Green home solar energy

Selling A House With Solar Panels

One leading concern among homeowners that are considering switching to solar is what might happen if they decide to sell their homes. Questions such as, “will I make a loss overall if I sell a few years in?” and even “will the house still sell, with solar panels?” are common. Selling A House With Solar Panels

In this article, we’ll cover the ways in which solar panels affect home value and sale, explain why solar is still a sound investment, even if you plan to move in the near future, and discuss what happens if you want to sell and you have a solar lease.

Selling A House With Solar Panels

  1. Will Solar Panels Affect The Sale Of My Home?

For homeowners who want the financial savings that solar panels can offer, but are likely to move in the next five years, the prospect of making a loss on the investment is an understandable concern.

However, two large scale studies on solar panels and home sales – one by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a later study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – have shown that installing solar panels significantly increases home value.

What Were The Findings Of The Studies?
Selling A House With Solar Panels

The first study, by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was published in 2010, and found that:

  • Homes that installed solar panel systems sold 20% faster, on average, than equivalent homes without
  • Solar panels increased the value of homes by 17%, on average
  • There was a $20 increase in home value for every $1 of annual savings on utility bills

The second study was carried out by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory over a 10 year period, and was published in 2015. It found that:

  • Solar panels significantly increased the value of homes that installed them, by an average of $15,000
  • The increase in value was dependent on factors such as system size, finding that there was an average increase of between $4,020 and $5,911 per kilowatt of solar panels
  • Judging by these findings, a conservative increase in home value from a 6 kilowatt system would be $24,120 and in the best case scenario could be as high as $35,466
  • The average increase in value is greater than the average cost of a solar panel system, even without factoring in federal and state incentives

With these figures in mind, it’s clear that even if you sell your home within a year or two of installing your solar system, you will make a net profit for having invested in solar panels – even without factoring in how much you save on utilities during the years prior to moving.

  1. How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Illinois?

Since 2011, according to the Solar Renewable Energy Association (SEIA), the average annual cost of solar panels has dropped by over 60%.

Whereas in 2011, a 6 kW solar system would set you back somewhere in the region of $50,000, today that same sized system would cost between $16,677 and $22,562, before incentives – which can lower the overall cost by around 50%.

  • According to Forbes, in Illinois, the average 6 kW solar system costs around $16,740
  • The average cost per watt of solar panels in Illinois is between $2.70 and $3.30
  • The cost per watt usually depends on the size of your system – with you paying more overall but less per watt for a larger system


  1. How Much Can You Save With Solar Panels In Illinois?

In addition to significantly increasing the value of your home, and increasing its chances of being sold, solar panels continually save you money by producing 100% renewable energy.

How much money you save depends on factors such as your local utility rates, how much electricity you use and how large your solar system is, but:

  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average cost of electricity in Illinois is 17.27 cents per watt, as of November 2022
  • The average monthly household electricity consumption in Illinois is around 1,058 kWh
  • Based on the above figures, Illinois residents will be paying an average of $180 per month for their electricity
  • In 2022, the average home with solar panels in Illinois saved $1,391 over the course of the year, compared to what they would otherwise have paid in utilities
  • Provided you have sufficient roof space for a large enough system, you could eliminate your utility bill entirely

  1. How Much Can You Save By Leasing Solar Panels?

Solar panel leases are a great option for homeowners whose roof specifications are suboptimal for solar panel efficiency, or who don’t want the high upfront costs associated with purchasing solar panels.

Solar panel leases allow you to make immediate and significant savings on your utility bill, without having to invest anything or have the responsibility of maintaining the system.

Our customers save an average of 35 – 40%, compared to what they would otherwise have paid in utilities.

How Much Can You Save By Leasing Solar Panels?

At Green Home Makeover, we offer solar leases to anyone with a credit score of 650 or better. The solar leases that we provide are for a duration of 20 years, after which you have three options:

  1. The installer comes to your home, removes the solar panels and restores your roof to its original condition
  2. The old panels are removed and you sign a new lease on a brand new system, for a discounted rate
  3. You can have the system appraised by a third party, and purchase it for a fair price

What Happens If I Have A Solar Lease And I Want To Sell My Home?

A top concern amongst our prospective customers is what will happen if they sign a 20 year lease on a solar panel system and they want to sell their home.

Some companies don’t allow you to transfer the lease to a new homeowner and force you to pay to break the contract early.

At Green Home Makeover, we care about our customers so we don’t do this. If you lease solar panels from us and you sell your home, the lease automatically transfers to the new homeowner, with no additional fees for the transfer.

What Happens If I Have A Solar Lease And I Want To Sell My Home?

In Summary

Solar panels are the smart choice for any homeowner, even those that are planning on moving within the next five years. In this article, we have learned:

  • Solar panels significantly increase the value of your home, by more than the average cost of the installation
  • Homes that install solar panels sell, on average, 20% faster than equivalent homes without
  • In Illinois, the average home with solar panels saved $1,391 in 2022 – and you can save a lot more
  • If you lease solar panels, you can save 35 – 40%, compared to what you would have otherwise paid in utilities
  • If you lease solar panels with Green Home Makeover, the lease will automatically transfer to the new homeowner if you decide to sell your home

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to upgrade your home with solar panels, get in touch today for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote.