Are you one of the millions of homeowners in the United States strongly considering making the switch to solar energy? There are many excellent reasons why you should install solar panels on your property, including boosting your home value and saving on your monthly energy bills. Then there are the strong environmental benefits of using a clean, abundant, and renewable energy resource.
In this blog post, we will ask “Do solar panels add value to your home?” and look at other undeniable benefits of installing solar panels. The solar energy industry is expected to continue its strong recent growth over the coming decade; it is estimated that 300 gigawatts of solar capacity will be installed in the next 10 years. In 2021 alone, a new solar project was completed every 60 seconds.
By 2030, it is forecasted that 13% of homes in the US will have installed a solar panel system. Keep reading to learn about the amazing advantages that these homes will benefit from. When you partner with Solar Brave, your home can also reap the benefits of solar energy.
Do Solar Panels Add Value to Your Home?
The short answer here is a resounding yes, solar panels do increase the value of a property. Everywhere in the US, the addition of solar panels to a property, most typically on the roof, increases its value and makes it more attractive to prospective homebuyers.
According to the Department of Energy, solar panels are seen as property upgrades, similar to a finished basement or a renovated kitchen. Prospective buyers are willing to pay a premium for properties that have solar panels already installed. Solar panels can increase the value of a property by an average of $15,000.
Of course, there are differences in the premium, depending on the size of the solar system, the age of the solar panels, the type of solar system, and the location. On that final point, let’s highlight the top 10 states with the highest solar premiums (based on the median-valued home in each state):
- New Jersey: 9.9% or $32,281
- Pennsylvania: 4.9% or $8,589
- North Carolina: 4.8% or $8,996
- Louisiana: 4.9% or $7,037
- Washington: 4.1%
- Florida: 4% $9,454
- Hawaii: 4% or $24,526
- Maryland: 3.8% or $10,976
- New York: 3.6% or $10,981
- South Carolina: 3.5% or $5,866
It should be noted that even within state lines, solar premiums can differ. For example, we have highlighted that the solar premium in Florida as a whole is 4%, however specifically within Orlando, the premium rises to 4.6%.
The statewide solar premium in California is 3%, however, this rises to 4.4% in San Francisco and to 3.6% in Los Angeles. It’s worth noting that California is leading the cumulative solar capacity race in the US, with an incredible 35,000 megawatts of solar capacity installed to date. With 14,000 MW, Texas is in a distant second place.
While New York is not on the above list, the 1.8% solar premium translates to almost $24,000 for the typical property in the state.
What Are the Other Benefits of Solar Panels in the US?
Undoubtedly, the increased home value is a terrific benefit of solar panels. However, the advantages of going solar don’t stop there. Here, we will take a look at 4 other benefits of making the switch to solar energy.
Save On Energy Bills
For a majority of homeowners, the main benefit of installing a residential solar panel system is the cost savings. Over the lifespan of a solar panel system, homeowners stand to save tens of thousands on their home’s energy bills.
Like with solar premiums, the amount of money that homeowners can save with solar panels varies and there are several factors that determine this, including:
- The size of your property
- The number of solar panels you install
- Your average energy usage/utility bill
- Your exact location
- The type of solar panels you install
The larger the solar system that you install, the higher the upfront cost will be. For example, a 4 kW solar system costs around $9,620 in the US (after applying the federal solar tax credit). A 6 kW system costs an average of $13,098.
In order to maximize your solar panel output, it is recommended that homeowners in the US install their systems in a south-facing direction. Solar panels installed in a north-, east-, or west-facing direction will not be as efficient.
For a better understanding of cost savings potential, let’s take Los Angeles County as an example. The recommended system size for a property with a monthly utility bill of $173 would be 6 kW. After applying the federal tax credit, the upfront cost would be between $10,844 and $13,253, based on local prices.
The net profit over 25 years (which is the savings minus the system cost) would be between $48,476 and $59,248. It’s worth noting that with proper care and maintenance, solar systems can efficiently absorb sunlight and generate electricity for 40 to 50 years. That is a lot of additional savings.
Power New Technologies
Solar panels are not a new technology, in fact, they have been around for decades. However, new advancements in technology and the reduction in costs have resulted in solar panels becoming far more mainstream in recent years. Another technology that is starting to become mainstream is electric vehicles.
Many states are planning to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles by around 2035, due to their negative environmental impact. This means that there will be an increased focus on electric vehicles in the coming years. However, it should be noted that electric vehicles are only as clean as their power supply.
The good news is that solar panels and electric vehicles pair perfectly together. Not only is it more environmentally friendly to charge an electric vehicle with clean, solar energy, but it is also more affordable. At-home charging using solar energy is cheaper than using either grid electricity or public charging stations.
If you are planning to purchase an electric vehicle or have already done so, it makes sense to also invest in a solar panel system.
Protect the Environment
So far in the US, around 121 gigawatts of solar capacity have been installed. Because of this, there is an annual reduction in carbon emissions of 136 million metric tons.
Solar energy is clean, renewable, and abundant. It can be considered an infinite resource (at least for the next 7 to 8 billion years, anyway), which certainly cannot be said of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil.
Utilizing solar energy to power our homes, cars, and other technologies is a far more environmentally-friendly option than burning fossil fuels. Solar panels do not generate any greenhouse gases when in use and come with a host of other green benefits, including:
- Reduces water usage
- Reduces air pollution
- Helps fight climate change
- Reduces dependence on nonrenewable energy sources
If you are conscious of your carbon footprint, switching to solar energy is the best step you can make to protect the planet for future generations.
Utilize Solar Incentives in 2022
For the rest of 2022, homeowners in the US can avail of a 26% rate for the federal solar tax credit. This incentive is designed to increase the number of homes choosing to install solar systems and can reduce the upfront cost by more than a quarter.
However, this tax credit is due to decrease from 26% to 22% in 2023. Unless it is renewed by Congress before then, it is scheduled to expire at the end of next year. Therefore, 2022 is the best time to make the switch to solar and benefit the most from this nationwide tax credit.
In addition to the federal tax credit, 10 states currently offer their own incentives to residents. New Mexico’s tax incentive, known as the New Solar Market Development Income Tax Credit, is particularly impressive as it covers up to $6,000 of the installation costs. Combined, both federal and statewide incentives can significantly reduce the upfront installation costs when switching to solar.
The Bottom Line: Solar Panels Increase Home Value
As highlighted, solar panels can increase a property’s value by around $15,000. Even if you do not have any short-term plans to sell your property, it’s an important benefit, particularly given the long lifespan of solar panels. Combined with the other above-mentioned benefits, solar panels are a terrific choice for homeowners right across the country.
If you are interested in making the switch to solar energy, Alpha Living can help pair you with Top-Rated Solar Providers in your area, so you can compare options and save.
Whether you are interested in installing ground-mounted solar panels or utilizing the available space on your roof, our specialists have the experience and expertise you need. Enter your zip here to find Certified Solar Installers near you and compare quotes.