Solar Panels For Rental Properties

Overview

Renting a house with solar panels already installed has only positive outcomes for you as a tenant. You will be paying much lower energy bills each month without having to pay the high installation costs. You will also be helping the environment by using a clean, renewable source of energy to power your house during the day. If you are renting a property without solar panels you could ask whether your landlord would consider installing them.

Benefits

Tenants of houses or flats with solar panels installed can expect to pay, on average, £125 less per year on household energy bills. With energy prices expected to continue rising over the next few years, these savings could dramatically increase. The use of Fossil Fuels to give our homes power is becoming increasingly damaging to our planet. Using the sun to power your household appliances during the day will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment for future generations.

Issues

As you are not the homeowner you will not be entitled to receive the payments that the government offers to people who produce clean energy through solar panels. These payments will go directly to the landlord. The government scheme was created to offset the steep initial costs of installing solar panels. However, as you will not have paid the installation costs, you will not be losing out by not receiving these payments. You will still feel the benefits of solar power in your reduced energy bills.



Solar panels for landlords


Overview

Installing solar panels on the roof of your rental property could offer huge rewards, especially if you have more than one property available to rent. The costs of installing solar panels can be high but they do offer a generous payback over time. People are becoming increasingly aware of the need for using renewable energy in our homes. This awareness combined with the cheaper energy bills offered by solar panels could make your rental property an incredibly appealing prospect for potential tenants.

Costs

Solar panel installation does come with fairly high initial costs. However, as the technology becomes more widely available, the costs are rapidly reducing. It is hard to determine exactly how much solar panel installation will cost, as a thorough home assessment is needed before a quote can be given. If you would like more information on solar panel costs you can find an estimation of the average costs for most residential properties here.

Earnings

If you are willing to invest in solar panels and pay out for the initial costs, you could see a profit of over £2000 from the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). The Feed-in Tariff is a government scheme that offers tax-free payments to homeowners for 20 years, simply for producing clean energy through solar panels. The FiT currently offers 4.39p per kWh for all energy produced by the solar panels and 4.85p per kWh for energy that is not used by your tenants and is instead sold back to the National Grid. As the homeowner you would be entitled to receive these payments, not the tenants. These payments could amount to around £404 a year from an average 4kW system.

Issues

The repayment on your initial investment will not be as fast or as lucrative on solar panels installed on a rental property, as they would be on ones installed on your own residence. This is because you will not be benefiting from the cheaper energy bills, your tenants will. However, as you can see from the earnings section above, you could still earn back your initial investment in less than 13 years.

As solar panels usually have warranties of 25 years and FiT payments of 20 years, you can see that they are still a smart investment even without the cheaper energy bills. Solar panels will also make your property more desirable for potential renters due to the cheaper energy bills and environmental rewards associated with them.



Suitable properties

Most properties are suitable for solar panel installation. To gain the most output from solar panels they should be installed on a south facing roof at around a 30° angle. However, east or west facing roofs at various angles will still provide enough light to achieve sufficient solar power for your house. If your property has a completely flat roof, you may need to consider a mounting bracket to achieve a suitable angle.

If your property is completely north facing or particularly shaded by trees or other buildings, solar power may not be beneficial for you. Similarly, if your property is within a conservation area, or it is a listed building, you may need to check with the local council to see whether solar panels are a viable option.

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