The escalating cost of heating and powering our homes – coupled with concerns about the planet – has led to energy efficiency becoming a priority for buyers. Finding a home with solar panels that covert sunlight into electricity or heat water will go a long way towards lowering bills and your carbon footprint, and some electricity-generating systems earn money through feed-in tariffs. "First make sure that the panels are yours as often they do not belong to the home," advises David Hilton, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show’s eco expert. "Then find out what tariff (if any) they are on as those on older installations are very generous, guaranteed for 25 years. Check when the installation was completed so you know how long you have left on the incentive payments and get the system checked by a reputable engineer." Start your search ahead of Earth Day on 22nd April with these properties for sale, all with solar panels in situ.
1. Auchencairn, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, offers over £325,000
This extended stone cottage was formerly the village police station, but these days its only cells are spread across the rooftop in 16 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that produce electricity. Dating from around 1910, it has four bedrooms – two on the ground and two more on the first floor – plus two modern bathrooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, living room, study and large garden room, and enjoys sweeping sea and countryside views. Get in touch with Yopa.
2. Plurien, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France, €373,500 (approx. £329,214)
Buyers get much more for their money in Brittany than in the south of France, as demonstrated by this spacious stone farmhouse, only five minutes from Sables d'Or on the beautiful Emerald coast. Owned by the same family since it was built in 1931, it comprises a four-bedroom main house, an adjoining studio apartment and several outbuildings. Electricity produced via solar PV panels keeps running costs down. Find out more from Leggett Immobilier International.
Read more: 7 starry homes with movie connections
3. Wacton, Norfolk, £500,000
Full of character, this 17th century cottage boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an inviting open plan kitchen/dining room, a sitting room, drawing room, garden room and original features such a thatched roof, exposed beams, inglenook fireplaces and ledge and brace doors. Bills are lower than you’d expect in a listed property of this age, as air-to-air pumps heat and cool the dining and garden rooms, solar panels on the garage roof provide electricity and a further panel heats the water. Through Fine & Country.
4. Brentwood Acres, Brentwood, Essex, from £500,000
All the brand new two, three and four-bedroom houses at this development are fitted with electric-feed solar panels. They also have electric car charging points and ground source heat pumps, enabling purchasers to save up to £3,100 per year on their household bills compared with older properties. A new four-bedroom show house and the second phase of homes – called The Gardens – launch on Saturday 22nd April. Contact Fairview New Homes.
Read more: 8 homes on the market which have secrets
5. Keeston, Pembrokeshire, offers over £685,000
Mitigate the rising cost of living by making an offer on this four-bedroom house, as it’s fitted with solar panels that generate not only electricity but income too through the Feed-in Tariff scheme (which closed to new applicants in 2019). A static caravan pays its way as a holiday let, and there’s potential for a field that forms part of the grounds to be used for camping. Find out more from Purplebricks.
6. Camber, Rye, East Sussex, £850,000
A contemporary four-bedroom home a short walk from Camber’s famous sand dunes and five mile stretch of beach. The house, built by the current owners, has a low ecological footprint and is extremely energy efficient. Underfloor heating throughout is run by an air source heat pump, mostly energised by the solar tiles discreetly placed on the south-facing roof. Available through Phillips & Stubbs.
7. Milford on Sea, Lymington, Hampshire, £1.7m
If you’d love a home with a swimming pool but are deterred by the cost of heating it, take a look at this tastefully-refurbished 1950s house. It includes three reception rooms, a vast sociable kitchen, a study, four double bedrooms, three bathrooms and has had solar tubes installed to heat the water and the outdoor pool. A sliding cover over the pool helps to maintain the temperature and extend its use throughout the seasons. On the market via Winkworth.
8. San Remo, Italy, €2.7m (approx. £2,376,271)
Thanks to a comprehensive photovoltaic system that produces of energy and heat, this luxury villa is totally self-sufficient with zero carbon emissions. Not that you’ll have to switch the heating very often as it’s on the gorgeous Mediterranean coast and basks in endless sunshine for much of the year. It has seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a landscaped garden with a pool and barbecue area, and panoramic views of the ocean, coastline and sunsets. Via IB International Real Estate.
Read more: 9 homes with great gardens
9. High Bickington, Devon, £2.75m
Carbon-neutral Great Deptford House was built in 2020 on a 2,000 year-old site, and incorporates some ancient structural elements found during an archaeological survey as well as highly efficient insulation and triple glazing. Set in over seven acres, the house is arranged over three floors and includes a double height atrium, five ensuite bedrooms and a huge open plan kitchen/family room. It’s heated by a ground source heat pump and electricity is produced via solar panels, with battery storage for days when the sun struggles to make an appearance. Through Daisy Layland.