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World Wildlife Fund WWF Climate Blog

  • Date: April 21, 2014
  • Author: Keya Chatterjee

Eleven years ago, when my husband and I put a bid on our house in southwest Washington, DC, we were terrified. Terrified that we would not get the house and we’d have to start our home search again from scratch, or even worse, that our bid would be accepted and we’d have to figure out how to pay for it!

At the time though, one thing we weren’t concerned about was how climate change could affect our home. Eleven years later, as more and more information on climate change impacts have emerged, it’s clearer than ever that climate change is what we really should have been terrified about. The biggest fright: the rising Potomac River just a block away from our soon-to-be home along the DC waterfront.

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  • Date: January 30, 2014
  • Author: Keya Chatterjee

The nation heard the facts clearly from President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address: Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar. And for good reason. Every corner of the continental US receives more abundant sunshine than the world’s solar leader, Germany. As prices continue to drop, that means more and more Americans are now becoming more interested in harnessing the power of the sun to provide electricity for their homes. The statistics are impressive, not only does another American home or business go solar every four minutes, but:

  • Two million homes in America already have solar panels.
  • Six of the ten largest new home builders now include solar in new construction.

From an environmental perspective, there is no question that this move away from dirty energy is good for the planet, and critical for tackling climate change. What does this mean for the pocketbook of homeowners? And how does solar effect home values and how long they sit on the market?

Solar Homes Sell For More

A 2011 study from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) looked at home sales prices for almost 2,000 solar homes in California, as compared to a set of 70 thousand non-solar homes. Solar homes were the clear winners, with an average sales premium of $17,000 for an average-sized system (of 3 KW).

A follow-up study released in December 2013 found even more good news for solar aficionados. It turns out that price premiums for solar are substantially larger than would be estimated by an appraiser based on either the income approach (based on the value of the energy the panels produce in their lifetime) or the replacement cost approach (based on how much it would cost to replace the panels). The authors conclude that there may be a “green cache” worth real money and that some buyers are willing to pay for homes with solar simply because they appreciate avoiding the transaction costs associated with choosing and installing solar panels themselves.

Solar Homes Sell Faster

The question of ‘days on market’ is somewhat less studied, but the studies that exist show the solar homes sell faster than the equivalent non-solar home. A 2006 study from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory looked at sales in a development of new homes with solar. The 257 homes that had solar built by Shea Homes sold within a year, which was two years faster than expected. A group of Clarum Homes houses with solar sold in 23 months, as compared to 28 months for non-solar homes.

“The Next Granite Countertop”

The US solar industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, and residential solar panels appear to be a welcome addition for homes on the market. The new home market is particularly interesting. A recent headline from Bloomberg called solar panels “the next granite countertop for homebuilders.” Those new homes will be on the resale market before you know it.

Want to learn more? Check out this article that busts seven common myths about rooftop solar.

  • Date: November 13, 2013
  • Author: Lynn Englum
  • Date: October 03, 2013
  • Author: Robert Litterman

Looking back twenty years from now at the climate debate, people will ask, “How could this go on for so long? Why did it take humanity so long to price greenhouse gases appropriately?”  The only answer is some sort of collective insanity.

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  • Date: June 28, 2013
  • Author: Nick Sundt

At their annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 21 to 24 June 2013, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution supporting and advancing resilient communities. Noting recent climate extremes and their impacts, the resolution says that "the country needs more resilient communities, able to endure and overcome these climate change, energy, and economic challenges" and that "taking action now will help save lives and increase preparedness to destructive climate change impacts, expand energy independence, strengthen local economies, and save energy and money."

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  • Date: June 25, 2013
  • Author: Lou Leonard

In a press release issued by World Wildlife Fund on 25 June 2013, WWF's Lou Leonard, VP of Climate Change, issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama's announcement today about his administration's efforts to address climate change.

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  • Date: June 24, 2013
  • Author: Brad Schallert
Airplane

If aviation were a country, it would be the 7th largest contributor to climate change on the planet. ICAO experts estimate that, if unchecked, emissions will increase by 70 percent in the next 7 years and by between 300-700 percent by 2050. © Chris Martin Bahr / WWF-Canon

Brad Schallert, program officer for climate change with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), comments on the failure of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council delegates to deliver a comprehensive approach to regulating carbon emissions from international aviation.

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  • Date: June 19, 2013
  • Author: Lou Leonard

In this piece originally published in the Huffington Post, the head of WWF's Climate Change Program, Lou Leonard, discusses The 3% Solution, a new report from the WWF and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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  • Date: June 18, 2013
  • Author: Nick Sundt

Smart companies innovate their way through business challenges. A new analysis shows they can also innovate to solve a global challenge – and profit along the way.

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  • Date: June 17, 2013
  • Author: Nick Sundt

Forty five leading local elected officials in the U.S. on 17 June 2013 committed to creating more resilient cities, towns, and counties in the face of unprecedented extreme weather and energy challenges that threaten communities across the country. The “Inaugural Signatories” of the Resilient Communities for America Agreement letter pledged to take cost-effective actions to prepare and protect their communities from the increasing disasters and disruptions fueled by climate change, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, severe storms, and wildfires. In addition, they called for more action and support from federal leaders.

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