Rooftop solar energy gains momentum in the USDecember 20, 2013
Rooftop systems are becoming more popular among homeowners
In many parts of the world, solar energy typically finds a home on the rooftops of homes and businesses. These are small scale photovoltaic systems that are designed to serve as a localized energy source. Large scale projects have become quite popular as well, but have experienced relatively slow growth because of their high cost. In the U.S., rooftop solar energy systems are showing much more potential than their large scale counterparts, according to a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Solar adds to a home’s resale value
The report suggests that rooftop photovoltaic systems have a lot more to offer homeowners than just electricity. According to the report, rooftop systems can increase the resale value of a home by as much as $6,000, depending on the type of system that has been installed and its energy production capacity. Solar energy is often heralded for its economic promise, but homeowners do not often see the benefits of these energy systems beyond the savings they manage to provide on electricity bills.
Many homeowners unwilling to pay high costs associated with solar power
While rooftop solar energy systems may increase the resale value of a home, many homeowners have yet to adopt solar power. The primary reason has to do with the high cost associated with photovoltaic systems and their associated technology. Few homeowners can justify the high cost of rooftop systems and, therefore, do not purchase them. There is an alternative way to acquire photovoltaic systems that can mitigate upfront costs or remove them entirely.
Leasing programs could boost solar adoption
Leasing programs have become a viable way to avoid the upfront costs associated with rooftop photovoltaic systems. Several solar developers have begun offering leasing programs in order to promote the adoption of solar power, but many homeowners have yet to take advantage of these programs. Coupled with the boost to resale values that solar energy provides, leasing programs may be able to help bring solar power to more homes throughout the U.S.