A recent study in San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides an answer to an increasingly popular question: When you install photovoltaic solar panels on your roof, how much do you get back in resale terms, beyond monthly energy savings?

Researchers examined home sales in both metropolitan areas between 2003 and 2010 and found that, on average, solar-panel installations cost owners in a sample of homes in the $500,000 range $35,967. But with federal and state subsidies, the net average cost came down to $20,892.

This net expenditure, in turn, yielded an increase in appraised value by $20,194, a 97 percent rate of recovery on the investment.

Though less than 100 percent, a 97 percent recovery rate is much higher than most home improvements in the most recent "Cost vs. Value" study conducted by Remodeling magazine — well above major kitchen and bathroom renovations.
 
Check out the Seattle Times article that reveals this and other green features that have high value to home purchasers.