SOLAR power is becoming a sought-after feature for
According to a realestate.com.au and Origin Energy study, 85 per cent of Australians believe solar panels add value to a property.
About 75 per cent of renters said they would pay more to live in a property with solar energy, while two out of five respondents said they would pay an extra $10 a week.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said while it was difficult to quantify how much value solar power added to a house, most buyers saw it as an attraction.
“It is something that’s nice to have and will be seen as something that’s increasingly nice to have, given we have rising energy costs and there has been greater work done on batteries,” Ms Conisbee said.
“The environment is certainly a consideration for some people, but I think the pricing issue is the major attraction.
“If you can say to someone that by living in this house your energy costs are going to be negligible – that is a very powerful statement.”
Separate data shows there were 4509 searches carried out on realestate.com.au for either the keywords “solar” or “solar panels”.
“It clearly is something people are searching specifically for – the ability to be self-sufficient is really desirable for a lot of people,” Ms Conisbee said.
“One of the challenges is people have solar power and are feeding it back into the grid, but the amount they are getting paid is still highly variable, so there’s not a whole lot of confidence that their investment in panels will pay off in energy bills.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia chief executive Greg Troughton said solar panels were quickly moving from being a “nice to have” to a “must have”.
“With SA’s exorbitant power prices, people are seeing value in anything that might help offset minimise or offset those costs,” he said.
Jesse and Amy Sumner recently installed a 29-panel 8.4kW system at their Mt Barker home. Mr Sumner, 31, said their attraction to solar was purely financial.
“The return on investment was worth it,” he said.
“In summer, we don’t pay any electrical bill and in winter we have an extremely reduced electrical bill.
“It should pay itself off in under five years – a 20 per cent return on investment is certainly worth it.”
The family hopes to add a battery to the system in the future.
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