Why aren’t new homes required to have solar panels?

The National Energy Foundation has called for every property built in the United Kingdom to have solar panels. The foundation points out that the energy from solar is infinite and there is no good reason why every new home and building should not be required to have solar panels. It will reduce dependence on imported fuel and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

So why has not the government enacted a simple law requiring solar panels on homes?  

The government has enacted a law requiring homes that are sold to have an energy report as part of an expensive Home Information Pack. This might add a few hundred pounds to the cost of a property being sold and there is no evidencethat it has achieved much, if anything, in terms of energy savings and emission savings.

Requiring solar panels to every new home (and requiring high quality long lasting solar panels) will probably add less than two thousand pounds to the price of the home. If this additional cost was added to the mortgage of a new hoe, the purchaser would actually be in pocket, because the mortgage costs on the additional £2,000 will be less than the energy costs savings that the solar panels bring.

It costs more to fit solar panels to existing properties because of the significantly higher installation costs which apply when you are working in a property that is lived in and that needs such things as special scaffolding.

There is a lot of nonsense talked by house builders about the high costs of fitting renewable energy to homes. So far these house builders have been very successful in lobbying the government to avoid fitting renewable energy.

Until recently, 80,000 new homes were built in the United Kingdom each year and I suspect that the recession has slowed down house building quite significantly. It not just new homes that can be fitted with soalr panels cheaply – when you replace a roof, or when you build an extension are all opportunities to fit solar cheaply.

I am not talking of expensive photovoltaics which produce electricty which is hard to store and needs feed in tarrifs which can be complicated and expensive. I am talking about simple thermal solar – mainly used for water heating becasue everyone washes.

If we had enacted a law requiring solar panels to be fitted when a building was built, or when a roof was replaced or when an extension built just five years ago, we would have another half a million homes with harmless benign solar panels producing useful heat energy and saving harmful emissions.

It has been a tremendous wasted opportunity and similar opportunities will always be wasted while governments permit energy and climate change policy to be heavily influenced by the conflicted interests of house builders.

As the chap from the Mational Energy Foundation said “every single property that is built in the UK, if it doesn’t have solar panels on it then I ask, ‘Why?'”
Indeed, why?

4 Responses

  1. You speak a lot of common sense!

  2. I think you’ll find that this would stop the energy companies ripping us all off and the government wouldn’t like to upset the big boys!

  3. This is exactly what we were looking for and the content is awesome.Keep up the good work.Please check my new video about solar panels and green energy here http://youtu.be/viIsGQ7jPPk ,Cheers!!

  4. Not half a mile from where I live they are building 500 new homes
    not one is being fitted with solar panels. Within the last 10 years they built at least a thousand new homes in our town, I have seen one fitted with solar panels. This country has missed and is missing the chance to reduce the strain on our national grid, plus helping with the environment. It is very sad to note the first article on this was June 2009, and I am writing in November 2016. When will we come to our senses.

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