Solar panels are an excellent source of renewable energy and can be a great source of extra income with them installed. However, there is a dark side to this renewable energy powerhouse that could be affecting your saleability more than you realise.
In this blog post we will be looking at how common solar panels are, the pros and cons of installation and whether they are hard to sell.
Looking for a quick answer? Check out our interactive menu below!
- How do solar panels work?
- How common are solar panels in the UK?
- Is a house with solar panels difficult to sell?
- How do I transfer ownership of solar energy panels?
- Can I take my solar power panels with me to my new house?
- What documentation will I need to sell my home with solar panels?
- Do people want to buy a house with solar panel installation?
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
How do solar panels work?
Whilst relatively obscure years ago, solar panels are now a fairly common sight. Whether they are attached to your own home, your neighbour’s house, or even on a solar farm, many of us will see solar panels in our everyday life. But what exactly do they do?
Solar panels generate electricity by taking sunlight and converting it into electricity, either through solar PV (photovoltaic) or through mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. The solar thermal energy you produce using the solar cells is then fused to power your home and any excess you create is then given back to the grid.
How common are solar panels in the UK?
As of 2020, there were around 970,000 homes across the UK with solar panels fitted according to data collected by the government. This means that out of the 29 million homes in the country, around 3.3% are homes with solar panel systems.
The rise in popularity of solar panel installation can be traced back to 2010 when the government announced a feed-in tariff, also known as a FiT, which allowed those who generated their own energy via solar panels a guaranteed income. If you could not afford to own your solar panels outright, then there were companies who will lease your roof for 25 years and would collect your FiT payments in return for you generating free electricity. There are other companies, like the ESE Group who will grant 5 to 7 years financing.
Whilst this scheme came to an end in 2019, homeowners are still able to make money through the SEG (Smart Export Guarantee) scheme, however, this is much less profitable than its predecessor was.
Is a house with solar panels difficult to sell?
When it comes to solar power panels on a property, there are plenty of advantages, which is why the demand for them has skyrocketed in recent years. However, whilst there are positives to buying a property with solar panels already installed, there are also negatives, which can slow down or stop the selling process altogether. Below, we take a look at some of the positives and negatives of selling a home with solar panels installed:
As solar panels are a renewable source of energy, you will never have to worry about running out. The sun shines every day, and even in cloudier conditions, energy can still be generated and harvested.
Help with energy bills
As you will no longer need to pay for energy to heat and power your home, you will find that you get a much cheaper electricity bill. You will also have the opportunity to receive payments on any surplus energy that will be exported back to the grid.
Another advantage to having a house with solar energy panels installed is that they will give you an improved energy performance certificate (EPC) rating. Because you will be supplying your own energy, you will have a more energy-efficient property.
Money making potential
When you get solar panels for your home, you will find that you have the potential to make extra money through schemes like SEG. The electricity generated by your solar panels is used to power your home and any extra is fed back to the grid. These schemes can help you make a little extra income.
When you have solar panels installed you can become energy independent. As you will be generating your own power, you will not need to rely on the grid.
If your solar panels are not owned outright by you, then these are some of the problems that you may encounter.
Inability to secure a mortgage
If you are a homeowner who has decided to lease their roof space to a solar energy company, then you may find that mortgage lenders are reluctant to lend as a result. Homeowners may find themselves having to go through a cash buyer.
If your panels are not owned outright, then chances are that you have leased them. The majority of these solar panel leasing companies have since gone into liquidation, which means it is incredibly difficult to find out exactly who they belong to. In order for FiT payments to be transferred to the new owner, you will need this information to hand.
The owner of the panels refused consent
When it comes to selling your property with solar panels, it is a good idea to get your solicitor to carefully check over your agreement. This is because the terms of the lease can sometimes mean that the homeowner will require the owner of the panel’s consent if they wish to sell. Some agreements have been known to have gone as far as the homeowner needing the owner of the panel’s consent before adding extensions to their homes. These agreements can be restrictive and can put buyers off, so it is a good idea to read them carefully.
Roof space leasing
If the lease you have signed allows the company to extend the 25-year term indefinitely, then this could be a huge red flag for buyers and may leave you stuck on the open market for months.
If as the homeowner you decide to end the lease before it had come to term in order to sell your property, you may find yourself facing a fairly hefty early exit fee. This fee has the potential to reach tens of thousands of pounds depending on the lease and the solar power company that you are with.
Even if you do not lease your roof and instead own your solar panels outright, there will still be red tape for you to navigate your way through. Selling a
How do I transfer ownership of solar energy panels?
If you are the new owner of a house with solar panels it is important to make sure that ownership has been transferred correctly. If you are the seller, you will need to sign a form, so be sure to pass your details along to the buyer. Once the form and correct documentation has been signed and approved, you will then be able to transfer ownership of the panels.
Can I take my solar power panels with me to my new house?
As long as you own the solar panels outright, there is nothing to stop you from taking them with you to your new property. However, it is well worth bearing in that paying for them to be uninstalled and then reinstalled at a new property can be a very expensive task.
What documentation will I need to sell my home with solar panels?
In order to sell your solar panel property, you will need the following documentation to hand to the next owner:
- Your solar panel installation firms details
- Building regulation permission consent/planning permission
- The Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS) certificate
- The system components’ warranties
- Your electrical installation certificate
- If the home that you are purchasing is a leasehold, then you will also need to show the permission you received from the freeholder to have the panels installed
Something to consider when buying a property where panels currently are installed is a structural roof survey. This will alert you to any roof repairs that may need doing, as well as reassuring you about the condition of the roof beneath.
Do people want to buy a house with solar panel installation?
The good news is yes you can! Whilst some sellers may find that they struggle on the open market, due to complications with the solar panel providers, others may find that they flourish. Whether or not you can sell your home with solar panels is down to personal circumstances, the type of panels you have, where you are in the country, and the condition of the panels, among many other factors.
As a seller, you will have three main ways of selling your property, this is through either an estate agent, a property auction, or a cash buyer.
An estate agent will undertake all of the work involved in the sale for you, however, you will need to be wary about estate agents’ fees as these can quickly add up, and you may not be able to find a buyer for quite some time.
A property auction is an ever-increasingly popular way to sell your property auction works when you agree on a minimum reserve price and if a buyer meets this price, then your property will sell. However, it is worth bearing in mind that property auctions can be a time-consuming way to sell and also involve a commission fee at the end.
A cash buyer is a great route to go down if you are worried about selling due to complications from the leasing company or you are looking for a fast and hassle-free sale. A cash buyer will purchase your home in a time scale that suits you, however, this will be for slightly below market value.
This covers everything you need to know about buying or selling a house with solar panels. If you have any questions, queries, or insight into the matter, please feel free to get in touch!