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The Value of Solar Energy for New Builds

To meet the UK’s legally binding commitment to achieve a net zero economy by 2050, it will need a near-complete decarbonisation of UK housing stock1. Maximising the deployment of onsite solar generation in new build homes will be fundamental to achieving a net zero economy could help homeowners of a typical new build home save between £974- £1,151, thereby helping mitigate the impact of the energy crisis. Though 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already built, the remaining 20% will need to be built with energy efficiency measures baked in, providing cost-saving measures to millions of households.

A considerable change in UK energy efficiency standards in both new and existing homes is needed if we are to meet our ambitious net zero targets. Incoming building regulations, for example, must ensure mandated installation of onsite generation as standard. This will ensure that new build homeowners benefit from clean and affordable heat and power. Prior Solar Energy UK research shows that 4.4 million smart solar homes – houses with a solar system on the roof, an energy storage system (such as a battery), and a smart meter – would significantly contribute to the UK’s climate change objectives2. Every new home fitted with a solar system is one step further along the spectrum towards net zero.

This is important given the need for a major increase in solar deployment through new build installations. If the UK hopes to achieve a net zero future, a significant portion of its energy demand must be sourced from clean electricity. Clean electricity can be used to supply homes and businesses with power, and for new clean heat and transport technologies such as electric heat pumps and electric vehicles.

Still, the rationale for greater solar deployment extends beyond environmental factors.
The financial value of residential solar is significant, and its economic benefits are now more apparent to homeowners and consumers. Previous Solar Energy UK research on the Value of Solar Property shows that installing a solar energy system can increase the sale price of a home by 0.9-2%. This research indicates that the return on investment makes upgrading a home with a solar power system an easy way to lower a property’s running costs and protect the consumer against the volatility of the traditional energy market.

Among the barriers to the deployment of solar for the new build property sector is the perception on the part of property developers that solar does not add financial value. Even though solar panel costs have declined dramatically in recent years3, the financial value that solar generates, both asset value and running cost terms needs to be recognised by the new build property sector as a means to offset the initial investment. The property and construction industry must place greater value on energy efficiency and recognise that installing a solar energy system is an attractive investment, which commands a higher home sale price, reduces carbon, and saves homeowners money. Formally recognising the financial value of these homes will mean the sector can meet its climate change objectives whilst building energy efficient homes for the future.

Original Source: Solar Power Portal Report