Lockdown, combined with this winter’s cold weather, have led to a home energy re-think in houses across the UK according to survey data revealed today by Stockport-based Project Solar UK.
The Houldsworth Mill located firm, which has completed 18,000 solar panel installations to date, found that nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed said lockdowns made them want to make changes to their homes. And it is being indoors in three lockdowns (March and November 2020 and January 2021), more than the cold weather, that influenced their home improvement decisions with only 29 per cent saying winter weather encouraged them to want to improve energy efficiency at home.
Over 63 per cent of respondents would consider installing solar panels as their first choice of renewable energy home improvement with ground source heat pumps coming in second with just over 25 per cent respondents opting for warmth to be delivered from the ground up.
The survey coincides with the launch of a free downloadable home improvement guide packed with money saving and energy efficiency tips and advice from the renewable energy company on Houldsworth Street. Improving energy efficiency has been brought into sharp focus during lockdowns where average home energy bills have increased by 37 per cent, equating to £32.31 per month on average, or £387 over the year*. The combination of more advanced renewable technology for the home with its decreasing costs means homeowners are now looking at solar power as an affordable option.
Installing solar panels in a residential property has increased property prices in the UK by an average of £32,459**. The significant price increase is the direct result of the long-term savings homeowners would see after installation – which can be as much as £27,500 on electricity bills over a 30-year period.
To help understand the costs and benefits of energy efficiency through solar power, and to highlight other cost effective home improvements, the team at the Stockport based company has created the free 21 page guide, brimming with tips and advice, available for digital download from the projectsolaruk site. The 2021 Home Improvement Guide outlines practical considerations for major home improvements such as reinforced flooring, fire safety doors, and following building regulations which need to be addressed for loft conversions or planning permission and insurance which may need to be addressed if converting a garage into an office space. Smaller projects to create extra space and brighten up rooms with clever use of colour and materials are also included in the packed guide.
“After a year at home looking at the same four walls, our survey showed that people are really considering upgrades – particularly around keeping warm and not wasting money on energy,“ says Simon Peat, Managing Director of leading solar panel company, Project Solar UK. “Fitting solar panels is a proven way to increase your energy efficiency rating, decrease bills and carbon footprint, by simple changes to the way your household consumes energy. We’ve created our packed guide to give readers the opportunity to find out more about solar and to pick up hints and advice on all manner of home improvements to make our surroundings in lockdown more energy efficient and comfortable.”
Solar panels are a direct way to reduce ongoing energy bills as they are designed to absorb energy from daylight and convert it into energy for domestic use. Any excess can then be sold back to the energy supplier through a Smart Export Guarantee, a fee paid per KW hour. Project Solar UK has completed over 18,000 domestic installations saving 3750 tonnes of carbon each year. The solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun, helping combat greenhouse gas emissions and reducing collective dependence on fossil fuel such as coal and natural gas. Further information on installing solar panels and on improving the energy efficiency of your home are available in the 2021 Home Improvement Guide which is downloadable from thier website.
* Research by comparethemarket 2020
**Research by Effectivehome August 2020