SunShot Spotlight: Solar and Real Estate

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With nearly one million solar energy systems installed on residential rooftops across the country, buying or selling a solar home is getting more and more common. Just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement increases a home’s value, solar has been shown to boost home valuation and shorten a home’s time on the market. In addition, new borrowing tools give solar-interested homeowners access to financing programs that can lower the cost of capital and unlock new ways to go solar. The real estate market is embracing solar, making it vital that real estate agents, appraisers, and homeowners increase their solar knowledge and leverage the premium-boosting power of a solar system to sell or refinance their homes.

The SunShot Initiative has funded projects, tools, and resources designed to help make it easy to purchase a solar system for your home, or buy or sell a solar home. This spotlight on solar and real estate aims to highlight our extensive work in this area and connect these resources with the professionals and homeowners who can use this information.

Check out the resources below and join the conversation with #SolarRealEstate.

Solar and Real Estate Blog Posts

5 Common Myths About Residential Solar

The amount of solar connected to the grid has grown exponentially in the past several years, and with all of this interest and so much information...

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SunShot Programs Bring Solar Energy Basics to Real Estate Pros

Recent research shows that adding solar to your home — much like renovating the kitchen or finishing the basement — can boost your home's value and...

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Shopping for a Solar Home Made Easy — SunShot and the Future of Solar Home-Buying

Solar homes are being sold across the country, but they can be hard to find and compare. Teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and...

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Visualizing Value: Game-Changing Solar Technologies for Homeowners
The SunShot Initiative fosters innovation, challenging the recipients of our funding to bring next-generation technologies to the market in just a ...
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Paying For Solar – Tips For Financing a Residential System

After you’ve made the decision to go solar, the next step is figuring out how to pay for it. Assuming you don’t have the cash to buy your solar...

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Featured Stakeholder Blog Posts

Featured Resources

Solar Boosts Home Values
Consumer Protection
  • Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power – T​his resource from the Solar Energy Industries Association aims to protect consumers as they navigate the going solar process.
  • Solar Industry Commitment to Consumer Protection – This resource from the Solar Energy Industries Association is designed to help consumers understand available consumer protection efforts by the solar industry.
  • Solar Transaction Disclosure Forms – In an effort to protect consumers, the Solar Energy Industries Association created standard transaction disclosure forms.
  • Consumer Solar Checklist –This list by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council is designed to encourage Americans to consider important pieces of information before entering into a contract to install a solar system.
  • Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – The Interstate Renewable Energy Council has created this guideline to address consumer issues, including safety, contractual transparency, warranties, and privacy issues realted to renewable energy technologies.
Financial Resources 
  • Fannie Mae HomeStyle Energy – This new mortgage option gives borrowers the ability to complete clean energy upgrades for up to 15% the appraised value of their homes. Borrowers are able to finance energy-efficient upgrades when purchasing or refinancing a home, eliminating the need for a subordinate lien, home equity line of credit, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan, or unsecured loan.
  • Fannie Mae Guidance for Homes with Solar Panels – Fannie will purchase/securitize homes where the owners have purchased solar panels or have a third party financing agreement in place.
  • FHA Programs that Can Help Homeowners Save Energy – This overview from the FHA lists the programs and resources from their office that can help homeowners save energy and finance renewable energy systems. 
  • A Homeowners' Guide to Solar Financing – The Clean Energy States Alliance has released a guide to help homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar system financing.
  • Model Leases and PPAs –The Solar Energy Industries Association created model contracts in an effort to further consumer protection and cost reduction programs. 
Community Solar 
  • Community and Shared Solar – An explanation of community and shared solar, an overview of SunShot Initiative funded projects in this area, and information and resources on this emerging topic.
  • National Community Solar Partnership – The National Community Solar Partnership works to expand access to community and shared solar throughout the nation, especially in low- and moderate-income households.
  • Federal Resources for Community Solar – A compilation of federal resources that can assist those who are working to develop community solar projects.