Will solar panels affect the value of your property?

Today, energy conservation has become more important than ever for many homeowners. But property re-sale value is always a concern when major adjustments are made to homes, all in the name of the environment.

While there are certainly many benefits of “going green” in this day and age, the implementation of energy saving features in South African homes are quite expensive to install and it doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on resale value yet, say various Seeff experts from around Gauteng.

Due to the fact that consumers are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint and to save costs on the long term, there is certainly a rise in the demand for homes with energy saving features such as solar energy panels, but they are not common enough to have a standard when it comes to increasing your home’s re-sale value.

Chris Hajec from Seeff Randburg says he would not advise a seller to install solar panels in order to attract higher offers from buyers, unless it was perhaps a commercial seller and the installation would bring down the overall expenses of an income producing building.

“Currently most consumers are not fully informed on the various aspects of solar panels and it is not something that they are actively seeking.

In a market where the technology is more pervasive and consumers are more eager it would however have a corresponding uptick in desirability and value”.

Hajec adds that solar panels are costly and you only really start saving money several years into owning them.

“It would only make sense to install these if you wanted to keep the home for a long period of time before reselling.”

Steve van Wyk from Centurion agrees and says if solar panels were to increase the value of your property it could be up to R600 000 as this could be the costs of installation depending on the type and extent of the system.

“Also keep in mind that the battery technology has not yet caught up to the solar panels and at this stage need to be replaced every five or six years”.

Charles Vining from Sandton agrees, but says while solar panels per se do not increase the value of a home, they are certainly an attractive feature to have and in some areas a home with energy saving features is positioned more favourably with buyers than a similar home without it.

“In a buyer’s market, where buyers are relatively spoiled for choice, green features could indeed be a value add – setting one home apart from another.

The advantages of energy saving features do not only include the cost saving over the long term, but the convenience factor also cannot be underestimated.

Over and above this, all responsible citizens are looking at going ‘off the grid’ as much as possible and the droughts and power-supply crises in the recent past have made more people aware of this necessity”.

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