Solar energy likely to drive up home values: HTW

Sustainable homes will see an increase in value as more and more householders take up solar rebates and reduce household energy consumption, according to independent valuer and advisory group Herron Todd White.

HTW’s Managing Director in Melbourne, Tony Kelly, said as homeowners continued to take advantage of solar energy rebates and substantially reduced energy costs, the value of their homes would increase accordingly adding capital gains to energy savings.

“A fully equipped solar house is going to save money every day as it reduces its reliance on the electricity grid and, as energy costs continue to escalate, the savings will in turn accelerate exponentially.

“That is going to influence decision-making when people are looking to buy a house. If there are two similar properties for around the same price, one is a fully equipped solar house and the other is not, which one are you going to buy?

“That is pretty much a no-brainer and that is going to factor into prices and ultimately valuations,’’ Mr Kelly said.

Mr Kelly added that sustainable housing was the future and that builders/developers would need to take note or fall behind as consumers increasingly chose homes which would save them money.

“With the advent of new technology bringing homes into a new, automated hi-tech world of the smart home, using a whole new level of standby power and remote operation, those homes that can deliver energy use savings will be the smartest in facilitating the use of that new technology.

“Homes which are still relying on the grid will see values deteriorate accordingly as they struggle to afford the use of the latest lifestyle technology,’’ Mr Kelly said.

He added it appeared likely that new Government initiatives, such as those recently announced by the Victorian Government, would increase the take-up of solar energy.

Victorian owner-occupiers will get half-priced solar panels for their homes with no upfront cost under a $1.24 billion State Government election promise. The plan promises 650,000 homeowners over 10 years will get access to more than $4,000 each to install panels.

The Government estimates households could save about $900 each year.

It has also announced that Victorian homeowners will be paid nearly $5,000 towards the cost of household solar batteries to store power from their solar panels, potentially saving even more money.

The Government estimates an average 11kW battery could save around $650 a year on electricity bills, in addition to the savings households are already making with solar panels.

The battery program will be available in growth areas where there are already a large number of homes with solar panels. This will pave the way for future microgrids, allowing households in a local area to share their stored power to lower electricity prices even further.

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