If you’re a solar homeowner, you already know that going solar is a good financial move because of the electricity bill savings. But did you know that customer-owned solar homes have substantially higher resale value?

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has just completed a thorough review of the effect of solar PV systems on home prices in California, and their conclusion is staggering:  The average non-PV home sold for $480,862 (in 2009 dollars).  The average PV home sold for $537,442.  That means that, if you own your PV system, you can expect your solar home to sell for 9% more than a comparable non-solar home in your neighborhood.

Or, to look at it another way, LBNL says that the premium on the typical 3-kW PV system is $17,000 — if you sell your home with a paid off PV system, you’ll get $17,000 more thanks to your solar array.  (The math is tricky — read the report if you want to geek out on the calculations).

If you’re leasing a system, keep the number 17k in mind when you’re considering whether to pay off the balance of your lease and own your system outright. Paying off your system will more than pay for itself in increased home value.

Factor in the electricity bill savings, and you have yourself a financial win-win. Factor in Mother Earth, and we’ll call it a win-win-win.

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.