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How solar panels affect a home's value


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Full story here: http://www.forsytheappraisals.com/2015/september/300-how-solar-panels-affect-a-home-s-value

Highlights:

According to a generational trends report from the National Association of Realtors, millennials want to buy homes that are energy efficient, which often means they want homes with green technology. Around 10 percent of the millennials surveyed specifically seek out green tech, but it serves as an added bonus for a huge number of buyers. As the housing market continues to recover and home sales to young first-time buyers increase, homebuilders and owners are likely to increase their efforts to create green homes. Solar panels that generate all or part of a home's electricity could become a new norm, and valuation experts need to prepare.

Individuals who install a solar panel array on their property to power their home are eligible for a subsidy from the federal government based on the current market price for power, according to the Washington Post. That makes panels particularly enticing for many homeowners who want to reduce dependency and save money.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners' investment in solar might be worth it. The survey included 4,000 homes with solar power systems, and discovered that buyers were willing to pay around $15,000 more for a house that included an average size solar power system. The New York Times reported that Fannie Mae advised appraisers to evaluate a home's solar panel system to discern how much it should add to the house's value.


Unlike other features, energy-saving and green elements - particularly solar panels - will contribute a different amount to a home's value. For this reason, appraisers need to take into account an area's climate and the number of sunny days annually before assigning a value.

For reference: Austin averages 300+ sunny days/year.

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Definitely not complicated w/ us!

You provide me with the following: pdf of your bill, and a csv of your last 12 months usage - both easily accessible on every utility site

I'm going to plug that usage and your address into our software, draw an outline of your roof, and see how close we can get to offsetting your usage to 100% with solar panels.

I meet with you to go over the design and financials and if you like what see, you sign the initial agreement and schedule a site survey.

Our engineer comes out and climbs on your roof, inspects to ensure it's good for mounting, measures and creates a final design. That design may be different from mine, because I'm using Google maps and SketchUp, and he's an actual engineer. That may also change the final financials - I like to be up front about this so that it doesn't feel like a bait and switch if that happens. Could be better for the customer as well - my 1st customer's initial design had 17 panels on 2 separate mounting planes (faces of his roof). The engineer got creative and put all of them on the same plane, which is a cleaner design aesthetically and easier to install for us.

You'll get a final proposal w/ updated design and financials, and if you like what you see, you sign the final contract.

Once that's signed, the city comes out and inspects, then when we're good w/ them, we install. [right now we don't know how long the city will take to get that done - our guys are doing the site survey as soon as they're booked]

You have until the system goes on your roof to back out. I say that not so that people will (because that screws me), but so that you know we're confident that you will be comfortable and not signing something that chains you to a bad deal.

There is no upfront cost w/ SolarCity - that's why we own 34% of the market and our next 10 competitors own 25% combined. It's a purchase via loan, and your payment (right now) is lower than what you're paying w/ Austin Energy. If you own a home, you meet the credit requirement.

I say right now because Austin Energy is giving you a 25% discount on our system today. We've been notified we've booked through that level of incentive and the next tier will be 21.8% off, then 18.7%, then 15.6% until it's over.

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Could be better for the customer as well - my 1st customer's initial design had 17 panels on 2 separate mounting planes (faces of his roof). The engineer got creative and put all of them on the same plane, which is a cleaner design aesthetically and easier to install for us.

Here's what I designed vs the final design:

2ccmd06.png

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Does this work in Oncor areas? What is the baseline cents per kWh that solar works with? I'm at roughly 7 cents kWh with an 2500-3000 kWh consumption winter, spring fall, upwards of 4500-5000 in the dead summer.

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It does work in Oncor, depending on who the utility is. No bueno w/ PEC.

I don't know the answer to the baseline question. I do know that several of our reps work Oncor territory and are making sales, so it makes sense for some folks. Shoot me your email via PM and I'll follow up and can get you a quote in under 24h.

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Here's an example of an evaluation (presented this today):

Today:

12 mo avg kWh consumed: 1296

Current avg monthly spend: $150

w/ Solar:

Monthly payment for solar: $123

Monthly avg for Austin Energy: $3

So the customer rents the panels from the solar company. Who is responsible for the maintenance?

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are you able to add on to existing solar systems? Say 16 pannels

Yes we can, so long as the existing system isn't providing 100% of production. I'm working w/ a family right now that has an existing system, but it only offsets about 50% of their usage, so I'm trying to get them to 100%.

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So the customer rents the panels from the solar company. Who is responsible for the maintenance?

The customer purchases the system via loan that we finance. We cover maintenance for 20yrs - the term of the loan. You can do a 10yr loan at a lower interest rate if you'd like, or pay up front, but most people like having the monthly savings.
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For our solution (roof mounted solar), unless it is a condo situation, an HOA cannot restrict solar.

There are some exceptions that would apply, but that's for developments of fewer than 50 homes that are still under construction. For our panels/systems, none of the others (ground based, exceeding 100% of consumption) would apply. You should definitely check w/ the HOA first, but there's no way for them to restrict you, based on the law in Texas today.

https://www.revolvesolar.com/hoas-and-solar-panels-in-texas-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-law/

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2015/06/05/new-texas-law-makes-going-solar-easier-as-homes-are-being-built

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For our solution (roof mounted solar), unless it is a condo situation, an HOA cannot restrict solar.

There are some exceptions that would apply, but that's for developments of fewer than 50 homes that are still under construction. For our panels/systems, none of the others (ground based, exceeding 100% of consumption) would apply. You should definitely check w/ the HOA first, but there's no way for them to restrict you, based on the law in Texas today.

https://www.revolvesolar.com/hoas-and-solar-panels-in-texas-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-law/

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2015/06/05/new-texas-law-makes-going-solar-easier-as-homes-are-being-built

Yeah, this one from the first link is what concerns me:

  • Was installed without prior approval from the HOA
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They can't block you from getting them, so my guess is all you have to do is notify them. If you're interested to know what the financials look like before you chat w/ the HOA, shoot me an email - [email protected]

I hope you get them, because your neighborhood is FULL of big southern facing roofs w/ no trees..... dribble.gif

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