10 Midwestern Cities Where Solar Power Has a Big Payoff

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    Just because you don’t live in the sunniest region of the U.S. doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from solar power. There is actually a lot of solar potential in several areas of the U.S., including the Midwest!

    While the initial cost of solar panels can seem costly (ranging anywhere between $15,000 and $40,000), the panels will eventually pay for themselves over time since the use of solar energy can greatly reduce the cost of utility bills.

    Solar panels can also increase the value of a home. “Buying a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. A recent study found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, and homebuyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence that homes with solar panels sell faster than those without,” according to the Department of Energy.

    Redfin teamed up with Sun Number to rank the largest Midwestern cities for solar power potential. Sun Number is a U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot-funded startup that has developed a patented, automated process for analyzing the solar potential of rooftops using a Sun Number scale from 1 to 100. “Sun Number scores make it easy for homeowners and homebuyers to understand the solar potential of their current or future home, and Sun Number is committed to working with real estate companies like Redfin to make the scores widely available,” says Sun Number co-founder David Herrmann.

    To come up with the list, Sun Number looked at the largest Midwestern cities in the Midwest region and ranked them by each location’s Sun Number. Redfin then looked at those areas to show that the listings in these cities that mention “solar power” sell at a price premium when compared to listings that don’t mention “solar power.”

    Here is the ranking for the 10 largest U.S. cities in the Midwest region for solar power potential:

    1. Columbus, OH

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings: $ 160,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $ 239,000

    Average Sun Number: 82

    2. Chicago, IL

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:   $ 195,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:   $ 303,500

    Average Sun Number: 80

    3. Madison, WI

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $ 206,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $ 237,500

    Average Sun Number: 78

    4. Dayton, OH

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $ 108,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $ 181,250

    Average Sun Number: 78

    5. Cincinnati, OH

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $ 143,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $ 217,500

    Average Sun Number: 78

    6. Milwaukee, WI

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $168,151

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $220,000

    Average Sun Number: 77

    7. Indianapolis, IN

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings: $142,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $238,900

    Average Sun Number: 77

    8. Cleveland, OH

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $121,500

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $213,000

    Average Sun Number: 76

    9. Detroit, MI

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings: $76,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $185,400

    Average Sun Number: 74

    10. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

    Median Sale Price for Non-Solar Listings:  $208,000

    Median Sale Price for Solar Listings:  $230,000

    Average Sun Number: 73

    To learn more about Sun Number, visit www.sunnumber.com.

    NOTE: Keep in mind, not all homes are eligible for solar panel installation, so it is important to talk to a local solar panel company about the process and eligibility.

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