Interesting Findings About Solar Renters & Home Value

Does having solar panels impact home values for renters in Australia? Discover surprising insights on the connection between solar renters and property value.
solar renters

The Australian property market is constantly evolving, and in recent years, sustainability has become a key driver of value. Solar power systems are a prime example, offering homeowners significant cost savings on electricity bills. 

But what about renters? Does having a solar system in a rental property translate into increased value for the homeowner? This article explores the latest findings in 2024 regarding solar renters and home value in Australia, specifically focusing on the growing trend of solar rentals.

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The rise of solar rentals in Australia

Traditionally, homeowners have invested in solar panel systems to reap the benefits of lower electricity bills and a potential increase in property value. However, a new trend is emerging – solar rentals. This option allows renters to access the benefits of solar power without the upfront installation cost.

Solar Renters
Solar Renters
Source: Essential Media - Queensland Household Energy Survey (QHES)

According to the 2023 QHES Report, the number of Australian households with rooftop solar has reached a staggering 44%. Interestingly, the report also highlights a significant rise in solar rentals, suggesting a shift in consumer preferences, particularly amongst renters.

The Origin’s The Australian Home Energy Report March 2024 further emphasises this. It reveals that many renters actively seek properties with solar panels, highlighting the increasing value placed on energy efficiency and sustainability.

This Origin survey chart illustrates how a pre-existing solar power system can significantly boost a property’s value. A 1% increase in property value (the current median is $900,000) gains approximately $9,000, comparable to the solar system’s value. In other words, the system delivers free electricity until it pays for itself through property sales.

How solar panels impact home value

The impact of solar panels on home value has been a topic of research and debate. The 2024 Annual Sunwiz Australian PV Report provides valuable insights on this topic. In 2023, 4.6 GW of PV capacity was installed overall, bringing the nation’s total installed capacity to 33.7 GW according to Sunwiz. With rooftop PV recording its second-best year ever, it was a year of substantial growth. 

The 2024 Annual SunWiz Australian PV Report states that 0.9GW of business rooftop systems and a staggering 2.5GW of residential solar power were built in 2024, which is 0.2% and 4% less than the record year of 2021 (or 6.1 million average-sized solar panels).

The report analyses data from thousands of property sales and concludes that homes with solar panels sell for a premium compared to similar properties without them.

The exact premium varies depending on location, property type, and the size of the solar system. However, the Sunwiz report suggests an increase in value for properties with solar panels. This translates to a significant financial advantage for homeowners selling their property.

sunwiz-solar renters
Source: The 2024 Annual SunWiz Australian PV Report

There are a few key reasons why solar panels can increase home value:

  • Reduced energy costs: Solar panels generate clean electricity, lowering grid reliance and electricity bills. This is a major selling point for potential buyers, especially considering rising energy costs.
  • Sustainability appeal: Australians are increasingly environmentally conscious, and homes with solar panels cater to this growing demand.
  • Increased energy independence: Solar panels offer a sense of energy independence, reducing vulnerability to fluctuations in electricity prices.
solar renters home value

Benefits of solar rentals for renters and landlords

Solar rentals offer a win-win situation for both renters and landlords. Here’s how:

Benefits for renters

  • Lower electricity bills: Renters can enjoy significant savings on their electricity bills, especially during peak usage times.
  • Sustainable living: Solar renters contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future using renewable energy.
  • Increased comfort: Homes with solar panels tend to be cooler in summer due to reduced reliance on air conditioning.

Benefits for landlords

  • Attract high-quality tenants: Properties with solar panels are more appealing to environmentally conscious and cost-conscious renters.
  • Potentially higher rent: Landlords may be able to command a premium rent for properties with solar panels.
  • Increased property value: In the long run, a solar panel system can potentially increase the value of a property when it’s time to sell.

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Interesting considerations for solar renters

While solar rentals offer numerous benefits, there are a few key considerations for renters:

  • Lease terms: It’s crucial to understand the terms of the solar rental agreement, including the length of the lease, any fees involved, and maintenance responsibilities.
  • Impact on electricity bills: The potential savings will depend on the size of the solar system, your energy usage patterns, and the specific terms of the rental agreement.
  • Moving restrictions: Some solar rental agreements may restrict moving during the lease period.

The future of solar rentals in Australia

With increasing environmental awareness and rising energy costs, the trend of solar rentals is expected to continue its upward trajectory in Australia. As technology advances and solar panel costs decrease, solar rentals will likely become even more accessible and attractive for both renters and landlords.

This shift towards renewable energy benefits individual households financially and contributes to a more sustainable future for Australia. As the solar rental market matures, it will be interesting to see how it impacts property values and the overall energy landscape in the country.

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