Solar panels improve home sales


Homes in Michigan equipped with solar panels may sell for 4% more than homes without them, according to real estate data.

According to data from online real estate company Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for an average of 4.1% more compared to those without across the United States. POWERHOME Solar CEO Jayson Waller said this equates to about an average increased home value of $5,911 for each 1 kilowatt of solar power produced.

For the systems POWERHOME Solar provides, the value increases to about $25,000 to $30,000 on average.

Waller argued when shoppers are looking to spend less on a home, they are now weighing the cost of utilities, as well.

“A good example, if someone’s looking at a $300,000 house with a $300 power bill, (as opposed to) a $330,000 house has a $50 power bill, they’re more likely to buy the $330,000 house,” Waller said.

Through the end of 2019, the U.S. federal government is offering a 30% tax incentive on newly installed solar systems, meaning even more savings for those looking to plant a for-sale sign in their front yard.

Zillow calculated the solar premium by comparing homes with and without solar-energy systems that were listed for sale and sold from March 1, 2018, to Feb. 28, 2019, controlling for observable attributes of the homes, including bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, age of the home and location.

North Carolina-based POWERHOME Solar entered the West Michigan market in summer 2018.

The company has outfitted approximately 5,000 single-family homes in Michigan, about 300 of which are in West Michigan. Nearly nine months ago, the company established a location at 4652 Danvers Drive SE, Grand Rapids, according to an earlier Business Journal report.

Waller said POWERHOME Solar offers zero-money-down installation and finances the payment to be as close to customers’ energy savings as possible.

POWERHOME also provides residential customers battery storage, which Waller said is popular with Michigan customers. The battery functions like a generator and stores overcharge from solar energy in the event of an emergency or to reduce demand on the grid during peak energy times like the hottest days of summer.

Waller also praised the Consumers Energy market for its Net Metering program, where Consumers customers who produce their own energy earn a credit on their monthly bills for any excess energy.

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