Pearl Certification launches industry’s first data-certified equity calculator

Pearl Certification, a national provider of third-party certification of high-performing homes, today launched the Equity Calculator to help contractors better demonstrate the value solar installations can add to a home. The Pearl Equity Calculator is the industry’s first tool to calculate cash flow using certified contractor data, NREL software to calculate solar production numbers, and an API for Freddie Mac’s 30-year mortgage rate.

“A lack of solar system installation information has prevented appraisers from adequately assessing the true value of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. The Pearl Equity Calculator solves this problem by using certified data from trusted sources,” explains Pearl Certification co-founder and president Robin LeBaron.

While one study found that solar installations add an average of 4% to a home’s resale value, many homeowners don’t see those increases when they sell their homes. Pearl’s research shows that at the time of sale, many homeowners were unable to fully realize the return on investment from their solar panel system. The Pearl Equity Calculator equips homeowners, contactors and appraisers with the resources needed to accurately determine the value of a PV investment.

In conjunction with Pearl’s certification app, the calculator offers:

A contractor proposal tool, which calculates discounted solar plant cash flow

A certification report ready for the appraiser that includes a discounted cash flow schedule to ensure the home’s solar value is correctly calculated at the time of sale.

An online dashboard where valuation reports can be stored and later shared with homeowners, appraisers or real estate agents.

Using his calculator, Pearl calculated the numbers of the homes with certified solar systems in his database to calculate the amount of equity the grid contractors have created for homeowners, based on the expected amount of power being offset by the system. From today through the end of the power generation warranty period, the company was pleased to share the resulting total value of $93 million.

“Pearl’s Equity Calculator is a game-changer on many levels. It gives contractors a powerful tool to build buyer confidence when customers ask them if their solar installation will add value to their home. It provides appraisers with a quantifiable range of values ​​in dollars (and the data to support that set of numbers), as well as a certification package that home sellers can share with their real estate agent when they decide to sell,” said Cynthia Adams, Pearl Certification Co-Founder and CEO.

Pearl’s Equity Calculator provides support for an industry-accepted valuation method for residential solar, given the continued strong demand for PV systems and the many difficulties appraisers face in obtaining the information they need to assign contributing value .

“Homeowners are embracing solar energy as a way to reduce rising energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. We should encourage and reward their efforts by making sure they get the maximum value for their investment,” said LeBaron.

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