Solar energy offers homeowners a reliable, clean way to produce electricity and heat for their houses. However, many consumers in the United States assume that installation and maintenance costs make ‘going solar’ expensive. While it’s true that there are some upfront expenses to installing solar panels, the fact of the matter is that solar is well worth those initial costs when you consider the long-term benefits.Many consumers fail to understand just how much installing a solar system can increase property values. Just like a fenced yard or an attached garage, a solar system provides added value for prospective buyers and is an outward sign that you’ve put time and energy into maintaining and improving your home. In fact, research shows that a solar system adds about $5,900 to the value of a house per kilowatt installed. That means that the average six-kilowatt system (about 20 rooftop panels) increases a house’s value by more than $35,000.
At a time when oil and natural gas prices have experienced violent fluctuations, advances in solar technology and an increase in the number of solar technicians have led to a major price cut. Since 2008, the price tag associated with installing a solar system dropped 50%, offering almost total freedom from volatile energy markets, essentially at the one-time cost.
Your solar energy system can also qualify you for major tax credits and other perks from local and federal government agencies. The federal investment tax credit, which will stay on the books until at least 2021, provides solar adopters up to a 30% tax credit for any solar installation fees. In New Hampshire, RSA 72:61-72 allows towns and cities to increase a property’s value based on the installation of a solar system, but prevents that municipality from raising property taxes to reflect that increase in value, making solar installation tax-neutral in the Granite State.
While installing a solar energy system may have some upfront expenses, the savings and peace of mind that solar offers on the back end are well worth it. Solar energy doesn’t just reduce grid dependency and make a home more efficient; it also drives up property values while keeping taxes down. Overall, solar might be the best investment you can make in your home today.