More than half of UK homeowners want to invest in solar panels
A recent survey of more than 2,000 homeowners around the UK has revealed significant interest in renewable energy installations like solar panels and heat pumps.
The research, carried out by Censuswide and commissioned by trade suppliers City Plumbing, asked respondents to report how environmentally conscious they were and what would make them consider installing a renewable energy system.
The results offer valuable insight into the attitude of UK households towards solar energy – read on to find out why and what this could mean for future homes.
Do UK homeowners support switching to solar energy?
According to the survey, 60% were already planning to invest in solar panels for their homes, while 26% had already considered investing in a heat pump. Three-quarters of respondents considered solar PV (photovoltaics) to be reliable energy sources.
Most homeowners anticipated installing solar panels within the next 5 years or so, with 71% expressing concern about the environmental impact of non-renewable energy and 64% considering self-sufficient energy storage to be important.
Self-sufficiency was most important amongst younger people, valued by 80% of 18-24 year olds and 71% of 25-34 year olds.
Not everyone was completely sold on solar energy, though. When asked what was putting them off from installing solar panels, if applicable, the top responses were high upfront costs, maintenance, lack of knowledge, limited space, and an unattractive look.
However, more people said they would be persuaded to install solar panels if energy bills were reduced and there were sufficient government subsidies, with around a quarter wanting to generate their own energy and reduce their carbon footprints.
Pursuing renewables and making energy more affordable is clearly in the best interest of not just homeowners, but also government policymakers, builders, and designers.
Should all new builds have solar panels fitted?
Renewable solar energy has widespread appeal, as it is suitable for most types of housing.
According to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), more than 1.3 million homeowners in the UK have already installed solar panels, meaning 4.1% of UK households are currently generating electricity this way.
These installations were most popular for detached and semi-detached houses, but terraced houses and blocks of flats were also amongst the dwellings using solar panels.
With the UK government updating building regulations to enforce better energy efficiency through Approved Document L and electric vehicle charging infrastructure through Approved Document S, it may only be a matter of time before renewable energy installations are included, too.
For now, while all new builds with an associated parking space must have an electric vehicle charging point, it is not yet mandatory for new build homes to have solar panels installed.
However, with newer legislations enforcing the Building Safety Act 2022 also keeping the industry on its toes – from requiring new build insurance coverage for 15 years to stricter fire safety measures – getting ahead with energy-efficient homes is definitely worth considering for those constructing new builds or converting or renovating existing homes for sale.