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Homeowners investing in solar panels

January 16, 2015

Solar technology is making headway in homes across the country. Not only are solar panels manufactured at a higher rate than ever before, but they are also cheaper and more efficient. Solar panels reduce the amount of energy your house uses, and homeowners are responding positively to this growing trend. For example, a recent study, “Selling Into the Sun:  Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes,” demonstrated that homebuyers are willing to spend more on houses that incorporate solar energy.

Solar energy is on the rise.
The researchers of the study analyzed about 22,000 homes in eight states from 2002 to 2013. Of those homes, almost 4,000 incorporated photovoltaic, or PV, energy systems, which transfer sunlight into energy.

An escalating trend

Several recent reports demonstrated investments and implementation of solar panels are on the rise. McGraw-Hill Construction reported the green home building market could be worth $114 billion by 2016. This is a significant increase from 2011, when the market for green home construction was at $17 billion. The National Association of Home Builders also reported the upward trend, noting 38 percent of homes will be green by 2016.

But this is not only new construction. Home remodeling is incorporating green technologies as well. The same report from the NAHB noted 22 percent of home remodeling contractors expected green updates in 2014, which was a leap from 8 percent in 2012.

Homeowners saving money

Homeowners are saving more money with solar panels, which has been widely noted and is a major push for the trend to continue. Additionally, financial incentives spark interest in investing in solar panels as well. According to the Berkshire Eagle, federal tax credits are available through 2016, which will cover 30 percent of the cost of qualifying projects and installations. Various incentives are also available by area, with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts providing state credits worth 15 percent of the total cost.

Increasing the value of homes

Clean renewable energy is becoming the norm. While the housing market is still many years away from being predominantly energy efficient, homeowners are widely investing in solar technology. An increasing number of homeowners are turning to solar panels and other energy-efficient household products, which means homes with standard electricity are going to be less desirable.

The Simple Dollar also noted insurance carriers don't all handle homeowners insurance the same when it comes to solar energy. For instance, not only do different carriers have different policies, but the type of solar panels on a home can be quoted individually as well. For example, people typically place solar panels on rooftops, but depending on design or practicality, they can place panels in the back yard or on posts next to the home, which insurance companies might see this as a separate structure, similar to a shed or freestanding garage.

Solar power is the energy of the future and getting closer every day. It is important to find out what advantages there are to implement solar energy in your home and increase its value.