Home prices have declined generally around the country about 20% since peak prices in 2006 but a new study confirms that installing solar boosts the value of a home. A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report issued on April 21st found that solar on average increased the sales value of a home by the equivalent of $5.50 per watt installed or an average of $17,000.
In Pennsylvania, the median cost of residential solar system in December 2010 was $5.90 per watt. With a $5.50 per watt increase in the value of the home, the solar system has an almost instant 100% payback before receiving any savings from electricity production or tax credits.
The study compared sales prices of 2,000 homes with solar installed in California to homes sold without solar power. The average size of the solar system in the study was 3,100 watts or 3.1kw.
The premium was greatest for existing homes to which a solar system was added and less when solar was installed with a new home, where the premium was $2.3 to $2.6 per watt. The premium did decrease with the age of the home.