Solar Power High Up On Home Buyers’ Energy Efficiency Wishlists

Solar and Australian home buyers

Energy efficient features such as solar panels are becoming increasingly important to Australians looking to buy, rent or build. But buyers should do some additional research if considering purchasing a home with an existing PV system.

The REA Insights Energy Efficiency Housing Report – June 2021 is based on data from the 12 million Australians who visit realestate.com.au each month alongside data from the the site’s April Residential Consumer Omnibus Survey.

The report notes energy efficiency ratings on listings for homes are becoming more desirable. 74 per cent of respondents in the April survey believed an energy rating as important, of which 48 per cent said it was of extreme importance.

The April survey indicated that of the sustainable property features Australians are interested in, no.1 was solar power at 81% followed by energy efficient lighting at 71%.

Search data from realestate.com.au shows solar power makes up 92 per cent of energy efficient keywords used in searches, with the second most popular energy efficiency related search term being water tanks1. The general terms ‘energy efficiency’ or ‘energy efficient’ only comprised 3% of energy efficient keyword searches.

Energy efficiency searches

The report, which can be found here, indicates solar panels and water tanks are the most frequent energy efficient features noted on listings on realestate.com.au nationally.

Home Buyers – Do Your Solar Research

It’s great so many Australians are interested in a solar power system already being installed on the next property they occupy – but there are pitfalls to be aware of.

More than 2.8 million small-scale systems have been installed across Australia so far and unfortunately, not all of them are good quality. If you’re considering buying a home with panels already installed, it’s wise to do a bit of due diligence; first ensuring you have a basic understanding of solar power and then asking the vendor/agent questions such as:

  • How big is the solar system in kW capacity?
  • When was the system installed?
  • Who installed it?
  • What brand are the solar panels and inverter/s?
  • When was the system last inspected?
  • Are there system monitoring records available to view output?

With that information you can then check out reviews of the solar panels, inverter and installer to get an idea if the property in question has a solid system with plenty of life in it that will meet your needs, or one that could involve some potentially expensive headaches down the track. It would be incredibly disappointing and frustrating to move into your new home and discover the system needs repairs, requires an upgrade or worse still really needs to be entirely removed and replaced.

For vendors selling properties, if you have a good quality PV system, let it shine in your listing by adding a few more details about it other than just size (capacity).

Footnotes

  1. I would have thought water tanks to be a general sustainability feature rather than lumped in under energy efficiency, but anyhoo
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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