There are now more than 1 million solar homes in the UK if you count both thermal and PV. Around 800,000 homes make use of solar PV electricity panels, while approximately 250,000 employ solar thermal technology in order to heat up household water.
With the rapid expansion of solar panel technology in the UK, many homeowners will be wondering ‘do solar panels increase house value?’ or ‘are there any problems with selling a house with solar panels?’. Let us go through the basics of selling a house with solar panels in order to help you decide whether or not installing panels on your roof would be a good idea, or, if you’ve already taken this step towards sustainable living, to provide some advice on how you should proceed if you’d like to sell the property in the future.
How Much do Solar Panels Cost to Buy and Install?
For the average UK household, buying and installing solar panels will cost between £4,000 and £6,000. The panels will also need around 225 square feet of roof space.
The bigger the property, the more energy will be needed and the more you will need to spend in terms of initial solar panel outlays. The flip side of this being that as the installation costs rise so does the amount you will be saving on future electricity expenses.
Do Solar Panels Add Value to Your House?
Installing solar panels on your home’s roof will add value to your home in a couple of different ways:
Lower electricity bills
With traditional energy prices rising year on year, buyers will be drawn to houses which boast renewable energy sources. Home buyers consider all aspects of a property when looking for the ideal home to move in. They will be attracted to houses with solar panels as these need little maintenance and offer huge savings over time.
Higher Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Every house in the UK must have an EPC Certificate once it is listed to be sold or rented. The EPC grade reflects how efficient the house’s energy system is – grades range from A (highest) to G (lowest). Naturally, buyers are drawn to houses with higher EPC ratings and will usually avoid those which are lower on the EPC gradient. Furthermore, the value of a house is closely tied to its EPC rating. With the installation of solar panels known to raise a house’s grade by at least 2 degrees, their impact on a property’s value is plain to see.
Problems with Selling a House with Solar Panels
The only situation in which issues can arise when selling a house with solar panels is one which has seen you sign a lease agreement for their purchase and installation.
Solar Panel Lease Problems
Solar panel leases last between 20 and 25 years. If you want to sell your house before the lease expires, you might be prevented from doing so by the company you’ve taken the lease out from. A recent case in the UK saw a buyer’s mortgage application refused because of a solar panel lease agreement. In that particular case, the owner of the house was forced to pay more than double the amount it would have cost her to install the system in the first place just to be able to exit the lease agreement.
How to Get Out of a Solar Panel Lease
Those wanting to get out of a solar panel lease have two options:
- Transfer the lease to the buyer
The lease agreement for a solar panel system can simply be transferred to the buyer. However, most buyers might not want to take on this burden or will want to have the sum subtracted from the price of the property.
In order to transfer the agreement to the new homeowner, he will need to meet the credit requirements of your creditor; this might be an issue if the buyer’s credit score isn’t high enough.
- Pay out the remaining lease
If you decide to pay the remained of your lease, you’ll be able to even detach the panels and reattach them to your new property if you so choose. One potential issue with this course of action is that some lenders will have penalties in place for those who choose to pay their lease out prematurely. Make sure you read the agreement carefully before signing and consider your future plans with the property.
Should You Buy Solar Panels for Your House?
Given the many benefits of having a solar powered house, you should definitely fit your home with this sustainable energy source. You will do your part in fighting against global warming while also reaping financial benefits ranging from lower energy costs to increased property value once you decide to sell.
Once you’ve found a buyer for your property, our guide on who to inform when moving house will definitely be of help. Furthermore, if you’ve got a house with solar panels and need to sell it quickly for whatever reason, check out our guide on how to sell your house quickly.