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New properties save homeowners money on energy bills

by Gordon Miller

Energy provider E.ON’s recent announcement that gas bills will increase by an average of by 18.1% and electricity prices by 11.4%, with effect from 13 September 2011 underscores the huge rises in energy prices confirmed by the UK’s other major energy providers in the last month. 

However, homeowners in the UK who have installed solar PV are mitigating against the price rises.  They benefit from payments from the Government’s Clean Energy Cash Back Scheme, which pays homeowners 43.3p per KWh they generate. The average resident will earn (and save on their electricity bill) in the region of £1,100 per year.

Solar water heating panels

Homeowners who have installed solar PV will be interested to read new research by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems.

The research finds that homes with solar PV in California have sold for an average home sales price premium of approximately $17,000 (approx £10,500) for a relatively new 3,100 watt (kWh) PV system (the average size of PV systems in the Berkeley Lab dataset).

The Berkeley Lab research is the first to explore empirically the existence and magnitude of residential solar PV sales price impacts across a large number of homes and over a wide geographic area. The research analysed a dataset of more than 72,000 California homes that sold from 2000 through mid-2009, approximately 2,000 of which had a solar PV system at the time of sale.

Anwar Harland-Khan, CEO of Sustain Worldwide, which is an élite membership organisation of the world’s leading sustainable property developers and architects, said:

“The Berkeley Lab research supports our long-held contention that energy efficient and energy generating homes have a value premium over conventionally built existing homes.

“At a time when energy prices are rising rapidly, particularly in the UK, new home buyers with installed solar PV are saving a considerable amount on their electricity bills and can look forward to a higher sales price when they come to sell up.”

Gordon Miller is sustainability & communications director of Sustain Worldwide. He writes for The Financial Times and The Sunday Times and founded eco homes website and local energy and awareness social enterprise The High Barnet Green Home Zone.

For more information about Sustain Worldwide’s members’ luxury sustainable homes, resorts and communities, visit or call +44 (0)20 7754 5557

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