The largest-ever study of its kind, conducted by a multi-institutional research team led by scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, universities, and appraisers, concluded that home buyers are more than willing to pay a premium on their house if it comes with a solar PV energy system.
The study found that home buyers were willing to pay more for homes with solar PV systems — systems that averaged about $4 per watt of PV installed — to a premium of about $15,000.
The study analyzed almost 22,000 house sales, of which almost 4,000 were fitted with PV installations, across eight states in the US between 1999 to 2013, producing what the author’s claim is “the most authoritative estimates to date of price premiums for US homes with PV systems.”
“Previous studies on PV home premiums have been limited in size and scope,” says Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report. “We more than doubled the number of PV home sales analyzed, examined a number of states outside of California, and captured the market during the recent housing boom, bust, and recovery.”
According to Berkeley Lab, “more than half a million US homes had PV as of 2014”, and that’s a number that continues to grow. Figures from GTM Research suggest that a new solar PV system is being installed in the US every two-and-a-half minutes!
“As PV systems become more and more common on U.S. homes, it will be increasingly important to value them accurately, using a variety of methods,” says co-author Sandra Adomatis, an appraiser who helped develop the Appraisal Institute’s Green Addendum and who has written and spoken extensively on valuing green features. “Our findings should provide greater confidence that PV adds a quantifiable premium to a wide variety of homes in California and beyond.”
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