07 October 2021
- A new survey commissioned by Solar Energy UK finds that nearly half of homeowners would consider installing solar panels to their homes if green finance was available
- Research coincides with comprehensive report into the value of solar on UK properties, which reveals that installation could knock nearly a third of the cost of an average annual energy bill and increase house values by nearly £2,000
- Young homeowners prioritise environmental improvements to homes
Today, Solar Energy UK launches a comprehensive report surrounding the financial value of installing a solar energy system to generate renewable electricity. The report, The Value of Solar Property, found solar systems could increase a home’s sale price by around £1,800. This is nearly half of the up-front installation cost, meaning solar now more than ever is an appealing option financially, as well as being good for the environment.
The report also found that for a typical house in the UK, solar could generate annual running cost savings of nearly £330 over the lifespan of the system – nearly a third off the cost of an average energy bill*.
These economic benefits are also only likely to increase as the UK adopts electric heating and transport, such as heat pumps and electric vehicles. The organisation is urging financial service providers to put more green finance products on the market to meet the likely increased future demand.
The Value of Solar Property is likely to increase appetite for solar in homes, which is already high; a survey commissioned by Solar Energy UK to coincide with the report, found solar panels are now the third biggest home improvement priority (33%) (after kitchen/bathroom (50%) and windows (36%)) for homeowners. This increases with young homeowners, rising to 52% for 18-30 year olds. This desire for solar is perhaps unsurprising, given nearly three-quarters (72%) of homeowners feel that the environmental impact of their home is important.
Nearly half (46%) of homeowners stated that if a new consumer finance product, such as a green mortgage, meant they could install a solar energy system without any upfront payment, they would likely install one. This desire only goes up for high socio-economic groups, to reach nearly three-quarters (71%). With the new research showing that cost and affordability of solar are compelling reasons to invest, Solar Energy UK is calling on lenders to support homeowners to make the switch to clean electricity.
Solar Energy UK’s report includes recommendations to maximise the contribution residential solar systems can make to decarbonising the UK economy. These include for financial institutions develop and bring to market consumer finance and green mortgage products that reward investment in properties which include solar. It also calls for bodies such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to update valuation and other financial models to reflect the findings of the research.
Recommendations have also been levelled at the government to create a level tax playing field for solar, encourage the development of new consumer financing initiatives, and develop green retrofit programmes. The report also recommends the property development, finance and construction industries reflect the findings in how they design and build homes. The recommendations are designed to support the UK in maximising solar’s clean, affordable power – a vital measure if the UK is to meet its legally binding target of achieving a net zero economy by 2050.
Chris Hewett, CEO of Solar Energy UK, said:
“The UK stands on the brink of a home energy revolution. The Value of Solar Property makes clear that there is a powerful investment case for residential solar. Solar Energy UK calls on the property finance and lending industries to recognise this. Bringing new green finance products to the market – and recognising the value of solar homes – will help unlock millions of affordable energy projects for home owners and occupiers around the country.”
“Taking swift action on this will help the UK move towards net zero a way that is good for consumers, good for the climate, and good for the UK’s solar power industry, which is ready and willing to deliver. “
“The findings of the ground-breaking research carried out for this report – including statistical analysis of more than five million property transactions – are clear. The return on investment makes upgrading a home with solar power system an easy and simple way to lower a property’s running costs and increase its value, while also, crucially, reducing its environmental impact.”
The Value of Solar Property combines existing sources of data to produce new evidence on the financial value of solar property, including the development of two bespoke financial models. The first was used to examine the impact on the sale price of homes which have solar installed on them. The second examines the running cost savings delivered by homes which produce a proportion of their own power.