Image: HBS New Energies.

A petition has been launched urging the government to consider enforcing that new homes in the UK be built with solar PV. 

The petition seeks to trigger a debate in parliament over whether or not the measure could be enacted, and how it would work in practice, mentioning how there is currently no supporting legislature that specifies the addition of solar panels to new build developments.

With the government having last year outlined plans to build 300,000 new homes each year, the petition argues that if just half those were built with standard solar PV installs, it would be enough to increase the country’s solar generation capacity by 5% annually.

It seeks legislation to require house builders to install a “meaningful amount” of solar PV, with firms needing to justify their decisions based on a lifetime economic return calculation reached using a national model.

There would, however, be exemptions for properties developed in areas of high shading or low irradiance, as well as recommendations on how to install solar on homes with shared roofs.

The petition’s author, ex-Solarcentury energy storage specialist and MyGridGB founder Andrew Crossland, also states that when installation savings are taken into account, solar on new builds can achieve pay back periods of 10 years and deliver returns in excess of 10%.

Furthermore, rooftop solar PV has been found to increase the value of properties by ~1%.

The petition currently stands on just shy of 2,500 signatures and will remain open until 1 November 2018. Should it reach 10,000 signatures the government will have to issue a formal response, however 100,000 signatures will be enough for the issue to be considered for debate.

The new build sector has been identified as a particularly promising area for growth in solar PV given the financial benefits of installing solar during the construction phase.

A raft of manufacturers at this year’s Intersolar exhibition pointed at the UK’s new build sector as being of serious interest, while installers like HBS New Energies and manufacturers like Viridian Solar are securing lucrative agreements with housing developers.