Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems in California: The Effect on Home Sales Prices

Publication Type


Date Published




Relatively little research exists estimating the marginal impacts of photovoltaic (PV) energy systems on home sale prices. Using a large dataset of California homes that sold from 2000 through mid-2009, we find strong evidence, despite a variety of robustness checks, that existing homes with PV systems sold for a premium over comparable homes without PV systems, implying a near full return on investment. Premiums for new homes are found to be considerably lower than those for existing homes, implying, potentially, a tradeoff between price and sales velocity. The results have significant implications for homeowners, builders, appraisers, lenders, and policymakers.

Year of Publication



Note: A peer-reviewed version of this report was published in Contemporary Economic Policy. To see the published article, click here.


Research Areas

Related Files