Friday, March 26, 2010

Does Adding Solar Add to the Value of a House?

The ultimate American dream is to get married, buy a house, get a family van, a Lab and than have a few kids. Pretty clich├ęd but true for most of us. And another fact is that a lot of hard work, planning and investment go into making this dream a reality.

Buying a house is a big deal. As all the owners of houses know that it is just always a beginning once you do own a house. A house is constant work and needs to be regularly upgraded to stay a profitable investment in case it needs to be sold. Some people have their houses appraised every few years just to know the resale value.

There are numerous things one can do to add to the value of a house, add a patio, upgrade the kitchen, have a master bath added, maybe replace all the windows with vinyl ones, plant a herb garden, have a pool built even. All these changes do add to the value of a house but so do professionally added Solar Panels. Intelligent buyers and agents know the value of Solar Panels; they are greener and are a long term source of cheaper energy.

In the current economic down times any house that boasts lower overhead charges, like electricity costs or water charges etc. are definitely more popular with buyers. Buyers readily pay more for houses with lower utility costs. According to Appraisal Journal, a resource for appraisers, a dollar’s worth saving annually leads to twenty dollars increase in the price of the house. This reflects a ratio if 1:20. Thus a saving of $50 means an increase of $12,000 in the value of the property. It is common knowledge that electricity produced by Solar Panels is cheaper leading to an overall lower utility costs.

Money matters, true, but so does the environment. A lot of conscientious buyers definitely look for houses that produce smaller Carbon Footprints. Solar Energy is the most environments friendly electricity source in the world today. Coal and petroleum produce huge amounts of Carbon dioxide when they burn. But the use of Solar Panels to produce electricity leaves behind zero amounts of CO2.

Besides that it is the latest and the trendiest addition to houses and what ever is in fashion is definitely a value adder. And knowing ones house is greener and trendier than the neighbor’s house adds to the feel good value of the house also.

There are still numerous things that home owners, who have invested in Solar Panels for their home, can do to ensure that it proves profitable for them:

1. Make sure the installations are done by a professional team like YellowLite.
2. Save and catalogue all the information regarding the system you have
3. Save and catalogue all the bills, warranties and instructions that come with
the system.
4. Find a professional and trained real estate agent, who knows and understands
the value of your Solar Panel additions and can in turn better market your
house to the buyers.
5. Make sure to highlight all the features of your Solar System to the buyers.

6. Ensure that the appraiser knows about all the special features and addition
to your house, including the Solar Panels.

In the end it is a win-win situation for everybody the buyer, the seller and the EARTH. What can be better than an economically viable solution to earth’s problems and yours too? The rewards are numerous and very tangible so decide soon to help the earth and add to the value of your house!!

A Public Awareness Message by:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


As Technology evolves new terminology emerges, along with it comes a need to learn more about new concepts that get introduced almost daily. There is but another dilemma too, mostly a term gets thrown about in articles and media, it becomes common and general but little is known of its working or technical meaning. One such terminology is “Solar Energy”, the general public knows what the term means, energy produced by using sunlight, but not everyone knows how such energy is produced.

Solar means of the sun, any thing of or from the sun is termed solar. Energy means, the ability to do something. So, the ability to do something with the help of sunlight is Solar Energy. The core thesis of this article is the general know how of harvesting and using Solar Energy.

Usually, a Photovoltaic (PV) Cell is employed to harvest the sunlight to produce electricity. The PV Cell or tile uses a negative and a positive slice of silicone, fitted under thin glass sheets, to produce electric current. The protons from the sunlight hit the PV Cell they knock off the neutrons from the silicon. Small wires that are attached to the silicon plates then catch these free neutrons, theses wires when connected to a circuit then produce electric current. The construction of PV Cell is such that it has no moving parts, requires no oil changes or repairs etc. and it has a long life of approximately 40 years.

Most PV systems are made up of individual square cells approximately measuring 4 by 4 inches. Solely such cells produce very little energy so they are grouped together into modules. Such modules can then be grouped into large panels, encased in plastic or glass coating to be protected from the environment, weather and natural elements. These panels are then either used individually or in groups to produce electricity for house and/or businesses. Usually, these panels are attached to the existing grids provided by the electric companies, installed in most houses and businesses. Thus making the house or business hybrid.

There are three types of PV Cells:

• Single-Crystal Cells are made in shape of long cylinders of and than sliced into round or hexagonal wafers. This type of cell is the most expensive to make but its efficiency is the most also.

• Polycrystalline Cells are made of molten silicone into pieces or thin sheets which are then sliced into squares. This kind of cell is although less expensive to create but it is also not very efficiency is lower too.

• Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) employs a totally different approach. It is made by spraying silicon directly onto the glass or metal surface, making the whole module into a single step. But this is the least expensive and the least effective of all cell varieties.

It is a fact that the usage of solar energy produces no pollution, meaning it leaves behind no Carbon Footprints. It is the most probable, popular and viable future of energy generation. All of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves can be matched, energy production wise, by harvesting 20 straight days of sunlight all over the world. It is true that the production of PV cells is expensive and invasive but once a cell is produced its life span is up to 40- 60 years. All in all solar energy is the way to go for the benefit of all humanity and the protection and survival of the earth’s atmosphere. It is also very cheap and useful for the consumer too.