A recent analysis by Redfin and Sun Number, has rated 10+ cities in the northeast based on their solar power potential. Sun Number is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot-funded startup that has developed a patented automatic process for helping homeowners/buyers understand the solar energy potential of their homes or future homes, using a Sun Number Scale that runs from 1-100, where the higher a reading, the better the property is suited for solar energy installation and use.

As early as 2015, a multi-institutional research led by U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkley Lab) concluded that home buyers have consistently been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. The data came from more than 20,000 sales of homes, about 4,000 of which contained a host-owned solar energy installation. The additional price home buyers were ready to pay was significant and worthy of serious consideration: a hefty premium of about $15,000. Redfin and Sun Number partially support that prior data.

A key detail (and current weakness in the Sun Number in my opinion) in the ratings system I noted – the price difference between solar/non-solar homes shows more so that more expensive houses have installed solar, versus, showing the value of a solar system on a house. The NREL Berkley report is a better tool to get a pricing feel for solar without solar power – and it gets into the details on a state level.

A great tool I’ve discovered, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, is called PV Value. Bookmark this website. It’ll give you the ability to determine the value of a solar power system based upon the amount of energy it will generate – and it lets you figure out the value of the solar system at any point in the system’s life, not just at the time of installation.

Cities in the North East with Prospect for Solar

Here is the data from the joint research conducted by Redfin and Sun Number.

  1.  Providence, RI
Median Sale Price:  $139,400
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $329,000
Average Sun Number: 79
  1.  Rochester, NY
Median Sale Price: $107,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $136,500
Average Sun Number: 80
  1.  Syracuse, NY
Median Sale Price: $95,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $262,500
Average Sun Number: 84
  1.  Worcester, MA
Median Sale Price: $173,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $215,000
Average Sun Number: 82
  1.  Buffalo, NY
Median Sale Price: $108,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $200,000
Average Sun Number: 83
  1.  Boston, MA
Median Sale Price: $450,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $629,251
Average Sun Number: 71
  1.  Newark, NJ
Median Sale Price: $191,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $345,050
Average Sun Number: 76
  1.  Augusta, ME
Median Sale Price: $115,450
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $153,500
Average Sun Number: 75
  1.  Albany, NY
Median Sale Price: $171,495
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $243,750
Average Sun Number: 81
  1.  Concord, NH
Median Sale Price: $182,500
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $290,000
Average Sun Number: 72

As more homeowners/buyers and real estate agents become aware of solar energy and its usefulness, it is projected that the premium home buyers will need to pay more for homes with host-owned Solar PV systems.

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