Energy efficient renewable homes: Cheaper to build, sell higher

Posted on October 28, 2008. Filed under: Green Building, Solar |

From a paper published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

The data support the conclusion that SheaHomes [the builder of the zero energy home] was able to deliver highly energy-efficient homes equipped with solar water heating systems, 39% of which also included a GPV [grid-tied photovoltaic] system at a competitive price. In fact, despite their quality and amenities, the SheaHomes cost less per square foot than their competitors’. . . .

The increase in value for the SheaHomes averaged $227,592. The highest resale price was $930,000 for a home with a 1.2 kW PV system owned for 23 months. The increase in SheaHomes resale prices were proportionally higher than were those of nearby 6 comparison homes resold in the same time period.

And from an article by Michael Copeland on

Home systems are still rare, so their value is difficult to assess, but home appraisers follow this general rule of thumb: Half the gross cost can be recouped in the home sales price as soon as it is installed. True, that’s well below the recovery rates for kitchens and bathrooms (which range from 70 to 90 percent), but your kitchen doesn’t pay the power bills.

And solar’s ability to lower energy costs also adds value. A study in Appraisal Journal found that for every utility-bill dollar saved annually because of an improvement, you gain $10 to $20 in property value. So if you can zero out a $1,000 annual electric tab by installing solar, you’ll get back $10,000 to $20,000 in home value.

And one more article by Adam Aston in Business Week:

The appeal of solar homes could grow as the economic outlook worsens. The more utility bills cut into household reserves, “the more consumers recognize the value of efficiency,” says Robert W. Hammon, principal of ConSol, a green building consulting firm. And there’s growing consumer awareness that solar homes appreciate faster than ordinary dwellings. They also resell for a premium of up to 5%.

According to Ben Hoen, a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who studies the effects of eco-features on real estate values, more homeowners now see solar panels as a long-term asset . . . .


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