I’m seeing a lot of advertisements for solar energy claiming that it adds value to your home. Is this true?
Mark, that is a really good question. I love the idea of using the sun to help power my home but I'm frustrated that it is so very hard to do this given the barrage of misleading information being put out by those selling solar energy, and your question is only one of the very many claims being made.
In short, the answer is "maybe." Certainly some buyers will be interested to know that the home generates some/all of its own electricity. But others, frankly, won't care and see all those panels as another thing they have to maintain. Worse yet, if the solar panels have been "leased" instead of purchased, buyers may not be willing to take on the added lease payment on top of what they pay you for your home, or may want to negotiate a reimbursement for the total amount left on the lease before they buy.
Aside from the value question, I'm finding solar energy companies pitch a wide variety of proposal and payment schemes from purchase to lease to somewhere in between, softener with overly enthusiastic estimates of how much energy you'll generate. Plus, its not exactly clear what rebates are available, tax credits, and SREC, or solar energy renewal credits - where you earn credits based on how much energy you generate and then sell those credits which are market priced and hard ot predict.
Lastly, it's also important to consider how quickly technology is changing in the solar industry before making a big investment. For example, ss battery technology improves and prices go down, the shift will be not so much on how much you collect but how much power you can store to use when you need it. This would enable you to have a solar array sized perfectly for year round collection, and the storage capacity to save energy in the summer to use in the winter.