Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Your home could be worth more with solar panels, but how much more depends on location and if you own the panels.
Profile photo of Roberta Pescow
Written by Roberta Pescow
Profile photo of Tina Orem
Edited by Tina Orem
Assistant Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Some or all of the mortgage lenders featured on our site are advertising partners of NerdWallet, but this does not influence our evaluations, lender star ratings or the order in which lenders are listed on the page. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners.

Solar panels can increase a home’s value by about 4% on average — or $20 for every dollar that solar decreases your annual utility bills — provided you own the solar panels or shingles. For a median-value home, solar panels can add over $9,000 to the home’s overall price


Do solar panels make my house worth more?

As long as you’ve purchased (rather than leased) solar panels or shingles, going solar can add to the value of your house. Where you live has a significant impact on what your home-value increase will be, however. Homes in states with bigger solar incentives and bigger solar markets may see bigger price differences. Some of these states include:

Do solar panels make it harder to sell your house?

Purchasing solar panels or shingles shouldn’t make it harder to sell your house, because they tend to increase a home’s value by making it greener and lowering electric bills. If you opt for a solar lease, however — which means you’re renting the solar panels with a long-term lease rather than buying them — it may be harder to sell your home.

Potential buyers may not want to assume the lease agreement and ongoing payment obligations in addition to a mortgage. This is why if you plan on selling your home, it may make more sense to purchase rather than lease a solar array.

Factors that affect how much value solar adds to your home

Adding solar panels doesn’t increase everyone’s home value by the same amount. Other factors influence how much your home’s value might rise, such as:

  • Age of your solar system. If your panels or shingles are nearing the end of their productive years, your home value won’t rise as much with a system that's fairly new (less than 10-15 years old). 

  • Condition of your solar system. If you’ve properly maintained your system, you’ll likely see a larger increase in home value than if the panels are unmaintained, worn or damaged.

  • Ownership of panels. Typically, you need to own the solar panels to see an increase in property value. Leasing solar panels often doesn’t add to a home’s value, because potential buyers may hesitate to assume responsibility for your lease agreement.

  • Solar market. Homeowners in states with growing solar markets, solar-friendly laws and local incentives may expect relatively large increases in property values.

  • Local electric rates. Solar homes in states with higher costs for grid electricity may get a bigger premium.

How much does solar cost?

The cost of purchasing a solar system varies due to several factors, including:

  • System size. Larger systems typically cost more.

  • How much electricity your home needs. The more electricity you need, the more solar panels you’ll have to purchase.

  • Location. Not all geographical locations receive the same amount of sunlight — and less sunlight means less power generation per panel. This means that people in low-sunlight homes may need to purchase larger systems to generate the same amount of electricity.

  • Type of solar equipment. Many different types of panels, inverters and mounting systems are available, and costs vary depending on the type of equipment and brand you choose.

  • Home and roof. Home and roof designs can affect the labor needed for solar installation.

That said, the cost of purchasing and installing an entire solar system, before tax incentives or rebates, ranges from about $21,000 and $46,000. The national average is around $34,000, according to data from EnergySage, a solar and home energy product comparison marketplace founded in 2012.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.
Frequently asked questions

If potential buyers don’t want to take over your solar lease, you may want to consider paying the lease off in full or purchasing the panels. Depending on the housing market in your area, you may be able to add the payoff amount to the home’s asking price.

Most solar warranties are transferable to future owners of the home; however, it’s vital that you read your warranty carefully to make sure this is the case.

Good solar maintenance generally includes the following tasks:

  • Trimming back any foliage that blocks sun from the panels.

  • Gently cleaning the panels (or having them cleaned) about one to three times a year.

  • Replacing the inverter at least once during the life of your panels.

  • Monitoring your panels regularly for efficiency, and/or having them professionally inspected annually to catch issues early.

  • Installing critter guards if necessary.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.