Recent studies suggest that solar panels can increase the value of a home, with homeowners recouping the cost of investment upon selling their home. In the U.S., the sale values of 2,000 solar homes and 70,000 non-solar homes were compared from the years 2000 to 2009. It was discovered that the presence of a solar array actually increased the value of an existing home by upto $7.7 per watt (taken into account factors such as marketing fluctuations and size/age of the home).
Nevertheless, many homeowners remain concerned about the aesthetic quality of solar panel systems, often seeking something that offers a bit more visual appeal that the standard blue silicone design we are all accustomed to seeing.
Recent developments in solar technology have allowed for a more attractive wave of solar panel. Homeowners are unwilling to sabotage the value of their home by installing distracting, sometimes ugly looking panels, which has prompted installers to rethink the design and the ways in which the panels are mounted.
All-black, slim panels and mounting systems are giving homeowners a wider choice of aesthetics for their panel array. A relatively new innovation, solar tiles, can also be blended more seamlessly into existing roof designs, fitting with most architectural themes with a significantly lesser visual impact than traditional blue silicon panels.
New-build properties, where style is as important as function, are often chosen for solar panel tiles. They can also be installed on existing roofs, with homeowners co-inciding the installation with a planned re-roof of their house. Alternatively, panels can be installed on homes without the need for a full re-roof. Installers should be able to blend an array seamlessly into your existing roof by replacing existing roof tiles with solar ones.
There are also more refined types of panel that are bolted onto the roof. Whilst they may cost slightly more than traditional solar panels, an increasing amount of homeowners are choosing to install this kind of panel for its efficiency in generating electricity, as well as providing insulation for the whole house.
Many homeowners find that the panels match their roofs, integrating seamlessly with their standard tiles whilst absorbing the same amount of energy as regular panels do. By generating this clean, green energy, the panels can effectively reduce our carbon footprint whilst earning money from the electricity that the panels produce. Whilst the government has drastically altered the amount of money the homeowner earns per generated watt, it still certainly pays off to enrol into the Feed-in Tariff.
Solar electric roof tiles can be a great choice for those who wish to preserve or improve upon the existing aesthetic of a property, such as period or traditional homes. Not only this, but new builds, modern properties and architecturally adventurous homes can also benefit significantly from solar tiles, given that they ensure a home’s eco-credentials will not take away from the design features of the house.
Dane Cross writes on behalf of Ardenham Energy, a UK based provider and installer of solar panels and heat pumps.