Commercial rooftop solar can boost property value

Solar PV arrays on commercial properties can increase their value through additional income streams, new research by JLL reveals.

The report, published by real estate company JLL, states that although there has been greater consistency and sophistication, the valuation of properties with solar PV assets is still inconsistent.

The research says that a historic lack of knowledge about PV has resulted in inconsistent valuation of properties, which has reduced the uptake of commercial solar as its true value has often not been reflected.

Chris Strathon, director in valuation at JLL, explained: “This is the first in-depth research into understanding the impact of solar and it is clear the majority of commercial roof space is untapped as an additional revenue provider.We believe rooftop solar on commercial property adds value by improving the marketability of a property to occupiers who are driven by cost or CSR objectives, and additional income which is received via power purchase agreements and government-backed tariffs.”

The research also reveals that rising energy costs as well as a strong governmental push for solar rooftop deployment are two key factors which are encouraging landlords and tenants to install solar. The EU’s 2019 zero carbon requirement for commercial buildings combined with a predicted 60% increase in wholesale electricity prices in real terms by 2024 mean that solar is being considered by companies as a viable energy generation tool.

Frans van den Heuvel, CEO at Solarcentury added: “Whilst most of the growth to date in the rooftop solar market has been at the domestic and utility scale, there is strong evidence that commercial and industrial customers are now turning to solar, helped by the fact the technology is ready and now importantly, attitudes are changing too. A new wave of leading brands are going solar – Sainsbury’s, Google, Mars, IKEA and Apple among them – and this is undoubtedly stimulating the market. And with over 80% of the British public consistently supportive of solar, consumer awareness for companies choosing solar will only increase.”

Sainsbury’s is the largest multi-roof PV operator in Europe, with solar installed on over 200 of its properties in the UK. Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering, energy & environment at the supermarket, said: “We will have 170,000 panels generating 40MW by spring 2015. This is key to enabling us to take control of our energy costs and minimise our environmental impact and achieve the environmental commitments we made in our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan. Supermarkets have the equivalent of football fields on their roofs, many of them underutilised so it is ideal for turning that space into something positive.”

SBS have a range of branded and non-branded solar PV to help reduce your energy usage and waste, as well as potentially increasing the value of your property. Tradesmen can also get trained to install PV and take advantage of this growing market. If you would like more information, please email helpline@tpsbs.co.uk.

This article has been adapted from an article published in Solar Power Portal.