Solar Power + Real State: The Next Big Thing?

The real estate sector is one of the most dynamic and innovative, always seeking to satisfy an increasingly sophisticated demand by companies, so the real estate has been evolving in terms of sustainability.

Solar energy offers owners and managers of commercial real estate an exceptional opportunity to increase cash flow by reducing utility costs, increasing rents and increasing maintenance reimbursement for common areas. The installation of a photo-voltaic solar array (PV) also fosters closer connections with tenants and their customer bases, facilitates lease extensions, and allows a sustainable footprint.

If you are a real estate agent, this is what you need to know to represent buyers and sellers of homes with solar energy.

Solar Houses Are Sold For More.

Buyers will pay a premium for households with solar energy systems.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) produced a report that definitively demonstrated that solar-powered homes are sold for more than homes that do not. The 2015 study, Selling Into the Sun: premium price analysis of a multiple-estate data set from Solar Homes, analyzed 22,000 home sales in 8 states, 4,000 of which included photo-voltaic systems, from 2002 to 2013.

The study found that each watt of solar energy adds an average of $ 4 to the value of the house in California and an average of $ 3 per watt elsewhere. This represented an average price increase of $ 20,000 in California ($ 4 x 5,000W for the average system size) and $ 15,000 outside California ($ 3 x 5,000W).

Prove The Value.

If you are the seller’s agent, help him get the full value of his solar energy. Suggest that they gather documents that show their solar benefits and show them in open houses:

Copies of electric bills that show very little due or even a credit

Documents that show the amounts of recent “green income” payments if they are received: canceled checks or an extract from your “aggregator”.

A note saying that solar energy is exempt from property taxes, if that is the case. (varies by city).

Your House Will Sell Faster.

Houses sold 17% faster and 20% more even in a market crash.

Although the real estate market was in a recession, solar houses maintained their value. The other developments in the study also sold their solar homes approximately 17% faster than non-solar ones. The floor plans and the specifications of each home in the market were exactly the same. The only difference — solar. If the solar energy was already installed and the price was taken into account, the buyers were willing to pay more and took the opportunity to own their own solar system.

Another interesting finding is that these houses were not as solar as they could be. Most had smaller 2.5 kW photo-voltaic systems (most homes need a 5kW system to power all their appliances) but their energy bills are still reduced by 54% compared to their neighbors with network power. This shows that solar energy should be an industry standard for new construction. Even if developers implement smaller and cheaper systems, it can attract buyers quickly who are eager to reap the benefits of energy savings and independence.

Japan’s Solar City

When we hear “Japan” the first things that come to mind are sushi, cars and technology, and for a good reason. Here in America, Japanese technology is very popular together with Japanese cars.

In Ota City, located just 80 kilometers (roughly 50 miles) north of Tokyo, there is a small Solar Powered town called Pal Town. Every house and building has a solar panel or more for their use. Habitats of this town can be paid up to ¥5000 or $50 from the local power company.

This town is located in Japan’s sunniest area, and the Japanese government lost no time on taking advantage of the sun by giving Solar Panels to the residents of the city.

If people moving to this city are buying Solar Powered houses at the current market price they could recover the cost of the building plus ¥2,000,000 or $20,000 in two or three decades.

Kazuo Nakashima, Ota’s housing development manager says that the biggest challenge is the high equipment cost in spreading the Eco-friendly system.

[Kazuo Nakashima]: “Through this project, we’ve cleared technical issues over solar power generation in private homes. Now, the biggest challenge is how to reduce the cost of solar panels and related equipment.” Image Credits: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kazuo_Nakashima