Solar panels are becoming more and more popular, and as a result, many homeowners are wondering what effect a solar system might have on their home value. After all, if lots of people want solar panels, having them on a house when you buy them must be an attractive feature, right?
Here’s what you need to know about how solar panels impact home value, and whether or not it’s worth opting for solar panel installation before you sell your house.
What are solar panels?
Before we discuss how they impact house prices, it’s important to know what solar panels are. The technical name for solar panels are photovoltaics or photovoltaic cells. They capture the sun’s energy through layers of silicon, a semi-conductor. This allows them to create a flow of renewable energy.
Solar panels work best when there is a reasonable amount of sunlight, however they do not require direct sunlight to work and so can work in gardens with north facing gardens or on properties in less sunny climates, like the UK.
Does installing solar panels add value to your home?
Statistics seem to show that installing solar panels can increase home value by 4%. Home buyers may well be more interested in a property with solar panels, especially if there’s a whole solar panel system installed, however this is not a guarantee.
Some estate agents believe that solar panels could add as much as 14% to your property value, whereas others believe that they have no real impact. The housing market is unpredictable, and it depends on a number of things when it comes to whether solar panels add value to a property. Generally, though, you can assume that they’re unlikely to detract from your property value.
Benefits of installing solar panels
So if they won’t necessarily add to your property value, why are solar systems worth it? What makes solar power so popular?
Cheaper energy costs
Energy bills are rising, and they can be unpredictable. With solar panels, though, you can reduce the cost of your energy as you won’t be relying on the grid for all of your power. The energy savings you get from installing solar panels or solar systems can really make a difference to your monthly budget.
With the right solar system, not only will you reduce electricity bills, but you will also be able to reduce the extent to which you rely on the grid. In some cases, you can provide yourself with complete energy independence, meaning that blackouts and sudden hikes in price will not affect you.
Solar energy is a renewable energy source, and with solar batteries, you can completely rely on the energy you harvest. This is much more sustainable and eco-friendly than using fossil fuels and will help to dramatically lower your carbon emissions and carbon footprint.
Unique selling point
It may not be guaranteed to make you more money, but having solar panels will make you more interesting in comparison to other properties on the market. It gives you something to grab buyers’ attention with, which is always a good thing.
Why installing solar panels may make selling your home more difficult
There is a chance, in some circumstances, that having solar panels may make selling your house harder. For example, if…
They’re not fully understood
Not everyone knows about all of the benefits of solar panels and may just think that have a solar energy system means more maintenance and regular property costs on their part. They may think that solar panels are unreliable, or simply not understand that they will save money, and as a result may not be willing to pay any kind of additional value for them.
If you have solar panels that are really visible, or you have a lot of them, there is a chance that you’ll put a few buyers off. Energy efficiency is great, but buyers have to like the appearance of the house, too. Some people find that solar panels are unattractive.
Solar panels, as with most things, are constantly evolving to provide better solar power and more energy savings. As a result, there’s a chance that solar panels installed a few years ago may now be out of date. Your buyer may know this, or figure this out, and may not want to pay an additional cost for outdated technology.
How to know whether solar panel investment is worth it
If you’re considering getting solar panels, it is important to note that getting solar panels only a couple of years before you sell is unlikely to earn you back what you spent. You would need to wait a while before selling in order to make some more savings on electricity bills to make a solar system worth it.
You should also consider a handful of other things when determining whether it’s worth getting solar panels. You should look into each of the three types of solar panel, for example: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film solar panels. You should also look into solar batteries to see if they may help you to save money on your energy bills.
One of the most important factors that impact the return on investment with a solar panel system is the location. If you have a north facing garden, it is often not advised for you to invest in solar panels, as you’re going to find that you do not produce sufficient energy.
Another important factor are your energy bills. If you live somewhere where your energy bills are actually minimal, you may find that the outright cost of installing solar panels is too much to warrant in order to save a small amount of money each month on bills.