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Solar panels vs other home improvements [Video]

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 11:54:59 AM

Everyone has a basic understanding of what solar panels do. They take light from the sun and convert it into clean power. But some may not know just how much value solar panels can add to their home's transaction price. Mother Earth News reported that a standard 6-kilowatt solar power system can add $24,000 to a home's property value.

How does that compare to other energy efficient home improvements? In 2015, the average cost of a solar panel installation was $3.70 per watt, according to data from EnergySage. That puts the overall cost of an average system at $22,200. That's before tax breaks and other incentives kick in, however. Solar installation's price tag drops to $15,600 after the 30 percent solar tax credit is evaluated. 

That project cost combined with its resale value equals a return on investment of more than 154 percent. That's pretty incredible, especially considering how more popular home improvement projects like small kitchen remodels typically recoup about 83 percent of their cost at resale. Bathroom remodels are even lower, at around 66 percent ROI. 

It would seem that when homeowners consider what project would be the best use for their home improvement financing, solar power should be at the top of the list.