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Investing in solar on your home NOW could help prepare for long term aging at your home instead of a facility. 

Aging at home

(Update: December 2020) A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “How Covid-19 Will Change Aging and Retirement” written by Anne Tergesen, suggests that the pandemic is reshaping how Americans face retirement and old age. The virus is magnifying the isolation of older people and the rising costs of long-term care. If you are rethinking retirement and considering aging at home, investing in solar on your home now could help make that possible.

  1. Collect on your investments earned in the 2020 stock market craze and reinvest in solar on your home. Solar/batteries save you money and offer energy security both now and in the future. Take advantage of the 22% Federal Tax Credit that expires Dec. 31, 2021. Batteries are eligible if powered with solar.  
  2. Protect yourself from rising utility costs. When you purchase less energy from the utility you are less susceptible to future rate increases. Invest in your own energy system now and once paid off, use the saved money from utility bills for other investments, technology, or home care.
  3. Have peace of mind that you are protected against power outages with solar and batteries. Experience Energy security while working and living at home that protects your income and health. 
  4. Ensure future technology energy requirements are powered without incurring additional utility costs. (Electric Vehicles, health equipment)  

The above-mentioned article further explains that we “…will see a lot more focus on aging at home and figuring out how to shift the financial incentives to make that work” says Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost of global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. Because:

  • “As the government raises regulatory standards on nursing homes, industry watchers are saying 30% or more could file for bankruptcy, according to Sarah Slocum, co-director of the Program to Improve Eldercare at Altarum, a nonprofit health-care consulting group.”
  • “Federal or state governments will expand programs, including one under Medicaid, that pay some family caregivers, typically an adult child, “ predicted by Pinchas Cohen, dean of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California.
  • A wave of innovation will contribute to the ability to stay at home including Telemedicine, Wearable devices and home diagnostic tests, as well as voice technology for emergencies. Isolation will even be combated through virtual travel live streaming as well as matching younger roommates that pay rent. 
  •  Rising government deficits and falling bond yields are creating so much uncertainty about financing retirement that most people who can continue to work will—and for as long as possible, says Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity. “It’s going to make people rethink retirement altogether” 
  • “…Today’s low bond yields mean future returns are expected to be lower than in the past, says David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar Inc. Mr. Blanchett says his safe-spending recommendation is now between 3% and 3.5% (instead of 4%). That means that someone who wants to safely withdraw $40,000 in the first year of retirement needs to save closer to $1.2 million than $1 million.”

Contact Good Energy Solutions for a free consultation to see if home solar is a good investment for your future.

Read why “Solar is a Good Investment” by CFO/COO of Good Energy Solutions, Malcolm Proudfit


Realtor.com ranks investing in solar on your home in the top 5 upgrades that will increase value and decrease time on the market.

(Update: March, 2019) “Solar panels are hot thanks to demand from both climate-conscious buyers and those simply hoping to cut down on their electricity bills. Homes with these features sell the fastest of all of the amenities on our list, at a median 51 days. About 2% of homeowners undergoing remodels have been installing them each year from 2015 to 2017, according to Houzz data. See Article.


Solar PV on your Rooftop brings a 43% return on investment according to a study by the US Department of Energy, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It’s time to start investing in solar.

Solar Power on a Home is a Good Investment(Original Post: June, 2015) The recent study concluded that “home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for a property with PV across a variety of states, housing and PV markets, and home types. Average market premiums…are about $4/W or $15,000 for an average-sized 3.6kW PV system.”  (Read “Selling into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes” )

 
Basically, if a homeowner installed a typical 5,000kW PV system that cost $14,000 after the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit, the home’s value would go up by $20,000. The $4/watt increase in value only applies if the system is owned by the homeowner. If a third party owns the system in the case of a lease or PPA the $4/watt valuation metric does not apply. 
 

UPDATE: 10/1/2018: Location, location, location has always been the motto for where to buy and sell real estate. Turns out it can impact a solar investment as well. 

Typically, the largest increases in property (with solar) come in regions with high electricity rates and strong solar incentive programs.  High energy costs can make a home with a PV system more sellable. For example, Long Island’s high energy rates have been a boon for their solar market. Buyers are “certainly willing to pay more” for a home where high electricity prices increase the savings from PV systems.

Higher energy costs can mean higher home value for homes with solar during the appraisal process as well. If appraisers consider the role of a PV system in the calculation of a home’s value, electricity produced by the system can be considered income, whether due to savings or from utility production credits, as noted in appraisal guidelines for green and high-performance properties from the Appraisal Foundation (see pages 36-38).

Another factor to consider is if the utility is friendly to solar. If a utility charges a different rate structure for a home that has solar, this could be a negative contributing factor to resale value. However, if a solar energy system is not connected to the grid but instead feeding a battery – theoretically, this could increase value due to energy freedom. 

Lenders, real estate agents and appraisers should account for the value added by solar and some may not know to do this. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Fannie Mae both have guidelines for valuing the system during appraisal. Sandia National Laboratories has a free tool designed to help real estate appraisers and others calculate the value of a new or existing PV system. To quantify the value of a home solar system (property value aside), the blog post by Aurora “quantifying the value of a solar installation” is a good place to start. 

Two other factors found to affect resale value is PV system size and age of the system when the home is sold. The LBNL study notes that the depreciation of aging solar systems may decrease the value added to the home during appraisal. However, as the study authors note, exactly how system age impacts the numbers is unclear because there has been little research about it given the immaturity of the American solar market. Therefor purchasing a solar energy system that has very little degradation is preferable. 

 

UPDATE: 4/21/2017: Overland Park, Kansas homeowner sells home for an additional $20,000 due to Solar Investment.

In 2015, a customer of Good Energy Solutions had us install a 5.1kW solar pv system on their residential home. The homeowner purchased the system and was able to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax credit in the year the system was installed. (Posted pictures are not a representation of the Overland Park home)
 
This past month the homeowner put the home on the market. The real estate agent suggested a selling price based on comps in the neighborhood. Knowing the value of the solar array, (​and since most realtors don’t understand the value of solar) ​the homeowner decided to increase the price of the home (5,000W X $4 = $20,000). As a result, the home sold for $20,000 more than the real-estate agent proposed. Essentially, the homeowner got all of his investment back from the solar array plus the money NOT spent on rising utility costs over the years.
 
Solar is a great investment in Overland Park, Kansas. Good Energy Solutions will soon be offering classes for people in the real estate industry on the value of solar. 
 

More articles about Solar and Home Investment:

Even in the Northeast, an area of the United States that does not have as much potential solar resource as Kansas, (see National Renewable Energy Lab) solar is proving to be a wise home investment. A recently published article, April 12 of 2017,  in pv-magazine shares: “homes in the Northeast with solar panels sold for an average of nearly $99,000 more than those without them.” (See article)

 
Other home investments like new kitchens, bathrooms, and landscaping clearly have the reputation of helping to sell a home – as long as the buyer shares your decor choice. Turns out, Solar on your roof is a clean investment that pays off when you sell your home AND saves you money while you live there.
 
SunPower Residential Home Solar Installation by Good Energy Solutions

Great curb appeal by SunPower and Good Energy Solutions