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Will solar panels add value to my home? …..some more than others!

Posted on: July 29, 2016

By Bruce Howard

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It’s one of the most popular questions I get ~  “Will solar raise my homes value?”

And the simple answer is yes! There is a growing body of third party data that confirms the addition of solar panels to your home will increase its market value.  As early as 2013 when the Appraisal Institute partnered with the Colorado Energy Office to analyze Denver homes sales and announced that “solar photovoltaic systems typically increase value and almost always decrease marketing time of single family homes in the Denver area.”

A comprehensive study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  in 2015 looked at over 22,000 home transaction. The report concludes that on average homeowners are willing to pay almost $4.00 per watt of solar power. That translates to about a $14,400 premium for 3,600 watt solar system.  The study also demonstrates that this increase applies to owned solar as opposed to leased solar. So, not all solar installations produce

Unlike granite kitchens, additional bathroom or even that high efficiency boiler, home value chartthere are no other improvements you can make to your home that will produce such an exacting and calculable increase to the market value of your house.

Why is that?   A few reasons…

First, electricity is not subject to style. You use electricity habitually. It does not come in different colors and is immune to fashion trends. In fact the only trends that are followed in the news are how much and how often the price of electricity goes up.

You use it all year round and you use about the same number of kilowatt hours each year. In fact a typical three bedroom house on Long Island uses approximately 10,000 kWh per year. And that is just the way the public utilities like LIPA, PSEG, Con Ed and others like it. Electric power is a commodity. If you could buy your 10,000 kWh of electricity cheaper elsewhere you probably would. And now you can –  it’s called solar.  This brings us to our second reason….

Homeowners  can now buy a piece of equipment that effectively eliminates their need for the electric company.  Many homes can produce all the power they will need from their own roof, and can do it all year long for 25, even 30 years. There are solar panels that have been in use for more than 30 years already. Since the price of public-utility-supplied power is known, the value and return on investment for a piece of equipment that produces a known quantity of electric power on your roof can be calculated.

If you could buy 25 years of electric power for a 65% discount, but you have to pay up front, would you?  Well the home market is speaking and it says yes. Many homeowners have stated that they are equally proud of the positive environmental impact of going solar as they are of the financial benefits.

So why some more than others…..

I think it’s the only Latin I know, Caveat Emptor ~ Buyer Beware! As it applies to solar power it would be, Let the Lessee Beware. You see, as the mainstream adoption ofsolar neighborhood solar got underway all across the United States it was fueled by large national companies that were more interested in locking homeowners into 20 year restrictive leases with annual payment increases than it was in providing savings or value.  What these companies knew that most homeowners don’t is that the greatest financial benefits come to the solar system owner in the form of a 30% Federal

Income Tax Credit (ITC). They leveraged the appeal of environmentally sound, green energy to customers that were hungry for any amount of savings on their power costs. So the large national solar companies need to lease you the system so they can reap the benefits of the Federal ITC.

The March 23rd, 2015 edition of REALTOR Magazine suggests that solar leases can be “Deal Killers” when it comes to the sale of your house.  Potential homeowners shy away from inheriting long term payment plans even if there is some proof of savings. Many sellers opt to pay the lease off at time of sale. Some mortgage lenders have even made payoff a condition of closing. It is advisable to read the fine print of the solar lease before purchasing a home with leased solar.  The lease often appears as a lien on the property and may interfere with the refinancing of the property.

So far it is safe to say that

  • There is greater financial benefit to owning your solar panels as opposed to leasing them.
  • The home buying market pays a premium for solar power production.
  • Homeowners will act on behalf of the environment if given a monetary incentive.

As more homeowners install solar systems on their homes more will be known about home buyers preferences and what solar provides for homeowners.

These are clearly sunny days for homeowners that have invested in solar energy systems.

 

 

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  • Matt Wantagh

    Sail and Bruce were awesome, making 5 visits to our home. We wanted to go with a local company instead of one of the big companies. We have not been disappointed with our choice. I highly recommend Energy By Choice! Tell them Matt sent you!

  • Ralph Smithtown

    We are extremely happy with our experience with Energy By Choice. The entire process went smoothly. No pressure sales. Went over all the options. Great customer service. Great installation. Couldn’t be happier!

  • Joe West Babylon

    Great Installation, Great Company, Great People. This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with a contractor and the estimate was exactly the same as the proposal !!!. No out of pocket expense. By the way I interviewed 8 companies. Energy by Choice was a pleasure to deal with. No buying pressure. My solar has been installed for 16 months. My electric bill was $350 a month. My connection charges average $12 a month. I’m saving $338 a month!

  • Mike Bethpage

    Very professional. They helped set up the financing, the permits and gave me the system that I wanted. After all the incentives I paid $16,000, but my bill is still over $100 cheaper than my budget payment. They also follow up with suggestions on how to get the most from your system. Sail’s the best.

  • Kyle Smithtown

    Great company, a pleasure to deal with. Low pressure and high quality.

  • Jennifer East Northport

    We had a wonderful experience with Energy by Choice. They were professional, clean, and extremely honest. Speaking from experience, we researched solar for months and I highly recommend this company. Thank you for everything Sail and team!

  • Laura Huntington

    Sail thank you so much for addressing my concerns so promptly and so completely. I have to tell you that the more my husband and I deal with your company, the more confident we are that we made the right decision in choosing you as our solar company and look forward to working with you.

  • Judy Mineola

    Helpful, honest; enjoyed the experience of the office personnel, (no pressure) from initial phone inquiry to certificate of completion. Getting better than half the cost returned from the State & Federal Gov. helped even more. Only thing left is to reap the rewards of the investment of our home & future. I would recommend Energy By Choice as a preference over the other companies who tried to push & sell their products to us.

  • Mary Massapequa Park

    All staff were very professional, friendly and knowledgeable. Sail is enthusiastic and passionate about the product. I didn’t feel pressured, but I was also given a very complete evaluation and comprehensive plan for the project. Since completion of the project, the company has continued to stay in touch. I feel like a member of a club.

  • Arlene Commack

    We met with Sail and he answered all of our questions and concerns. Sail put together a proposal that was perfect for our home and we’re so glad we had his expertise and knowledge to work from. We interviewed another national solar company who was offering a plan that would not have met our needs and would have been a financial disaster for us. Thanks again to Sail and his team of experts. We love our solar panels and, even more so, we love watching the meter run backwards!

  • Matt Wantagh

    We finally did it! We signed up for a new solar energy system with Energy By Choice. Bruce Howard and Sail Van Nostrand (the sales rep and owner) were terrific to deal with, and I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about converting to solar power!

  • Mike Mazol

    I just had my Solar Panel System installed this week. From the start of the process with Sail, and Steve and his crew at the end, it was totally professional. Steve and his team worked in a clean and safe manner and were definitely one of the best contractor teams I’ve had the pleasure to work with. At times you wouldn’t even know they were here doing the system. If you are thinking about getting Solar Power, I would highly recommend using Energy By Choice as the company to do the work.

  • Ernie Calverton

    I have been extremely happy with the service I received from this company and the way they treated me from the first call. They were incredibly patient, professional, and prompt from the start. The installation took one day, and when I got home the area had been cleaned up and looked good, and the system has been working incredibly well since then, with no problems whatsoever. I would recommend them to anyone.

  • Sue New Hyde Park

    Energy By Choice installed my solar several years ago and have yet to pay more than the mandatory few cents a day service fee by the electric company. While I have had no problems with my system, I have had questions and Sail Van Nostrand is always attentive to me and responds to my inquiries quickly and professionally. I whole heartedly recommend Energy By Choice to anyone looking for a solar contractor.

  • Joe West Babylon

    I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience with Energy By Choice. Sail and his entire staff are professional and compassionate about what they do. They want their customer to be well informed and happy from start to finish…Give them a call…You will NOT be disappointed!

  • Rich Port Jefferson Station.

    Your patience with me and your level of detail in explaining the job to me before, during and after the job was above and beyond the words thorough and professional.

  • Anthony Mattituck

    We were certainly impressed with your attention to detail from your initial presentation and throughout the system installation. Your service and product knowledge has proven to be second to none.

  • Mike Long Beach

    [Sail] designed and installed the right system for our home. His crew was eager to be part of the amazing “revolution

  • Jerry Baiting Hollow

    From the start your approach was professional, and every step of the way you clearly and accurately represented the parameters of the project. The only surprises that we had were positive ones: the neatness of the work was exceptional and the effect of the solar cells on our electric bill exceeded our expectations.

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