Online estate agency Tepilo analyses new research which reveals that the number of homeowners considering solar panel installations is on the rise.
Homes with solar panels are on the rise
With the topicality of environmental issues, it's little wonder that homeowners are taking steps to improve their green credentials. In fact, recent research conducted on behalf of independent energy supplier OVO Energy has revealed that the number of homeowners planning to install solar panels is set to increase.
Currently, only around 6% of homes are fitted with solar panels. Nonetheless, OVO Energy's research finds that a higher number (just under 20%) are planning to install them at some point in the near future.
Should this happen, it would mean that just over a quarter of homes in Britain could be relying on solar energy in the next few years. Not only is this is a much greener way of creating energy, it will also mean the advantage of lower bills and being paid by the government for the energy you have created.
Initially, many people may be wary of the cost involved when it comes to installation. Prices vary, but it typically costs between £4,000 and £9,000 to buy and then install the solar panels. However, this initial outlay is recouped over time in the form of cheaper electricity bills, better energy efficiency and the opportunity to sell your electricity back to the grid. If the system you have in place produces more electricity than you require, you can sell the excess back to the grid through what is known as the Feed-in-Tariff Scheme.
The government's Feed-in-Tariff also pays you for the energy you generate, even if you use it. Feed-in Tariffs are explained in greater detail by the Energy Saving Trust here.
The study also showed the main reasons why people tend to stay with more traditional energy sources. Some 75% of UK adults don't have any panels installed on their home, with 13% saying they hadn't even considered them and a further 16% saying they wouldn't be staying put at their current address for long enough to make the investment financially viable.
As usual, things vary considerably region by region. In Northern Ireland, for instance, they have the highest number of homes with existing or planned solar panel installations in the whole of the UK. Wales, by contrast, has the lowest number – with just 3% of all homes investing in solar power.
Solar panels have their pros and cons, but concerns about the environment, worries over energy efficiency and the possible financial advantages that installation can bring are some of the major reasons why a spike in homeowners considering such a move is being witnessed.
Like any home improvement, it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. And the initial costs are likely to be quite high. Supporters, though, say the long-term rewards outweigh this initial expenditure.
Also, homeowners with one eye on selling might consider solar panels as a good long-term investment – something they can use as part of their sales strategy if they come to sell their home in the future. Some buyers are likely to be attracted to an eco-friendly home with lower electricity bills and the possibility of rewards from the government, while – in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world – some will be eager to show off their green credentials in their property as well.
It's not guaranteed, but there is a good chance that solar panels would help to increase the asking price of a home by offering that modern, contemporary, sustainable and green touch that many home owners are aspiring towards these days. Sellers should also be aware that more energy-efficient homes, with higher EPC ratings, tend to sell for more money.