Green

Listen up, Realtors: solar panels increase home value

So much for the not-in-my-backyard argument: California homes with solar panels installed on them sell for more than their panel-free counterparts, according to a study by the University of California at Berkeley.

The study found that homes with solar panels sold for an extra $5.50 per watt of solar power installed, for an average of $17,000 more per house.

Both solar power and wind power sources typically face resistance from communities due to a “not-in-my-backyard” mentality — meaning residents do not want large obtrusive pieces of equipment within line of sight. The argument is especially true for wind power because wind farms typically require massive turbines that are hundreds of feet tall that might become an eyesore for some residents.

But the Berkeley study, and an additional study conducted by the government in 2009, found that home prices were either unaffected or rose based on proximity to renewable energy sources like wind power turbines and solar panels. The space that wind turbines and solar panels occupy can also be used for other purposes — such as agriculture, in the case of wind power, or roofing, in the case of solar power.

Both reports suggest that the not-in-my-backyard argument doesn’t carry a lot of weight. After all, both of these renewable energy sources are rather iconic images of green technology — they’re supposed to carry a mentality of environmental conscientiousness with them.