Many are considering upgrading their home to be greener. Solar panels are one of the investments you can make for a greener house. 

But it’s not a simple decision to make considering the cost and labor involved. Canada’s greener house grant can be a motivating factor but let’s first analyze the pros and cons of getting a solar panel for your house. 

Do you need it? 

Each house is different. Energy can be saved in different ways depending on the house. What if there are other effective ways to conserve energy rather than going for solar panels? 

So the first thing to do is get an evaluation done for your house. You can go for the re-and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. The expert will be suggesting the most cost-effective option for your house. 

How much can you save? 

Installing solar panels is considered an investment. Eventually, you are expecting returns from it. After all, you’re saving money by saving energy. In general, you can expect the payback after 6-10 years based on the following factors, 

1. Cost of the system and installation. 

2. Overall electricity usage 

3. Maintenance and the efficacy of the panels. 

Do solar panels increase the value of your house? 

There’s no straight yes or no answer here, and it can sway either way. 

The major challenge energy-efficient houses face during valuation is the lack of comparables. Solar panels might not increase the value of a house similar to extra garage space or a swimming pool. 

Here are some of the issues specific to solar panels wrt sales and valuation. 

1. Leased systems where the buyer has to carry forward the lease 

2. Panels that have taken on loans need to be paid off before selling 

3. Buyers who are not sure about the technology, who are not able to foresee the energy/ money savings etc. 

How to increase the value? 

1. Take complete ownership of the panels as buyers are more likely to go for it. 

2. Show the buyers how you’ve been saving energy and money through utility bills. 

3. Hire a real estate agent who’s capable of selling an energy-efficient house. 

Here’s an estimation of how much solar panels can increase the value of your house. 

Zillow: Homes With Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & Adomatis Appraisal Services: $14,000 increase in value across six states; 3.74% of the average sale price

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: $15,000 increase in value

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studies have been rounded to a $6,000 increase in value for each kilowatt of solar panels installed.