Earlier this month, we featured an informative article on why investing in solar is a smart financial move. Just after that article was published, we came across a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that not only substantiated some of the information in that article, but also gave us an actual number for housing price increases for homes with solar installed: $17,000 (or $5,500 per kW installed).

How did they get to that number? The study’s findings were based on analyzing 72,000 homes sold in California from 2000 to mid-2009. Approximately 2,000 of those homes (just under 3 percent) had solar power systems installed. The homes with solar were found to have been sold for $17,000 more on the average over those homes without solar.

One additional benefit of solar panels has also been recently reported on by the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering: building insulation. Not only do roof-mounted solar panels help keep buildings about 5 degrees cooler in the warm weather, they also keep the accumulated heat in on those chilly winter days. They found that the more efficient the panels, the more cooling they could expect. You can read more about their findings on ScienceDaily.com.