Thinking of installing a solar power system? It could be more than worth it when it comes time to sell as energy efficiency becomes more and more important to homebuyers.
According to a recent Zillow analysis, more than 80% of homebuyers in the United States consider energy efficiency features important. In the last year, U.S. homes with solar power systems sold for 4.1% more on average than homes without solar power systems. We’d like to think that Canadians are just as environmentally conscious as our southern neighbours (if not more so).
Zillow has a Sun Number score for cities, which is pretty interesting. Every home’s roof size, pitch, and orientation are taken into consideration, plus local factors like trees, buildings, local electricity costs, and weather are used to determine the Sun Number between 0-100. The higher the number, the better the city is to support home solar power systems.
It’s not just about sunny versus cloudy. For example, San Francisco is known for being foggy, but with a median Sun Number of 87, it ranks higher than sunny San Diego and Tampa.
Las Vegas has the highest median Sun Number with 93. Phoenix and San Jose are tied for second with 90 each, and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and Denver are tied for third with median Sun Numbers of 89.
"Energy conservation isn't only good for the environment, it can also translate into big savings on electricity bills as well as help to reduce the strain on the electrical grid," says Zillow senior economist, Sarah Mikhitarian. "The Sun Number provides a starting point for potential energy savings, but speaking with a local expert can help homeowners decide whether it pencils out. Homes with solar-energy systems often sell for more than comparable homes without solar power. This premium is largely reflective of the future energy cost savings associated with system."
According to the analysis, there are enough solar power systems in the U.S. to power 12.3 million homes. This number is expected to grow as California recently made it mandatory for all new homes to have solar power systems, starting in 2020. We’re curious whether a rule like this would be welcomed in Ontario or the Greater Toronto Area. Would homebuyers be happy about it? How would builders feel?