Harrogate property: Could homes with solar panels be the answer cost of living energy rises?
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The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced on Monday that the government’s energy price cap would be scrapped in the spring, which could see household bills across the UK almost double, according to industry estimates.
That’s easily enough to drive most people to turn down their thermostats and dig out their winter woollies, but householders with renewable energy systems look set to be warm and cosy no matter what the weather – and won’t have to worry about the heating costs.
Perhaps the most common sustainable energy technology is solar photovoltaic (PV). These installations are made up of several panels, each generating around 355W of energy in strong sunlight. Typical systems contain around 10 panels, but bigger installations can produce excess energy which can then be sold to the National Grid, further offsetting the initial outlay.
How cost-effective a solar installation may be will depend on several factors, including your latitude, the orientation of your roof (south-facing is good), its degree of pitch, and whether it’s shaded.
But if you do the calculations and it looks promising, the good news is that solar PV panels are considered “permitted developments” and don’t usually need planning permission. That said, exceptions do apply so if you live in a listed building, conservation area or national park, it’s best to check with your local planning office for guidance.
Of course, an alternative to installing solar panels is to move into a home that already has them. The following three properties all do, and they’re all currently on the market.
Stacks House in Goldsborough is a detached property with five bedrooms, a bathroom, a shower room, and a reception room. There is also a hidden pantry, and separate utility space, and a large family dining kitchen with glass doors opening onto an “outdoor living room” under a pergola. Outside, there are walled gardens, “the piggery” – a summer house converted from a former sty – a single garage and off-street parking for two cars.
In Harrogate, 5 Anchor Road is a detached house on a corner plot with not only solar panels, but air-source heating too. It has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, hall, kitchen, utility room, office and two reception rooms. Outside, there are southwest-facing gardens, a double garage and an outbuilding.
Finally, 21 Maple Garth is an end-terrace family home on a small cul-de-sac in Melmerby, near Ripon. It has three bedrooms, a shower room, kitchen, living room and conservatory. Occupying a prime corner plot, it has extensive gardens to three sides, plus a summerhouse, off-street parking for two cars, a single garage with storage space.