Consumer Interest in Solar on the Rise: Appraisers Must Keep Up

Recent signs show the popularity of green home features is growing, and solar power is no exception. 2012 saw the demand for solar panels more than double, with the U.S. poised to become one of the biggest markets. Along with reduced costs for consumers and better environmental implications, this rapid growth in popularity also ushers in a whole new set of terminology and valuation issues for appraisers evaluating solar features.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, if solar roofing hasn’t reached its tipping point already, it’s certainly coming. With new, sleek designs and attractive incentives, consumers solar_panelhave begun to embrace solar energy at a much faster rate.

Like any potential upgrade, however, there is no typical approach to valuation, particularly since the value of solar energy itself has yet to be standardized. A recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that while many utilities appropriately apply a framework, capture and evaluate the solar energy’s economic value, the approaches vary widely.

Along with other green elements, it’s important that appraisers learn to understand and evaluate solar features now, as their appeal only looks to increase.

Have you had experience valuing solar features? Please share them in the comments below.