Installing solar panels brings many benefits. These include promoting a greener way of living and reducing reliance on the National Grid. However, when it comes to selling a property with solar panels attached, these benefits could prove even more compelling. There is more and more evidence that solar panels help sell a home. It has been estimated that homes with solar panels can sell for around 4.1% more than those without (SOURCE: https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/solar-panels/buying-or-selling-a-house-with-solar-panels). A National Home Energy Survey also revealed that 65% of those asked revealed a preference for buying somewhere that already had a working solar panel system installed (SOURCE: https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/solar-panels/buying-or-selling-a-house-with-solar-panels).
Why solar power sells
Once a solar panel system is up and running, it saves the householder, or property owner money on their electricity bills. It does this by powering the property via the sun’s rays, converted into useable electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panels and associated technology. However, the initial outlay of buying and installing a solar PV system is not insignificant for most household budgets. In fact, it can take a few years for the investment to break even and start saving money – as many as ten or 15 years.
By having everything in place when you buy a property, this outlay has already been made by the previous owners. So, this need not feature in the new owner’s budgeting plans, beyond general maintenance and upgrades as required. Here are some more reasons why solar power systems already installed can be a draw for house hunters.
1. Save on electricity bills
As the solar panel system is already in place, savings can start to be seen on energy bills from the start – when compared to conventional energy sources. It is thought that the average household with a solar energy system installed would only need half the electricity from the National Grid than those without photovoltaic panels on the roof. Buying a house is an expensive time, with all the extra costs that accompany the purchase. So, any extra help with paying the utility bills will be very attractive to prospective buyers
2. Make money on unused electricity
In addition to saving money on bills, new house owners could enjoy an income from the electricity they do not use. This can be sold back to the National Grid under the UK Government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme. For houses that had their solar panels fitted prior to the SEG scheme overtaking the previous Feed-in Tariff (FIT) arrangements, which ended in April 2019, the financial benefits could be even higher. Check out the latest position with regards to this online when you come to sell the property to keep potential buyers informed.
3. Help combat climate change
It is a well-known fact that sustainable energy sources are a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change. Solar panels can help a household save significantly on the amount of carbon it produces every year. Additionally, the reduced reliance on the National Grid means that fewer fossil fuels are used up to power the property. This could be a very compelling reason why someone keen to lead a sustainable lifestyle may wish to buy a new home with solar panels already in place.
4. Increase your EPC rating
By law, buildings that go up for sale or rent must have an EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate in place. This tells potential buyers how energy efficient the property is and flags up any possible areas of concern. Ratings go from A (the best) down to G and gives an idea of how high the energy bills are likely to be for the property. Landlords seeking to let a property must have an EPC rating of C or above. EPCs are valid for ten years. Solar panels can help increase the energy efficiency of a home, as they help lower energy bills and the associated carbon footprint.
Questions to ask when buying a house with solar panels
For buyers, therefore, choosing a home or property with solar panels can be extremely advantageous. However, it is important to make sure that they are correctly installed and performing as required. Some questions to ask vendors about their solar panels could include:
- Are the solar panels fitted securely, and have there been any problems with them?
- When were they installed and how much time remains on any warranties in place?
- Is there a FIT or SEG arrangement in place to sell any unused electricity back to the National Grid?
- Do you have a maintenance contract in place and with whom?
- Does the property come with a solar battery to store energy for later use?
For any further questions on selling or buying a home with solar panels, contact the experts at UPS Solar.