The benefits of solar power for domestic properties are well known. From reduced energy bills to a more sustainable way of living, switching wholly or partially to renewable energy can reap homeowners many rewards. So, what if you are planning a new build property project and are considering what type of power to install? All of these advantages still apply. Plus, there are several other benefits that can help your new build to meet regulations, increase resale value and ensure its sustainability credentials from day one.
Here are some key reasons why new builds and solar panels can make a great match.
- Improve SAP calculations
Recent changes in Part L of the Building Regulations and Standard Assessment Procedures (SAP) have meant that renewable energy measures such as solar panels are increasingly sought-after for new-build homes. All new homes are now required by law to include enough energy saving measures to pass the SAP calculation score and become as energy self-sufficient as possible. SAP calculations go from 1 to 100 and indicate the annual cost of energy associated with the property, as well as its overall environmental performance. Factors include heating, lighting and overall structure. While the SAP calculation system has been in place since 1995, the changes to the regulation now means that properties must secure a ‘pass’ score, with a minimum of 10% of consumed electricity on site now required to be self-generated.
- Enhance the property’s BREEAM score
Another assessment system for new builds is the BREEA score (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment). This scheme was established in 1990 and calculates the sustainability rating of a building. It helps construction companies rate the sustainability of their work and to reduce the negative effects that construction processes have on the environment. Having solar panel included on a new build can help increase the BREEAM score and thus add even more to the property’s proven green credentials and sustainability factor.
- Lower installation costs, now and in the future
It stands to reason that, having solar panels incorporated into the roof from the beginning means that the roof will require fewer tiles and, potentially, lower labour costs. The photovoltaic panels sit flush with the roof and are larger than single tiles. As a result, they will not be as time-consuming to place in the correct position and line up with the rest of the surface. Additionally, if the solar panels are already installed before the first resident moves in, they will no need to have a solar energy system added later on, and neither will their future buyers. The infrastructure needed to live more sustainably when it comes to generating electricity will already be up and working.
- Reduce overall carbon footprint
Increasingly, people seeking to buy a house, new build or otherwise, are becoming concerned with the carbon footprint that the property will generate. Stringent targets set by the UK to reach Net Zero by 2030 are driving increased interest in energy saving measures like solar panels. Many people are keen to do their bit to contribute to this worthy cause and help fight the effects of climate change. Having solar panels already in place will be an attractive addition and powerful marketing message for any new build company wishing to show their commitment to the green agenda. Adding storage batteries to allow homeowners to store excess electricity and use it at night or on duller days is another incentive well worth considering.
- Encourage wider use of renewable energy
Finally, the more new-build properties that are constructed with solar panels firmly in place, the quicker the idea will spread to other homeowners and property professionals in the area. As with any desirable feature on a building, having solar panels not only up and running from the start can help to add value to the property and hence its surrounding neighbourhood. They will also look far more attractive if they can be installed flush against the roof, rather than added later and resting on tiles. If your new-build property can lead the way in starting a trend locally for switching to renewable energy and a greener lifestyle, this can only be a good thing for both your property and its neighbouring buildings and community.