Public still unaware of falling prices for solar as cost concerns continue

Image: E.On

Members of the public continue to downplay the benefits of installing a solar system on their homes due to the perceived costs of doing so, despite the rapid fall in prices experienced in recent years.

This was one of the findings of research conducted by YES Energy Solutions, which surveyed over 600 people on why they do not currently have solar panels at home.

Over half of respondents (55.1%) claimed cost is the main reason they would not consider the technology, despite the huge fall in the prices for domestic systems.

Duncan McCombie, chief executive of YES Energy Solutions, explained: “Over recent years the price of having solar PV panels installed in your home has fallen dramatically.  For us, this is a great development in the industry as providing your home with clean, environmentally friendly energy is now much more cost-effective and within the reach of many more householders.”

The survey also highlighted aesthetics to be a key reason for a lack of solar panel use, while 7% questioned the effectiveness of the technology itself, highlighting the need for greater education.

This follows claims made by the the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark in October that anecdotal evidence from its members had suggested solar was among the “top things” that devalue a home.

The association later conceded that more needs to be done to promote the benefits of solar panels to house-hunters.

McCombie agrees with this assessment, as the lower cost of installing solar means that saving from energy bills and revenues from the feed-in tariff subsidy, as small as this may be now, mean homeowners can still see a good return on their investment.

“Adding solar panels to your home is not just a great way to reduce bills and help the environment saving around 1.5 tons of CO2 per year, it’s also an opportunity to maximise your property’s worth.  You can embrace a low carbon lifestyle whist increasing the retail value of your home,” he said.

Findings such as those collected by YES Energy Solutions are often found despite the widely reported national approval ratings for solar. The government’s latest public attitudes tracker revealed around 85% of those surveyed said they were in favour of solar PV, more than any other renewable technology.

In addition, the Ørsted Green Energy Barometer found that of the over 2,000 people in the UK surveyed, over three quarters (77%) prefered solar to its closest  renewable competitors, tidal power (71%) and offshore wind (70%).