Survey finds 39% of homeowners BIPV solar to power houses in the future

A survey of British homeowners has found that nearly half of them expect solar PV to feature heavily in the design of future houses.

A poll conducted by energy price comparison website Go Compare Energy concluded that of the nearly 3,000 respondents, 39% of them expect roof tiles to contain solar panel technology.

While building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology is commercially available, it is still prohibitively expensive for most installations and is not usually considered for housing ahead of more traditional solar panels. There are however a number of BIPV options available on the market, including Solarcentury's C21e family of roof tile panels and Romag's Intecto integrated PV tiles.

An overwhelming majority (84%) of those surveyed said that domestic energy demand would be met by “more sustainable sources”, with almost two-thirds (61%) suggesting that they expected homes to become self-sufficient.

More than half (55%) expected exercise machines to help power household appliances, while 51% said that drains and gutters should be used to harvest energy from rainwater.

Ben Wilson, energy expert at Go Compare, said that the study had been “fascinating” to see which innovations and technologies the general public are backing to feature prominently in future homes.

“It’s no wonder that we are starting to see more people considering the sustainability of our power sources – but that’s not to say that washing machines are going to be outlawed any time soon! If anything, they will just become more energy efficient.

“What’s particularly interesting is that some of these predictions aren’t necessarily that far-fetched. I could well envisage a workout station where you can charge your mobile phone while you work up a sweat, or the advance of solar technology to make it all a little more aesthetically pleasing for UK rooftops.

“The industry is fast paced and alternative and renewable energy providers are constantly looking for new ways to generate power, so I could see some of these coming to British homes very soon,” he said.