Will solar panels add value to your home?
People have all sorts of motivations for installing solar panels. It might be that they want to reduce their electricity prices, do their bit for the environment, or perhaps even increase the value of their property.
A recent survey carried out by electricity supplier Origin Energy and realestate.com.au showed that a large number of Australians hold solar panels in high regard. In fact, 85 per cent of respondents said solar PV would add to the value of a property.
Meanwhile, 79 per cent agreed that energy efficient appliances helped increase property value, followed by solar hot water systems on 78 per cent and water tanks with 70 per cent.
How much do solar PV systems cost?
Australia has seen something of a solar power boom over recent years, as the cost of installing panels has fallen considerably.
The May 2015 Residential Solar PV Price Index from Solar Choice shows that the average cost of a 2KW system currently stands at $4,313. This increases to $7,982 for a 5KW system.
These figures have fallen over the past few months, as March 2014 data reveals the costs to have stood at $4,690 and $8,478 respectively.
Is it worth the investment?
The Origin Energy and realestate.com.au study suggests that many homeowners don't recognise that their roof space is a valuable asset.
"If you're looking to sell or lease your property, it's a really simple measure you can take to gain a competitive edge in the market," noted REA Group Chief Product Officer Henry Ruiz.
As more people become aware of the benefits of renewable energy generation, this potential could continue to grow. The cost of systems is already coming down, which may open up the market to an even greater number of homeowners.
How many properties already have solar panels?
A 2013 report from the Clean Energy Council highlights just how popular solar power systems have become across Australia.
By the end of the year in question, nearly 1.25 million small-scale solar power systems had been installed. This meant that almost 3.1 million Australians lived or worked underneath solar panels.
The popularity of solar isn't expected to stop there. ARENA forecasts that solar energy use will increase by 5.9 per cent a year until 2029-30. This, however, depends on the pace of uptake throughout the country.
So, if you've got your sights set on solar, chances are you won't be alone. And with investment potential rising, there is even more of an incentive to take the step.
Posted by Richard West