Solar panels and solar energy have a number of important benefits for a home. The most well-known of which include reducing the home’s environmental impact and lowering the energy costs associated with it. Another benefit, and one that is often overlooked by the public, is that solar power boosts a home’s property value.

In today’s tepid real estate market having even the slightest edge over competition is beyond valuable. Offering something different – and advertising this fact – can be a great benefit in attracting new buyers. Green energy and energy-saving being what they are today makes homes with solar panels all the more attractive.

Solar panels do more than just straight up raise a home’s value though. They also make it stick out in a market that is full of near duplicates. As popular as solar energy is becoming, it still isn’t seen on the majority of houses. And with the energy-saving and money-saving potential of solar power, new home buyers will jump at the chance to own a home that already has it installed.

A recent report put out by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) states that solar panels raise a home’s property value by as much as 3% to 4%. While those figures might not sound like a lot right off the bat, it is a significant amount when you do the math. In fact, adding solar panels to your home can increase its property value in much the same way that adding a completely new kitchen does.

An example is needed to really show how greatly solar power can raise a home’s property values. Currently, the NBER estimates that a single watt of solar energy can add $5.50 to a home’s value. The average owner of a solar-powered home – and here is where the example comes in – uses a 3.1 kilowatt solar panel system. That means that when it all comes down to it, the solar power owner would stand to make over $17,000 more than the owner of a comparable, non-solar-powered home.

In a similar vein, current research has shown the solar-powered homes sell much more quickly than non-solar homes. In fact, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) states that homes sell as much as 20% more quickly when they come equipped with solar panels.

The benefits of solar energy for homes don’t stop there though. Though it doesn’t directly relate to a home’s property value, solar energy can cut down on energy expenses dramatically. In fact, many solar-powered home owners even get money back from energy companies – in the form of energy credits – for creating surplus energy. New home buyers are beginning to recognize this fact and place a great deal of importance on it.

At the end of the day, utilizing solar energy for your home can not only help the environment and lower your energy bills, but also increase your home’s property values. Though the initial investment is definitely high, installing solar panels on your home can greatly benefit you financially, especially when it comes time to sell.

If you can get free solar panels this is a great way of improving the value of your home at no cost to you.