Going green can cause a solar storm

Richard Sexton MS blog 2012

Advances in photo voltaic technology – that’s solar panels to me and you –  mean that they are becoming increasingly viable as a source of micro electricity generation for the home.

Costs vary but for the much abused average household it is reasonable to expect a consideration of between £10,000 to £20,000 to retrofit a roof.  

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t necessarily add value to a property – many consider them ugly and if yours is the only house in a lane of rose covered cottages with these imposing slabs visible, your neighbours may be less than happy with the impact on their chances of winning ‘most beautiful village’.

In response to this downside, manufacturers are now producing PVs that look much more like normal roof tiles and hence blend in.

Of more concern may be the impact on borrowers’ ability to get a mortgage.

Lenders will be concerned if installations come with a requirement to cover maintenance costs,  onerous access rights for the provider, the requirement to leave them ‘switched on’ in the event of repossession or other obligations that may impair the marketing of the property. 

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has issued general guidance on what is usually acceptable but there is increasing anecdotal noise of applications falling down due to these issues. Trying to go green may make some applicants see red, it seems.