy.
Installing solar panels in a home not only helps to reduce current monthly utility bills; it can potentially increase the home’s value by up to 4.1% more than comparable homes with no solar panels, according to recent solar research done by Zillow — or an additional $9,274 for the median-valued home in the U.S.
Zillow also breaks down the top 10 states where solar brings the most bang to house value.