When you’re buying a house, you want to experience that warm and fuzzy feeling, but you also have to make sure that you’re investing in an asset that will appreciate. As a homeowner, it pays to look for ways to add value to your property. There are several ways you can increase the value of your home, including renovation work and updating kitchens and bathrooms. One option you may also be considering is adding solar panels. With more and more of us taking steps to adopt a greener lifestyle, solar energy is an increasingly interesting proposition for property owners, but will it add value? If you own a home, or you’re looking to buy or sell in the near future, here’s a guide to the impact of solar panels.
Factors that affect the impact of solar panels
It can be challenging to provide a clear-cut answer to the question of whether solar panels will add value to a house. This is due to the fact that there are different types of solar systems and panel designs available, as well as different models of ownership.
Many homeowners have a lease or a power purchase agreement in place, and this can complicate the process of selling a property. If you have a lease for 15 years, for example, and you choose to sell your home before the end of the term, you’ll need to find a buyer who is willing to take over the lease. It is possible that you could find a buyer with no problem at all and the new owner will be delighted to take over the agreement. However, solar panels aren’t for everyone, and the fact that you have a lease already running may put some people off.
If you own the solar panels outright, this can have a very positive impact on the valuation of your home because of the scope to save money through increased energy efficiency. The vast majority of homeowners are looking for ways to reduce spending and bring energy bills down. If your home has a good EPC rating, this will enhance the value of your house. Installing solar panels can increase the EPC score by up to 15 points. In tandem with other measures to improve energy efficiency, the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that switching to solar could boost the price of a property by up to £16,000. This equates to a saving that is far higher than the outlay, in addition to ongoing energy bill reductions, which make a house an attractive proposition for buyers.
One of the main reasons people don’t consider houses with solar panels is the aesthetic. While some people may think solar panels look great, others will be put off as soon as they see them, regardless of how wonderful the rest of the house is. Black solar panels tend to be more sought-after than conventional designs, but it is worth noting that if you do want to sell, the look of the solar panels may set you back. There will be buyers who are actively seeking a house with solar panels, but there are also those that would never consider buying a house with panels on the roof.
The benefits for buyers
When marketing a property, it’s essential to highlight the benefits for buyers. If you have a house with solar panels, you may come across buyers who have never really thought about switching to solar before, as well as those looking to go green. There are multiple benefits of buying a house with solar PV, and these can make a house much more appealing to buyers. Here are some of the reasons solar panels increase the value of properties:
- Scope to lower bills and reduce running costs for years to come
- Improved energy efficiency and EPC rating
- Environmental impact: more and more people are looking for ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and this could mean that homes with solar panels become more sought-after.
If you already have solar panels at home, and you’re planning to sell the house, it is also possible that the new owners could take advantage of government incentives through the FiT scheme. This program has now been replaced by a new grid trade solar panel scheme, but if you’re already receiving FiT payments, you will continue to do so.
Are solar panels a selling point?
If you’re thinking of having solar panels installed on your roof, you might be wondering whether your investment will make your home more or less appealing to potential buyers. If you plan to sell at some point, and the property isn’t your forever home, it is wise to weigh up the pros and cons.
There are significant benefits of installing solar panels, and the advantages that you enjoy will probably be considered favourably by potential buyers.
You’ll save money on your energy bills, and this is a selling point that is likely to attract most people. With modern solar PV, you can use batteries and hubs to create a smart system that enables you to produce and store energy. The government’s new SEG scheme (smart export guarantee) also enables you to sell energy back to the grid. This means that you can make money from exports, you can save money on monthly energy bills by cutting back on how much you use energy from the grid, and you can improve your home’s EPC rating. By promoting the cost savings of solar energy, you can make your home more marketable and increase its value.
You only have to listen to the news headlines or pick up a paper to see that environmental issues are seizing the spotlight. There has been a monumental shift in our attitude to greener living as a result of hugely successful documentaries and protests and media campaigns, and more and more of us are making a conscious effort to go green. Two of the most pressing concerns are the amount of energy we use, and the way we generate electricity. Fossil fuels are finite, and climate change is a growing concern. As a result, renewable energy sources are becoming more popular. Just as consumers are looking for products made from sustainable materials in stores and shops, prospective buyers may be more inclined to consider homes that have solar panels.
Are there any drawbacks?
There are some people that won’t buy a house with solar panels, due to the fact that they don’t like the look of them or that they don’t wholly understand the potential benefits. Every homeowner will come across buyers that won’t have an interest in their home, but solar panels can be a draw, as well as a drawback. Modern solar panels are likely to be more appealing to buyers than older versions.
If you’re buying or selling a property, or you’re thinking about adding solar panels to your current home, it makes sense to consider whether solar PV can increase or decrease the value of your home. As a buyer, you want to be investing in an asset that will appreciate, and as a current owner or a seller, you want to make choices that enhance the value of your property. The truth is that solar panels may not be for everyone just yet, but there are multiple benefits that could increase the value of your house and make your home attractive to potential buyers. Greener living represents the future, and many people will be impressed by the potential cost savings on offer through improved energy efficiency and lower bills.