Solar panels are powering Australian’s hunt for the perfect “forever home”. Recent research by homebuilder Henley Homes shows that home owners and prospective home renovators are considering functionality and the environment when it comes to the ideal house. One in three [35%] people say they are prepared to go off the grid and want a home with solar panels. In fact solar technology is so popular it ranks fourth on the wish-list of added features: behind a modern kitchen [39%]; a walk-in robe and ensuite [36%]; and heating and air-conditioning [36%]; and ahead of hardwood floors [28%]. The result, from the study of 3000 Australians commissioned by Henley Homes, comes as no surprise to industry experts, who agree that renewable energy is becoming more important to Australians planning on buying, building or renovating their dream home. The take up of solar is largely being driven by rising energy prices as households look to solar power to offset rising costs. Solar is also a popular way to support clean, green energy; and reduce household emissions.
The biggest financial benefit from installing solar power comes from generating your own electricity instead of purchasing it from the grid. Most Australian electricity retailers offer feed-in tariffs, meaning that they pay you a small amount of money for any excess power you generate. But government incentives differ across states, so you should understand the costs and benefits before you invest. There are also a growing number of people choosing to add a battery to their solar power system. The battery allows you to store energy for use at any time of the day or night whether or not the sun is shining. There will be a rise in battery systems as costs continue to fall. It allows people more control over their energy. Solar power came in with a boom 8 to 10 years ago but it was relatively expensive. Now we are seeing home builders and home renovators wanting to be more self-sufficient. Solar panels were once a distant dream but as power bills rise and the outlay to install drops, the new technology may increasingly have a place on the roof.
Expert commentary from Adam Selvey, Henley Homes Sustainability Manager; and Darren Gladman, Clean Energy Council Director of Smart Energy.
Henley Homes [Melbourne]
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