It’s well established that updating a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen are among the most cost effective ways to raise a home’s value. What’s lesser known is that renewable energy also fetches a more premium price from buyers.
Analysis recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an independent economic policy think tank, found that solar photovoltaic (PV) panels add between 3 percent and 4 percent to the value of a home on average.
"This comparison suggests that, on average, homeowners fully recover their costs of installing solar panels upon sale of the property," the study says. NBER examined home sales in San Diego and Sacramento, California.
The NBER is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and was founded in 1920. Its president emeritus is former Bush economics guru Martin Feldstein. SourceWatch notes that NBER has trended toward Republican policy positions.
CNET’s Martin LaMonica reported that the analysis mirrors the findings of a study published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in April, which concluded that solar panels have a "sizeable effect" on home values.
Homeowners should be aware that solar power is becoming more affordable. In June, Ernst & Young and IHS iSuppli both forecasted that the cost of solar panels would plunge to $1.00 per watt.
General Electric’s global research director has predicted that new technology breakthroughs are making it possible for solar generated electricity to be the most economical choice within the next three to five years over fossil fuels and nuclear power.