Asphalt shingles are so 20th century. Take a peek at roofs these days and there’s a good chance you’ll spot solar panels. By the end of 2020, roughly 2.7 million solar panel systems had been installed on American homes, and the White House believes that 7.5 million systems will be installed by 2034. Many homeowners install solar panels to lower utility bills and perhaps raise their home values. But do solar panels actually add value to houses?
Research supported by the Energy Department and Fannie Mae examined the value of homes with solar panels installed. Researchers found that solar panels owned outright increased the value of the home by roughly the same amount as the cost of the system itself. Leased solar panels, however, didn’t add value and could, in fact, create some hassles when it came time to sell.
Homeowners should consider other factors as well. On one hand, panels may reduce utility bills. On the other hand, you may end up on the hook for expensive repairs later on and solar panels today have a lifespan of just 25 years. Now, that’s interesting, considering that most asphalt shingles have a similar lifespan. It’s worth taking into account, especially given the huge leaps in technology companies like Tesla have brought to the solar and roofing market. Right now? They’re truly expensive right now, but the reality is, by the time you need new shingles, solar roofs might be right in line with those costs.