According to the study, solar panels are seen as a significant bonus by home-buyers. Topping the property extras list with a score of 38%, solar panels rank above weekly bin collections and satellite TV connection (both 32%) and having a greenhouse (25%).
Compared with the so-called 'deal-sealers' of the past, such as double-glazing (1980s) and dining-room 'hatches' (1960s), the emergence of solar as the top 2012 extra was welcomed by the Solar Trade Association's Head of External Affairs, Leonie Greene, as a sound base for further industry action.
"It's all about how we get the message out there," she told edie, adding that, with the message needing to be kept clear and simple, the new study findings would definitely help.
The industry had faced anecdotal claims in the past about people not liking renewable energy installations on houses. The new study, in contrast, provided the first hard evidence on the matter and helped to put the record straight.
Rexel UK business development director, Brian Smithers, also welcomed the study findings, saying it was essential to continue educating suppliers and consumers on such things as product and installer choice, to deliver the expected levels of energy generation.
Also positive was Sundog Energy's Commercial Manager, Sarah Lennie, whose company has a new advice centre opening near Penrith on Saturday, Sept. 22, to 'shine a light on some of the mysteries and myths that currently surround the solar industry'.
"Our message to home owners is that solar is the home improvement that earns you money," she said. "This latest indication from ING Direct is definitely good 'added value' evidence for the industry."