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solar_paneled_homeOnce exclusive to wealthy, eco-conscious homeowners, rooftop solar panels are becoming an increasingly common fixture in residential housing – and homebuyers are taking notice.

According to a new report funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, homebuyers have consistently been willing to pay more for a property with owned solar photovoltaic systems (PV), regardless of home type or market. The study, ‘Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes,’ analyzed data across eight states in varying regions: California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina and New York.

Both new and existing home markets seem to value the addition of a PV system, with premiums averaging $3.58/watt for new homes and $4.51/watt for existing homes. California premiums, however, average $1.10/watt more than other states.

The study also found evidence of a “green cachet,” or circumstance in which buyers may be willing to pay a certain amount for having any size PV system.

The results of the study confirm what early adopters have always believed: solar makes cents. Aside from renewable energy benefits, those who own their home’s PV system will receive approximately $1.26/watt in tax credits. Additionally, buyers can save time and money on installation and costs. Simcoe Green Homes CEO Jim Simcoe advises homeowners to complete several steps before installing, such as conducting a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) energy audit and making recommended repairs. Homeowners can sidestep the potential for delays and added expenses by purchasing a home already equipped with a PV system.

If all goes as planned, the Department of Energy estimates a total of 108 gigawatts of residential rooftop solar paneling by 2050, equaling 30 million homes nationwide. As of 2014, more than half a million homes in the U.S. are outfitted with PV systems.

To read a copy of the report, click here.