How Much Can I Profit From It?
Solar panels do a great service to home buyers. They manage to match energy demands to efficiency and cost. The state of California estimates that it should help homeowners save about $19,000 in 30 years. Of course, the initial investment is significant, but solar panels pay the investment back in 6 to 10 years.
According to Zillow, a real estate company, solar panels can "increase the home’s resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, and another estimated increase of 4.1% of the home's value". The exact numbers change from state to state. For example, in New Jersey the numbers are higher: "homes with solar panels can sell for 9.9% more than homes without solar energy systems. That is a profit of $32,281 for the median-valued home in that state"
The Pros and Advantages
The most prominent pro to installing solar panels in your home is the potential revenue. Depending on your energy consumption, your location, and the season, you may produce more energy than you consume. Many utility companies will buy that excess from you and circulate it to other homes.
Then there's also the climate and carbon emission advantage solar panels have over traditional energy resources. Solar panels have a positive image as an investment for the future, both ecologically and financially. They cost much less in maintenance and they usually have a fixed price per hour or kilowatt, unlike traditional utility bills whose sums surprise you periodically. This fixed price is usually lower than utility rates in most states.
Which State is Most Welcoming to Solar Panels?
According to Zillow, these are the top 10 states with the highest solar premiums for median-value homes:
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% or $15,916.
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.
When the value of your house increases, your tax does too, but many states offer either unlimited or time-limited exemption. According to EcoWatch, a leading source of environmental news, the following states are the ones who offer the unlimited 100% exemption:
Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin.
Other states offer exemption for a period of 20, 10, or 5 years. North Carolina offers an 80% exemption. These states offer no exemption:
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
The Cons and Disadvantages
Though scarce, some disadvantages exist. In some cases, customers will still be required to pay basic utility infrastructure charges for wire maintenance. They may also still use utility services to some extent, depending on the size of their home and the season. It is worth noting, though, that traditional utility companies also raise their prices usually during the summer to meet demands.
The final thing you should consider before installing solar panels in your home is this: are you going to buy them or lease them? As mentioned before they usually pay the investment back in up to 10 years, but many homeowners prefer to lease the solar panels, paying for them for years or months. At the time of selling the property, they will have to either buy out the solar panels or find a buyer that would be willing to take over the lease.