Homeowners all across the U.S. are installing photovoltaic, or solar electric, systems on their homes. This high-tech solution to the rising cost of electricity uses silicon-based cells to convert sunlight to electricity. It takes a long time to pay off these expensive systems, though tax credits and utility tax credits are sometimes available. But a new trend in the real estate industry may help ease the expense.
As utility costs continue to increase, many home buyers are considering the value of renewable energy systems, such as wind and solar power, on their new homes. Real estate appraisers are beginning to mirror this interest, too.
A recent article in the trade magazine Appraisal Journal cited studies “indicating that home value increases by about $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills.”
For a typical photovoltaic system that produces $300 worth of electricity per year, this could increase a home’s value by $6000. This bodes well for homeowners who choose to invest in these expensive generating systems, though a typical system still costs $15,000 to $20,000. They can now consider not only how much a system lowers their utility costs, but also how much the system will add value to their home.
If you choose to invest in a photovoltaic system, be sure to do some research to learn if this emerging technology will work well for you and your home.
One of the best sources of more information is the web site of the American Solar Energy Society.