Watt’s Up with Solar Power


The cost of solar power has dropped over the last decade and may be within reach for many middle-class homeowners who previously were priced out.  Here are a few things to consider when buying and selling a home with solar.

  • Solar electric systems (photovoltaic) systems perform well even in our region. The Puget Sound actually receives more sunlight than Germany, the world’s leading solar market.
  • New research sponsored by the Department of Energy revealed that buyers were consistently willing to pay up to $15,000 more for a home with the average-size solar photovoltaic system, versus a similar home without one.
  • Be sure to check with your homeowners association (if you have one) to see if solar panels are allowed.
  • If you’re having a home with solar appraised, make sure that an appraisal includes the current value of the solar electric system in the estimate.  It’s also a good idea to ask if your appraiser has experience in “green” valuation.
  • The life expectancy of the current generation of solar panels is 20 to 25 years, and they require periodic cleaning to get the maximum output. Ask your solar installation technician for cleaning recommendations.

For more information on solar power, go to energy.gov, and in your community check with your local utilities district.