More needs to be done to promote the benefits of solar panels, says estate agent association

NAEA Propertymark has responded to criticism of its comments last week that solar devalues homes on the market. Image: Viridian Solar.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark has said more needs to be done to promote the benefits of solar panels to house-hunters after anecdotal evidence from its members suggested buyers could be put off by legacy installations.

The claims first emerged last week when NAEA Propertymark suggested that solar devalued properties due to the aging of the technology and its appearance, drawing the ire of the Solar Trade Association (STA).

The property sector association clarified its comments to Solar Power Portal yesterday, claiming that some of its 11,500 members had noticed a trend over the last two years to suggest that a lack of understanding around solar had led to doubts about the technology.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, told SPP: “Over the last 24 months, our members have noticed a trend that buyers are increasingly ambivalent towards properties with solar panels.

“For some buyers, solar panels are of huge value, but our members report that those who do not have an interest in them are increasingly deterred because of the perception of the technology ageing, and their physical appearance, as they may detract from the visual appeal of the home.”

Responding to objections from STA chief executive Paul Barwell that often both house-buyers and estate agents lacked the resources to fully grasp the positive aspects of solar, Hayward added: “We agree that more needs to be done to promote the benefits of solar panels among house-hunters.

“We are happy to explore how we could help make consumers more aware of the benefits of solar panels when considering a [purchase].”