It’s no surprise that newly renovated homes have more success in the market than out-of-date homes. One trend that has gained popularity in recent years is solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

In the U.S. alone, there is expected to be more than 1 million houses with solar energy systems by the end of 2018. Because there’s a growing market for solar installations, real estate agents should learn to properly include them in a building’s overall value.

What Buyers Want

Location, floor plan and amenities are top priority for most buyers, but some have a high appreciation for energy efficiency. As with any renovation, there’s no guaranteed dollar-for-dollar return on investment when a building features green technology. However, it could be a bargaining tool because of the energy savings and environmentally friendly benefits.

Solar Training and Education for Professionals

If you’re trying to learn more about solar energy, there are online resources at your disposal. Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) is a funding program that has been in place since 2016. The program’s goal is to address gaps in solar training and energy education by supporting the continuation of current training programs. Real estate and financial professionals play a role in the development of solar deployment, so we’re encouraged to be educated on the topic and training programs are one option.  

The key to installing solar energy systems in buildings is hiring a qualified professional. If the system is not installed incorrectly, you won’t be getting the most out of your investment. Although you can shop around for the best quote, you’ll want to make sure your installer is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Benefits of Solar Energy

The installation cost of a solar energy system is modest and it’s a viable option for nearly any building under the sun. In fact, switching to solar becomes cheaper every day because of improved technologies. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that solar energy will be cheaper than coal and natural gas in metropolitan areas by 2040. They also forecast a 60% drop in solar prices in the next two decades.

In the long run, the systems save money on energy costs and are more environmentally friendly than other energy options. Your company even has the opportunity to collect a Solar Investment Tax Credit.

If you’re committed to innovation, solar energy is a topic you’ll want to pay attention to in the coming years.