Why now is a great time to have a home with solar panels

If you’re one of the many thousands of customers to have received a gas or electricity bill in recent weeks, you’ll need no reminding that energy bills are soaring.

By John Grainger
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 3:45 pm
Crossfields, Crag Lane, Huby - £1.5m with Myrings, 01423 566400.
Crossfields, Crag Lane, Huby - £1.5m with Myrings, 01423 566400.

The situation was already bad at the start of the year, but the war in Ukraine has seen wholesale prices inflate to unprecedented highs as Europe does its best to wean itself off Russian gas.

The UK energy market regulator, Ofgem, has revised its energy price cap, which sets the maximum amount a utility company can charge an average customer, increasing bills by a whopping 54 per cent.

According to industry body Energy UK, this could drive up the average annual energy bill from more than £2,000 to approaching £3,000 in October, when the cap is reviewed.

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11 Fulwith Mill Lane, Harrogate - £3.5m with Knight Frank, 01423 530088.

The situation is so extreme that even price comparison sites, which earn commission from companies when customers switch to them, are reported to be struggling to make money from the sector as providers have been unable to offer any deals that might encourage a switch.

All of which means that as a country, we would do well to insulate ourselves as much as possible from such global shocks, by investing in “home-grown” renewables and, possibly, nuclear energy.

At the personal level, nuclear is of course not an option, but renewables are, and we could well see increased demand for air- and ground-source heat-pumps, biomass boilers, small-scale wind turbines, and solar panels.

Of course, quite a few homeowners have already made such investments. According to the UK government report, there were about 970,000 UK homes with solar panel installations in 2020. Then again, that’s only 3.3 per cent of households, so there’s still room for improvement.

White House, Stocks Green, Darley - £450,000 with Hopkinsons, 01423 501201.

If you like the idea of moving into a home where the hard work has already been done, one of the following properties could be for you. They all have solar panels and are all currently for sale.

On the south side of Harrogate, 11 Fulwith Mill Lane is a large detached house on one of the region’s most exclusive roads. It has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, games room, cinema room, two reception rooms, breakfast kitchen, utility room, study, gardens, double garage, and a superb leisure complex, with gym, indoor swimming pool with resistance water jet and changing rooms.

There is underfloor heating to the ground and first floors, and three heat-exchange systems provide ventilation with minimal energy loss. Solar panels have been fitted, as well as an air-source heat-pump to heat the pool.

In Huby, Crossfields is a large detached house with fabulous panoramic views towards Harewood. It has four bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms, kitchen, utility room and two reception rooms that open onto the terrace. Outside, there are gardens with greenhouse and shed, plus a double carport and outhouse which could be ideal as a garden office or gym.

Finally, White House in Darley is a detached cottage with scope for extension, subject to consent. It has two bedrooms, shower room, kitchen and lounge, and outside there is a garden with greenhouse, shed and parking.