In spite of 2023 witnessing a historic high in green energy installations and an anticipated rise in the housing market due to lower mortgage rates, potential buyers still struggle to find support in choosing eco-friendly options during their decision-making process.
Today’s new analysis shows a significant gap in the UK property market: none of the top 10 estate agent websites or major property aggregators, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, offer a filter for energy efficiency in home searches. This finding comes from a recent study by iChoosr, an organisation dedicated to advancing the shift to renewable energy.
With energy bills soaring in the past two years, there’s been a growing interest among home-seekers in energy consumption and efficiency. iChoosr’s proposal for these features on property websites aligns with the latest statistics indicating that 190,000 UK homes installed solar panels last year – a record high since 2011. The company is advocating for increased support for prospective homebuyers in the future.
Recent data also highlights that 69% of UK adults would consider purchasing a property with solar panels, a figure that rises to 74% among Gen Z and Millennials. Additionally, 60% of UK homebuyers are prepared to pay a premium for properties equipped with renewable energy sources.
George Frost, UK Country Manager at iChoosr, comments: “The spike in solar panel adoption in 2023 was driven, in part, by the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills. But there has also been a significant mindset shift on installing renewable energy sources by UK homeowners and home-seekers. There is now a near-on consensus across the UK that we are knee-deep in a climate emergency, demonstrating the urgent need for the transition towards renewable energy.”
“Homeowners are more likely than ever to invest in effective and sustainable solutions to improve their home now. Schemes like Solar Together make solar panels affordable and accessible for anyone to reap their environmental and financial benefits. It feels as though estate agents and property search sites are missing a trick by not reflecting homebuyers’ enthusiasm to adopt modern green energy sources. It would be great to see estate agents take heed and add green energy sources like solar panels and heat pumps as a criterion on their websites to help homebuyers navigate the different energy options available.”
Furthermore, solar panels not only contribute to reduced energy consumption for residents but also can enhance a property’s value by as much as £2,722, future-proofing it for the market and making it more attractive to buyers seeking sustainable homes. Additionally, the integration of a solar battery can optimize electricity utilization, reducing carbon footprints by up to 15%. On average, a three-bedroom property equipped with a solar panel system and a 5 kWh battery can save £669 annually on energy costs.
iChoosr collaborates with local authorities to implement the highly successful Solar Together programme throughout the UK. Solar Together has facilitated over 29,300 solar panel installations, anticipated to eliminate 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 25 years.