Solar Usage In The UK
The UK’s first solar powered home was the ambition of Professor Sue Roaf. Built in the mid-90s, her visionary and innovative Oxford Ecohouse had a roof-integrated 4kWp solar array. At the time it cost around £28,000 in total and payback wasn’t expected for 66 years.
Today’s story is slightly different. The green energy industry and market is booming and has been for a solid decade now. With ample government support, green community initiatives and generally cheaper solar panels. Residential solar installation is less elusive and more accessible for the general public.
However, there has been much controversy surrounding the role Solar Panels play on property value. To find an answer we are left with a few essential questions (that will be discussed in this blog):
- How much money can you really save on electricity bills?
- How much of a long-term investment are solar panels?
- Will the value of a domestic property go up or down?
- Will they make a property ugly?
- Do solar panels help sell a house?
Savings With Solar
How much does it cost to go solar?
An increasing trend, over a million homes in the UK have solar panels installed on them. Solar panels for the average household in the UK cost just under £6,000 (£5,940), according to 2021 government data. Solar panels, however, are becoming cheaper. Back in 2014, the average price of a 3.8kW solar PV system (that can support a family of around three people) was priced at £7,900. Solar prices have since seen a 25% price reduction in the last six years. Whilst the cost of installing Solar Panels can be compared to getting an extension on your property, with Solar you can make your money back and more.
To find out how much it will cost for your own Solar Panel system, book a free survey appointment with a professional PV installer, such as yours truly Deege Solar. A qualified member of our team would be able to assess your property remotely. Working out what type of solar PV system is most suitable for your property, and your energy requirements.
How much can you really save with solar?
Environmental perks aside, using solar panels can be a fantastic way of reducing your energy bills. Particularly because they allow you to generate your very own power source instead of buying it from (and relying on) the National Grid.
According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), a standard 4kWp system in Southern England can save residents around £330 per year. Providing you’re at home during the day. If you’re a busy bee and out of the house until 6pm, your annual savings are still impressive, but a little lower at the £220 mark. It is important to stress that based on location, energy bill savings will vary.
It can take anywhere between 15 and 26 years to see a return on initial investments for your solar panels, and savings on your energy bills through the use of solar will ultimately depend on the following factors:
- How much electricity your solar panels produce (their efficiency).
- How much of this electricity you consume.
- Where your property is located.
- What you’re paid under the Smart Export Guarantee.
What happens to excess power generated?
The average UK home with solar panels will use only 25% of the electricity it produces. Mentioned above, smart export guarantee tariffs can generate money for your solar-powered household when it comes to excess energy produced. Money is paid back to households in England, Scotland and Wales for the electricity generated from solar panels that is not used. The excess energy is then exported back to the National Grid for use in other homes and businesses.
Moreover, adding a solar battery to your home will not only save you more money but will stop any free solar energy going to waste. Here’s how:
- A solar battery works by storing any extra electricity produced by your solar panels that isn’t being used in your home by devices.
- A solar battery will also keep your home powered when the sun isn’t shining, such as during the night.
- According to gas and electricity supplier E. ON, a solar battery can reduce your annual energy bills by up to £560 (the batteries themselves do however range anywhere between £1.2-6k).
Aesthetics and Property Value
When it comes down to Solar Panels, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For some, solar panels may come across as awkward, odd or unappealing additions to a residential property. As a result, there are concerns that solar panels will devalue one’s property. On the contrary to this belief, solar installations are rather enticing because of the many perks they bring, particularly savings on energy bills. What’s more, with new solar innovation such as integrated Solar Panels and Solar Roof Tiles, going solar has never looked better.
Can solar panels help sell a house?
Throwing some facts into the mix, 2017 research by Which?* found that installing solar panels on your home does not negatively impact the value of the property. Eight per cent of estate agents involved in this research said they thought solar panels increased property value. Particularly as they are considered to be an “extra/additional feature” adding value to a property due to the cheaper energy it provides.
Electric Car Compatibility
The electric car market is growing quickly. An impressive 260,000 pure-electric cars were on UK roads at the end of May 2021, and more than 535,000 plug-in models (if including plug-in hybrids).
Good news to many, solar PV panels generate electricity that can not only be used to power your household appliances but electric cars, too. In order to charge your electric vehicle from solar energy, anywhere from 6-12 panels may be required. Some perks of solar-powered electric vehicles include:
- Fuelling your car with sunshine for decades without having to worry about increasing petrol or electricity costs. Especially as solar PV systems are expected to last for 25 years or longer.
- Matching the household’s green energy generation, using an electric car also means no fuel and no emissions.
This added bonus can be an attractive addition to any potential home buyer, as who wouldn’t want to charge their car for free?
Final Thoughts on Solar Panels and Property Value
In terms of property value, solar panels can certainty add value to your home and can make your property more attractive to buyers.
Ultimately, solar panels are a long-term investment that residents must be prepared for. Whether you’re eco-conscious, looking to save money, or a mixture of the two, the upfront costs to install solar energy into your home can be daunting. The immediate rewards that can be reaped, however, are very much worthwhile. With immediate savings on your energy bills, you also won’t have to worry about the following:
- Little to no negative impact on your property value with many property prices benefiting from using solar.
- Over-reliance on the National Grid for your energy supply (particularly helpful if a power shortage was to occur).
- Having a high carbon footprint, as your solar panels save tonnes on carbon emissions each year. Through generating clean energy.
- Price increases on your annual energy bills due to the production of your very own energy. In the meantime earning extra cash on your excess solar energy!
- Maintenance – solar PV systems are expected to last 25 years. Meaning your system will most likely see you through your residency if you are unlikely to move.