With the housing boom well and truly over, anyone who wants or needs to sell their home will need to ensure they are getting the best possible price for it. Long gone are the days when a house with the bare basics would be snapped up at an over-inflated price. These days you need to work hard to get the value your home deserves. Adding an alternative energy supply to your home, might just be the additional benefit which sets your home apart from other houses up for sale.
Also known as microgeneration, renewable sources of energy include such things as solar panels, heat pumps, biomass boilers and wind turbines. In general terms, each of these and the other renewable options will allow the homeowner to generate some of their own energy and even sell the remainder back to the grid. As a potential buyer – what is not to like?
There are two types of heat pump available for the domestic home. The ground source heat pump which gathers heat from a series of tubes buried in the garden and the air source heat pump which sucks in air from outside and extracts heat from it before sending it indoors. Both of these can be a great addition to most homes.
If your home has a gas boiler, a heat pump is unlikely to add much value (gas is still a cheaper way to heat your home), but for those people who heat their home using electricity or oil, a heat pump is going to help you save significant amounts. For any potential buyer this is going to be a plus and would save them having to install the system themselves.
There has been some concern recently that homes with solar panels may be harder to sell, especially if they are tied into a contract with an energy supplier. While this may put off some buyers, the actual savings they could make should outweigh any concerns they may have.
Solar panels which have been paid for and installed by the owner entitle the new owner to a feed-in-tariff which could be as much as 43p/KwH. For those who have a free system, the tariff is taken by the installer, but the savings on electricity are for the home owner. This can be hundreds of pounds a year at no additional cost.
These sources of energy are more unusual than other renewables, but they can be an attractive proposition for buyers. When carefully positioned they can be unobtrusive and they are also very quiet.
Getting planning permission for wind turbines can be tricky (especially in urban areas) so if you already have one of these installed, your buyer knows that they will not have to do the leg-work with the council to get the permission.
Finally the savings and the feed-in-tariff associated with a wind turbine are bound to improve the saleability of your home and may add a few thousand to the asking price.
The Green Deal
It is true that installing some renewable energy sources isn’t cheap, but it is worth weighing up the viability of installing before you put your home up for sale. The government is introducing the Green Deal towards the end of this year which will allow homeowners to borrow the money needed to install this type of technology. This loan will pass from the current owner to the new owner if a house is sold.
It is unlikely that this will put off buyers, because the government has said that the savings made will outweigh the costs of the loan. So your new buyer will have cheaper bills and an energy efficient home.
So, even if you don’t think you can afford to make these types of improvements to your home, there really is no reason not to look into the possibilities. Not only will you set your home apart and add value, you will also be improving the environment.
About the author:
Justin Elliot is the CEO of Find Energy Savings, a company dedicated to help find you the best deals on eco-friendly energy resources.