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28 Jul 2017

Do solar panels affect the value of your home?

Exclusive research asks estate agents to reveal all about solar PV
Solar PV panels on roof of house

Installing solar panels on your home makes no difference to how much it's worth, according to two thirds (67%) of estate agents.

Just 8%of estate agents said they thought solar panels increased property value. But 17% said that solar panels decrease its value.

The exclusive research for Which?* was carried out to investigate the effect that installing solar panels has on property prices.

Solar panels are a long-term investment. It costs around £5,000 to £8,000 upfront to install a solar PV system that is expected to last 25 years.

Keep reading to find out how long it will take before you can make a profit from solar panels, and to discover whether your home is one of thosebest suited to solar.

*(Research: NAEA Propertymark surveyed 1,252 estate agent businesses for Which? in June 2017.)

Considering getting solar PV? Don't until you've checked the best solar panel brands to see the results of our factory audit and how owners rate their solar PV.

Can I make money with solar panels?

Estate agents' feedback suggests that installing solar panels will not increase the value of your home when you come to sell it.

The professional estate agents body is NAEA Propertymark - its chief executive, Mark Hayward, explained that solar panels are unlikely to feature in the valuation models of estate agents or mortgage providers: 'They're on very few people's shopping lists at the moment.

'People don't buy features, they buy benefits. So you need to articulate it in terms of savings.'

But Mr Hayward added that the age of the solar panels, whether they're owned by another company, and their effect on the appearance of the property could all have an impact. He advises getting a surveyor to check solar panels if you're buying a property with them installed.

But if you're not planning to move home and are interested in generating your own electricity, solar PV can be a viable option.
House on top of a calculator

Panel and installation costs have dropped over the past few years, making it more likely that homeowners can use their savings to finance them. 86% of Which? members who own solar panels financed them from their savings.

But the Feed-in Tariff government subsidy (FIT), which pays you for generating electricity, has also been cut - by 65% compared with rates before 2016. If you install solar PV now, it will take 21 years to pay back the cost (from savings on your electricity bill and FIT payments). You could expect to make a profit of around £650 over 25 years.That's based on the current rates of 4.07p/kWh for electricity generated and 5.03p/kWh for electricity exported.

Are you considering solar PV?

Whether your home is suitable is the first thing to determine if you're considering installing solar PV. You'll need a mainly south-facing roof with little or no shade. A roof that faces southwest or southeast is also usually fine, but you may get less power from the system - so would save less on your electricity bill.

How much energy you could produce, and how much money you can make depends on:

  • the tilt of your roof angle and its orientation
  • where you live: south west England gets more sun than the north, for example
  • the size of your system (this will depend on roof space and how much electricity you use)
  • the FIT rate you can get (the rates reduce every three months).

Solar panels will reduce the amount of electricity you use from the grid, help lower your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint. If you signed up to the government's cashback scheme while payment rates were good, you could also make money from your panels.

Find out more about solar PV installation, and watch a video to see what's involved.

What affects the value of your house?

House prices are area-specific - so you should focus on prices in your neighbourhood, rather than national averages. Use our interactive map to find out about property prices in your area.

Beyond location, your property's age, size, number of bedrooms, structural integrity, wear and tear and room layout will all affect its price. As will whether it has a garden, parking space, garage, and any 'extra features', such as a shed converted into an office.

Talk to local estate agents for the inside track on all the factors to consider.

Find out how to make the most of your solar panels.