Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Solar PV may add premium to house price

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 May 2011 at 10:20 am

There is strong evidence that homes with solar PV systems have sold for a premium over comparable homes without solar PV. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that a 3.1kW PV system added an average premium of $17,000 (just over £10,000) to house prices.

A study done in San Diego in 2010 also found similar results.

As far as I can see, no similar study has been done in the UK. However, this research gives early adopters optimism, that they may be able to more or less recoup their investment if they sell their home only a short time after installing solar panels.

My view is, that for this to happen we still need greater understanding about renewable energy and its benefits among the general population. Estate agents have a role to play in this, and anecdotal evidence indicates that they unless they improve their understanding of solar PV and other renewable technologies, they won't promote them to potential buyers.

There's plenty of people out there giving advice on how to make your house more saleable - but mostly it's about (often quite superficial) visual aspects. How about a campaign to increase the understanding of a house's energy performance certificate and what it means for the comfort of a house, and the expense of heating it.

Photo: Wichita Renewable Energy


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter


8 comments - read them below or add one


JeremyOlmComment left on: 13 September 2013 at 8:25 am

That is why it is advisable to hire credible estate agents who are knowledgeable in the fields that you want them to promote to potential buyers out there. It would be absolutely redundant for you to even invest in fixing the PV solar panels if your estate agent is not going to inform your buyers about the panels. Your estate agent needs to know the precise information regarding the PV solar panels and any other positive features in your house that can be promoted to the buyers. This way, your house value will automatically be increased with the additional features that your house offers.

report abuse


Head13Comment left on: 27 May 2011 at 11:19 am

Obviously this is a really interesting point made, in an ideal world adding value to your home by adding something like solar panels should help to increase the value of your home at the point of is something that only time will tell I think.

The big question on my mind would be what about if I were to add free solar panels to my roof rather than paying for the panels. Would I get a similar effect on the value of my house as I would if I were to buy the panels?

I do like the idea Jtec Energy performance but this is not an ideal world and people will still want to have a home look ready to live in before they think about energy saving standards of the house.

report abuse


NickRoachComment left on: 26 May 2011 at 10:02 am

I recently completed an extension project and, as part of the process, the local estate agent gave me an updated valuation.

I pointed out my solar PV (which confused him at first...!!), so he shuffled off to take advice on whether PV added value to my home.

He came back to me two days later to advise that they had updated my valuation by £20,000, taking into consideration solar PV, solar Thermal and various energy-saving bits & bobs installed to reduce energy use.

Being a pioneer microgenerator (installed 2006) I now have an unwarranted disadvantage over others who waited until it was financially advantageous to do so - post March 2010.

Installers post-March 2010 can transfer their FiT agreement to a new owner, pioneer microgenerators do not have this facility.

So not only are pioneer microgenerators receiving significantly less FiT payments, we are also discriminated against insofar as we can't transfer our investment in renewables to a purchaser of my home - not really fair, is it..?

report abuse

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 26 May 2011 at 9:15 am

That really isn't fair Nick. Surely your installation gets feed-in tariff, albeit at a miserly low rate, until 2027. To not be able to transfer that is bonkers (in my opinion). Who says you can't?

report abuse


GrasmereComment left on: 18 May 2011 at 10:04 pm

As part of my research into a P V investment I did get the local estate agents opinion on house values with or without  energy efficiency improvements. the reply was as expected, very carefully applied.

It is claimed to be too early in the introduction to give an accurate answer but trends are indicating preference for properties all ready adapted especially if a F.I.T is available as part of the sale. It would not be unreasonable to expect a high proportion of the investment to be recouped in addition to the property selling price providing there was a fair proportion of the F.I.T agreement or life expectancy  in the equipment installed.

This guy should have been a politician or lawyer, but the gist of it is encouraging.

report abuse

David Hunt

David Hunt from Comment left on: 10 May 2011 at 2:58 pm

We have just had a customer of ours move about a year after his solar pv installation.  We've just installed a new system at his new house. He is very confident that he will recoup his original investment at least from the sale of his previous house (whilst it is up for sale he is still getting his feed in tariffs).

The big issue is trying to get Estate Agents to think about the obvious benefits to a new owner (like up to 25 years tax free income and low energy bills). In fact I think it hard to get any estate agent to think about anything other than their car/hair/shiny suit! 

report abuse

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 10 May 2011 at 8:02 am

Good points, Linn. I agree we need a shift in emphasis.

report abuse


JTec Energy PerformanceComment left on: 9 May 2011 at 12:37 pm

That's a great idea for a new campaign!

In a previous blog for YouGen I questioned whether it was ethical to sell a home, knowing it was not very energy efficient, when a small investment could put it right. I compared this to selling a car with a short period left on its MOT, knowing that it had faults that would make it fail.

Sellers are advised to spend money on decorating and 'staging' their home for prospective buyers.  How much better would it be, both for the new owners and for the planet, if instead of spending money on what is essentially a cosmetic makeover with no long term benefit, they spent the same amount on energy efficiency improvements?

report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.