Source: The Solar Power Portal
New research published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that energy saving improvements could add significant value to properties across England.
According to DECC, improving a property’s EPC rating from band G to E or from band D to B could add more than £16,000 to the sale price of the average property in England.
Those in the north of England can expect an even greater value increase by investing in energy saving measures: In the North East, moving from band G to E could increase the value by £25,355 and in the North West by £23,155.
Commenting on the results of the analysis, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “We have long known the benefits of making energy saving improvements to the home, but this study is real evidence of the huge potential rewards. Not only can energy efficient improvements help protect you against rising energy prices, but they can also add real value to your property.
James Brooks from Brooks Estate Agents added: “For the majority of the UK we are seeing that there is a new factor dictating a home’s saleability. With fuel bills continuing to rise, buyers are becoming more and more conscious about the energy efficiency of their prospective new homes and are willing to invest more in a property now if they know it will cost them less to run in the future.
“As such, we always try to advise our customers to consider the real S.A.L.E. value – Size, Aesthetics, Location and Efficiency – when buying or selling.”
Currently, 46% of all properties in England are rated at EPC level D. The Coalition hopes that the Green Deal, its flagship environmental policy, will help improve the
On the role that the Green Deal can play in helping improve the nation’s energy efficiency, Barker said: “The Green Deal is helping more people make these types of home improvements, reducing high upfront costs and letting people pay for some the cost through the savings on their bills. The Green Deal is a great option for anyone wanting to improve the look, feel and potentially the value of their home.”
Kevin McCloud, broadcaster and co-founder of the Grand Designs Future Living home retrofit company, added: “There are some 26 million homes in Britain, most of them about as well insulated as a rabbit hutch, and they need immediate help to be made less wasteful. This timely report tells us what we suspected all along: that people really value the well-insulated, energy-efficient home; that modest investment in measures to make our homes more comfortable, healthier and cheaper-to-run really pays off.
“The Green Deal is now maturing into a helpful way of financing a lot of the retrofit solutions around. Homeowners can now start to make these changes, alleviate the burden of high energy bills and improve the value of their prime asset.”
John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, concluded: “This research provides evidence that the retrofit industry has been craving for a long time. Energy efficiency not only reduces bills and makes for a more comfortable home, but – like a new kitchen or bathroom – it can actually add value to the property as well.
“This puts the debate about payback of energy efficiency measures into context because it shows that the householder is likely to recoup their initial investment anyway. It also provides a timely boost for the Green Deal, which will bring down the upfront cost of a retrofit package for those who choose to use it.”
The analysis looked at over 320,000 property sales in England between 1995 and 2011 to determine how influential energy efficiency is in deciding the sale price of residential houses in England. The results of the study can be viewed below:
Energy Rating and Dwelling Prices: Potential £ value increase
£ value increase from properties moving from EPC D to B & EPC G to E*
EPC D to B
EPC G to E
|Yorkshire & Humberside||£15,945||£17,298|
|East of England||n/a1||n/a1|
1 = Result is not statistically significant at the regional level; all other results are significant to between 95% and 99.9% confidence levels (see the report for a breakdown of these results).
* = Reported prices calculated using average sale prices in each region, then applying the report’s price premiums compared to EPC Band G properties.
Energy Rating and Dwelling Prices: Potential % value increase
value increase based on properties moving from EPC G
|EPC A/B||EPC C||EPC D||EPC E||EPC F|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||24%||16%||14%||12%||9%|
|East of England||7%||5%||n/a2||n/a2||4%|
2 = Result is not statistically significant at the regional level; all other results are significant to between 95% and 99.9% confidence levels (see the report for a breakdown of these results).
The Solar Power Portal has reported that a third of the public would consider investing their own cash in small scale renewable projects including solar facilities, according to a new poll.
The survey, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, also found that more than half of the 2,000 respondents think the UK government should support the construction of more renewable energy sources.
Significantly, 64% of the public is worried about possible blackouts, and 93% concerned about higher electricity and gas bills in future, the IME said.
Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IME, said: “There are clear concerns that there is an insufficient amount of investment in new energy infrastructure and that the UK faces a future of high energy prices for consumers and possible blackouts.”
He claimed that government energy policy has been damaged by “mixed messages” on low-carbon energy policy and uncertainty over its support for a new nuclear build programme.
He said: “Government must stop playing politics with our energy system and the environment and make clear exactly how it is going to ensure that the country’s future needs are affordably met.
“It is only with this clarity that energy companies will have the confidence to invest in the infrastructure needed to keep the nation warm, lit, moving and working.”
The poll also revealed that a quarter of the public would consider investing in energy bonds where money would be used to build large energy infrastructure projects like nuclear power stations or large offshore wind farms.
The poll of 2,034 people was carried out by ICM on behalf of the IME in May.
As we revealed here, the European Commission has recently published in its Official Journal details of duties levied on Chinese solar module manufacturers.
The impact on the UK industry is likely to be severe in the short term, as low cost panels sourced from China have been key to providing UK customers with solar PV solutions that offer the maximum potential for return on investment; and with module costs set to spiral, these costs will inevitably be passed onto the customer as the industry will be unable to absorb these extra costs owing to its competitive nature and already tight profit margins.
While this development might cause short-term difficulties for the industry, the outlook for customers remains positive as companies like Green Planet look to adapt to these changes and offer alternate solutions.
The days of offering low cost PV packages based around cheap imports may be at an end, so the focus will now shift to providing premium solutions that offer better performance and greater yields. They may cost more to install, but the return over the system lifetime is potential far greater, and with the ultra high efficiency modules from SunPower now available to UK customers, the potential return on investment is actually enhanced.
Green Planet has already changed its focus and has come up with a PV solution based around SunPower modules that offers exceptional value for money with a return on investment that exceeds those previously offered by low cost Chinese imports.
CLICK HERE to learn more about SunPower technology.
The European Commission has published in its Official Journal details of duties levied on Chinese manufacturers with Delsolar hit the hardest.
Yingli fared best with a duty rate of 37.3% as well as Jinzhou Yangguang Energy 38.3%. Delsolar was handed the highest tariff of 67.9%
However, lobby group AFASE has expressed doubts over the prima facie data handed by complainant EU ProSun to the EC which was used to devise the duty rates. AFASE claimed the survey produced by Germany-based market research company Europressedienst presented to the EC contained many discrepancies making it invalid for the investigation.
A poll by Europressedienst contacted 2,303 PV installers of which only 532 participated in the telephone survey. Residents of all 27 EU member states, most of whom were from Germany, Italy and France, were contacted, although the exact number of participants from each EU country has not been disclosed.
Europressedienst said that the number of companies questioned was “proportional to the capacity of newly installed PV systems in 2012”. Last year, overall PV capacity in Europe totalled 16.5GWp.
The findings of the market research company, as reported in the Official Journal, showed that overall consumption in the EU of Chinese solar products increased by 221% for modules, 87% for cells and 29% for wafers between 2009 and the investigation period of 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. It also showed that consumption decreased in the investigation period compared to 2011.
Therefore, although EU consumption grew, the market share of European manufacturers decreased during the investigation period.
On the other hand, Europressedienst found that Chinese exporters took advantage of growing consumption in the EU by lowering prices and therefore increasing its market share.
For modules, the average import price decreased by 64%, the average import price of cells from China dropped by 42% and the average import price of wafers decreased by 40 %
As a result, the EC said Chinese exporters had caused injury to the European Union and determined the duty rates based on Europressedienst’s findings.
The journal also noted that the imposition of duties “may lead to an increase of prices in the union of the product under the investigation thus possibly generating less PV installations in the short term”.
The EC advises downstream companies, which it said would be the hardest hit by duties, to look elsewhere for employment as they would have “the skills necessary to benefit from the increased demand in these neighbouring sectors”.
Duty rates applicable from 6 August for companies that cooperated with the EC investigation are as follows:
Changzhou Trina Solar Energy
Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology
Jiangxi LDK Solar Hi-Tech
LDK Solar Hi-Tech (Hefei)
LDK Solar Hi-Tech (Nanchang)
LDK Solar Hi-Tech (Suzhou)
Shanghai JA Solar Technology
JA Solar Technology Yangzhou
Shanghai Jinglong Solar Energy Technology
Hefei JA Solar Technology
Jinzhou Yangguang Energy
Jinzhou Rixin Silicon Materials
Jinzhou Youhua Silicon Materials
Jinzhou Huachang Photovoltaic Technology
Jinzhou Jinmao Photovoltaic Technology
Wuxi Suntech Power
Luoyang Suntech Power
Wuxi Sun-Shine Power
Zhenjiang Ren De New Energy Science Technology
Zhenjiang Rietech New Energy Science Technology
Yingli Energy (China)
Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources
Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources
Companies listed in the Annex of the Official Journal
All other companies
The solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff rates for the period commencing 1 July 2013 have been confirmed – with reductions of 3.5% across the board as a result of the automatic degression model introduced by the DECC.
The new rates from July 1st will be as follows:
|Description||FiT rate p/kWh|
Rates for domestic systems of less that 4kW are down from 15.44p per kWh to 14.90p, and while our projections suggest that solar PV will continue to represent an excellent investment opportunity, we advise that those that can arrange installation of their system ahead of the cut off in order to maximise their return. You can learn more about the FiT here.
The war of words between the EU and Chinese Government has escalated with warnings of retaliation should the EU press ahead with plans to impose trade duties on solar PV products imported from China.
More than 80% of solar modules installed in the UK originate in China, and these import duties could force up installation prices at a time when feed-in tariff subsidies are being reduced.
More on this story from the Solar Power Portal:
In a transcript published by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), Chong Quan the deputy representative of MOFCOM called on the EU to “seriously consider China’s suggestions to settle the dispute through dialogue”, urging the EU and China to work together in order to “find a solution acceptable to both sides”.
However, Quan went on to warn that: “If the EU stubbornly insists on handicapping the product, seriously damaging the interests of Chinese companies, the Chinese government will not idly stand by.”
Quan noted that the Chinese PV export market was worth $200 billion last year and that the EU was responsible for more than 70% of that market. MOFCOM estimates that the EU anti-dumping case will affect more than 40 million Chinese workers. As a result Quan was quick to point out that “the Chinese government attaches great importance to the case”.
Quan also dismissed reports that China’s leadership transition caused communication between the two parties to break down. Quan claimed that Permier Wen Jiabao personally talked to leaders of the European Commission as well as a number of EU member states affected by the investigation. Quan said: “Communication channels of the two sides at all levels has been unblocked, China has never interrupted or delayed for any reason, the consultations with the EU.”
The deputy representative insisted that any potential duties could hamper future relations, stating: “There is no doubt that the improper handling of the photovoltaic case is bound to have a serious negative impact on the economic and trade relations with the EU.”
The UK solar industry is thought to be one of the PV markets that could be impacted the greatest by any decision to impose duties on Chinese solar products as, currently, more than 80% of solar installed in the UK originates from China.
The Solar Trade Association (STA) has declared that it would be opposing the implementation of any European trade duties on Chinese solar products. Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Paul Barwell chief executive of the STA said: “We believe in an open market for the solar industry and feel that the uncertainty created by these investigations is detrimental to the stability and growth of the UK market.
“Furthermore, the archaic approach to pre-registration of all Chinese imports which ‘might’ be subject to retroactive duties will create unnecessary uncertainty for the UK PV industry just at a time when our market is showing signs of growth.”
The uncertainty created by the pre-registration of all Chinese imports has already caused a number of cancelled orders in the UK. Milan Nitzschke, president of EU Prosun believes that the anti-dumping investigation is a positive step for the European solar industry. “Fair competition benefits everybody. We need anti-dumping measures in the EU as soon as possible,” he said.
Quan remains optimistic about China’s ability to negotiate a deal with the EU, stating: “I would like to reiterate that the Chinese government has consistently advocated industry dialogue and cooperation to solve the problems of development and competition, we once again call on the EU to seriously consider China’s stance and proposals.”
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