Does Solar Increase Property Value?

Wondering if a solar energy system can increase your property value? Then read our guide to find out more.

Having a solar energy system in Sydney isn't just about smaller carbon footprints and lowered utility bills.

What started in the early 18th century has become a go-to-technology today, be it in residential or commercial spaces.

Does Solar Increase Prices?

From charging phones to powering the entire household, there practically is nothing that solar power can’t do. But the million-dollar question is- will having a solar energy system yield benefits during property resale?

To answer this and more, we’ve curated the following guide. So, let’s begin!

Do Solar Panels Increase Property Value?

To answer it in one word, we’d say yes. Various research and surveys have pointed out that the resale value of a house can go up by an average of $4 for every additional watt of the solar panel. But of course, it will depend on the type of the solar panel and the geographical location.

Home Sale Comparison

Image Source: Medium.com

For instance, if you have installed a standard 5kW system in your home, then the resale value can increase by up to $20,000.

Plus, there’s the added advantage of saving on energy, and consequently, cutting down on the power bills. So, it’s a win-win situation in every way!

Why Do Solar Panels Enhance Property Value?

There’s hardly a soul who wouldn’t prefer saving on monthly utility bills. And that’s why solar panels are sitting on top of the priority list for future homeowners. Besides, doing a little something to protect the environment doesn’t seem like a bad deal either.

Moreover, your initial investment of installing a solar panel will invariably pay off during resale. In fact, according to a recent survey, around 57% of responders were willing to pay up to $10,000 more for a home installed with a basic solar panel. Upon comparing the installation cost of the solar panel to the resale value, you will find that it was the right thing to do.

Not only that, but homes with solar panels can be sold 20% faster than a home without one. On that note, let’s look at the various solar options that homeowners should consider.

Types Of Solar Panels

Going back to our point about the types of solar panels that can be installed in homes, here are the two main options that you’ll find on the market:

1. Silicon Solar Panel

Silicon Solar Panel

Image Source: Redarc

Without getting too technical, a silicon solar panel is made of silicon semiconductors, which are equipped with several PV cells in the confined panel to collect solar energy. These semiconductors are preferred due to their low volume ratio, extended service life and robustness. As a result, the efficiency of these panels ranges between 18% and 22%.

Silicon solar panels can, in turn, be divided into monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, with minimal distinction of functionality and efficiency between the two. Monocrystalline panels have been around for longer, but polycrystalline panels are being increasingly preferred these days.

2. Thin-Film Solar Panel

Thin-Film Solar Panel

Thin-film solar panels are commonly found on products like solar shingles or tiles and are generally cheap due to the low production costs. However, their efficiency is slightly on the lower side (between 11% and 13%), which will affect the amount of electricity generated by the panel.

Cost Of Installing A Solar Panel

A good quality solar panel system of about 3kW capacity should cost you around $5,000 to $8,000, including installation.

On the other hand, a smaller 3kW unit is priced near $3,500 to $5,600. Likewise, a bigger system of 10kW costs between $9,000 and $15,000.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Despite doing all that work, solar panels surprisingly don’t have much maintenance requirements, aside from the occasional cleaning. Professional cleaning services usually run between $150 and $330 and are recommended as and when needed.

Clean solar panels correlate to better efficiency and long-lasting service life. And a well maintained solar panel may well fetch better prices!

Solar Thermal Panels

For some reason, solar thermal panels are a less-popular residential solar energy system. Unlike solar panels that convert solar energy into electricity, thermal panels use a cylinder to heat the water.

These units are capable of catering to anywhere between 40% to 90% of your hot water requirements.

While the installation cost may be around $3000 to $7000, the operational costs may be up to $200 less per year.

Solar Energy Tiles

If you aren’t a fan of the aesthetics rendered by solar panels, then solar energy tiles may be the right fit for you. As opposed to the roof-top installation of panels, these are integrated into the roof. However, their efficiency is about 10% less than traditional solar panels.

Moreover, they can cost as much as $10,000, including installation and inverter charges. In hindsight, it’s only the practically “invisible appearance” that makes these appealing.

Types Of Home Solar Systems

While installing such a system, homeowners usually have two options. Firstly, you can connect it to the local utility grid, thereby selling back the excess energy generated to the said utility company.

Also known as grid-connected systems, these setups require less expensive equipment and maintenance throughout. They simply allow you to power your home through the renewable, “free-energy” of the sun. In case there isn’t enough sunlight to charge the system, the grid will supply the required electricity. This will virtually eliminate the need for power storage devices like batteries.

Secondly, you can install a standalone, off-grid system that’s accompanied by a set of batteries and a backup generator. The latter stores energy for consumption during cloudy days or emergency use. These systems are better suited for homes located in areas where installing it will cost less than getting a power line in the home.

That said, an off-grid system may require more equipment like a charge controller, power-conditioner, safety devices, meters, and instrumentations.

How Much Does A Home Solar System Cost?

Here again, the cost of a home solar system will depend on various factors, such as the type, the size, and the location.

The good news is that the prices are already dropping in Australia, thanks to the rebates and incentives levied by the local or state authorities.

Renewable Power Incentives

There's a federal Small-Scale Technology Certificate (SCTC) scheme (running till 2030), which offers rebates on small-scale renewable energy generators. While this scheme applies to other forms of renewable energy as well, solar panels and systems are the most common contenders.

Simply put, an SCTC represents the amount of power generated by the solar panel or system over its lifetime. The resultant number will offset what users would otherwise use from the electricity grid. Hence, the more power generated by the panel, the more SCTCs you will receive.

Apart from that, users are free to trade their SCTCs with their installers, who will then offer you an upfront point-of-sale discount.

Does Leasing A Solar Panel Affect Resale Value?

It’s not unusual for homeowners to lease a solar panel instead of installing one from the get-go. This is particularly helpful for first-timers, who want to get the hang of things. When you lease a panel from a 3rd party entity, it doesn’t charge you for installation costs. You only have to pay in accordance with the power generated by the panel.

A pro tip: don’t forget to keep an eye on the maintenance and repair guidelines.

Leasing a solar panel will still save on your utility bills, but the important thing to know here is that the leases have a fixed time limit. When you plan to sell the home, the next buyer will have to renew the lease agreement. If he chooses not to, then the current owner will have to buy out the remaining share of the contract.

In that sense, it’s a better option for people who don’t want to sell their house anytime soon.

Other Things To Know About Home Solar Systems

Before we conclude the guide, we thought it’d be a good idea to list some facts about solar energy and systems.

1. Longevity

Even with minimum maintenance, home solar systems can produce electricity for 25 years or more. Many manufacturers offer a 25-year power production warranty for generating electricity within a certain capacity.

2. Durability

Solar photovoltaic panels are made to be resistant to adverse weather conditions like snow, rain and storm. Moreover, they may well protect your roof from withstanding daily wear-and-tear, meaning reduced renovation and repair costs!

3. Works Under Indirect Sunlight

Depending on the quality of construction, solar panels may harness the sun’s energy even on less sunny days (like the winters).

So does it increase the value of your home?

Given the many advantages of a home solar system, we don’t see why you should delay getting one.

If you're looking to have solar installed by your Sydney home builder, make sure you ask them before beginning the building process to ensure they include it in your build costs.

Even if you don’t have any plan to sell your home in the near future, saving big on utility bills is not something you’d want to miss! But before you opt for one, allocate sufficient time to ensure that your preferred choice is a fit for your energy consumption. Similarly, choose only reliable professionals for installation and maintenance purposes.

And with that, it’s time for us to take our leave. Hopefully, we’ve answered all your relevant questions.

Till the next time, adios!

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