select
|

Should you install a solar panel?

As residential electricity tariffs continue to increase and place financial pressure on South African households, many are looking at alternate power sources, such as solar panels, in an attempt to reduce their household electricity consumption.



Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the more electricity a household uses, the more it is charged per unit of electricity. Because of this, there is a growing trend of households introducing energy-efficient elements to curb their energy usage and overall cost of running the home. “While the concept of ‘green energy’ is not new, the growing cost of electricity has led to consumers becoming more conscious of the energy they use. A study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed that apart from a safe neighbourhood, the factor that influenced home-buying decisions the most was a home’s energy efficiency,” says Goslett.

He notes that elements such as solar panels have become increasingly more popular with the energy-efficient movement gaining momentum. However, Goslett says that there are a few pros and cons that homeowners should consider before they go ahead with adding solar panels to their home:

Pro – Reduce utility bill


It goes without saying that using power generated from the sun will reduce the amount of electricity used from the main power grid, which will reduce the household’s utility bill. In most cases, solar panel systems save between 50% and 75% of an electricity bill. The money saved can go towards paying the solar panels off or other household expenses.

Con – The upfront cost

Even though solar panels have become more affordable over the years, the initial upfront cost of installation can be expensive, and it could take some time for the system to pay itself off – typically around seven years.

Pro – Increases value of the home

Energy-efficient elements add value to a home, and a large percentage of the initial outlay of such elements is recouped when the property is sold. “According to the NAHB, approximately 61% of homebuyers would be prepared to pay an additional R50 000 to R100 000 on a home that had features which would reduce utility costs,” says Goslett.

Con – Won’t work on every roof


There are some roofing materials, particularly in older homes, that make it difficult to install solar panels such as slate tiles. There is also the matter of available space on the roof, many homes have limited clear space to fit the solar panels.

Pro – Reduced carbon footprint

Although going green will save money on utility costs and add value to the home – the financial aspect it is not the only reason. It is also about sustainability and reducing the household’s effect on the environment and its surroundings. Generating energy from fossil fuels emits harmful carbon dioxide and methane which contributes to global warming – using solar panels for power does not. Solar power also doesn’t require water to process, while other energy sources do.

Con – Maintenance


As with all household elements, solar panels require upkeep and maintenance, which come at an additional cost. The solar panels will need to be cleaned, repaired when necessary and insured. 

“For the right home, installing solar panels could provide a sustainable method of reducing both their energy cost and impact on the environment,” Goslett concludes.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 21 Sep 2017
      Gazetted in March 2017 for comment, the long-awaited Property Practitioners Bill is intended to repeal the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 and transform the entire property market.
    • 21 Sep 2017
      Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs’ superior housing market performance of recent years has been largely been due to ongoing interest from foreign buyers and high demand from semigrants who are strongly attracted to suburbs such as Upper Claremont that offer the best feeder locations to the area’s top schools and are close to first-class amenities such as Cavendish Square.
    • 21 Sep 2017
      Did you know that inefficient, badly fitting windows can heat up your house by a whopping 75% in summer – and account for a third of total heat loss during winter?
    • 21 Sep 2017
      The paperwork involved in the sale of a property is a potential minefield for both buyer and seller, and should not be tackled without the assistance of an experienced estate agent and a conveyancing attorney.
    • 20 Sep 2017
      There is a very specific buyer for Heritage homes - not your usual buyer looking for a modern, contemporary home, but someone who likes the look, feel and even the particular scent of an older home steeped in history and with a tangible sense of history and heritage. Much like a well-matured wine, in fact, says Pam Mullany, an agent for Pam Golding Properties.
    • 20 Sep 2017
      In spite of the increasingly subdued economy and slackening real estate market, the Rondebosch sectional title sector demonstrated its resilience when a 250m² three-bedroom apartment realised a record sale price of R6.2 million at the end of July, beating the previous 2014 high of R5.6m achieved in the same complex.
    • 20 Sep 2017
      Participate in a research project about consumers’ willingness to purchase real estate online, conducted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, MyProperty and Entegral.
    • 20 Sep 2017
      Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Living in Cape Town’s City Bowl and Atlantic, Gerlinde Moser, is the definition of success. She the first real estate professional within Southern Africa to be awarded the Luminary of Distinction, the highest distinction of three career awards given by RE/MAX International. In fact, she is only one of two people outside of North America and Canada to receive the award.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK