For someone selling their home, when it comes to offering features that lower energy bills, “more is better,” he said. If it ever became mandatory to declare a home energy rating as part of a sales listing, it would lead to home renovations, he added.
The data also revealed the suburbs with the highest number of green home listings.
In Victoria, outer suburbs with new housing developments rank highest, including Tarneit, Clyde North and Sunbury.
In NSW, regional areas top the list, at Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Dubbo, and similarly in Queensland, with Buderim on the Sunshine Coast and Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast alongside Narangba on the outskirts of Brisbane. Western Australia’s top three are Baldivis, Ellenbrook and Halls Head.
Missing from the list are relatively affluent inner-city neighborhoods where environmental issues have been a high priority at the polls.
Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan, who oversees the state’s Solar Homes government grant program, wasn’t surprised, after researching why his customers are installing solar panels.
“The number one reason is to save money,” he said. “The number two reason is obviously the environment.
“The closer you get to central Melbourne, the less solar penetration there is.”
Tarneit has seen the biggest take-up of the scheme since its launch in 2018, alongside other outer suburbs with new housing developments, although he said some downtown homes may not readily lend themselves to solar panels in due to heritage restrictions, slate roofs, south orientation or eclipse issues.
He said when it comes time to sell a home, solar panels are attractive to buyers, who will often pay a premium.
A recent report by Domain found that the median price paid for a home with energy-efficient features was $125,000 more than one without.
Previous research looked at 27 global studies of energy-efficient homes and found that the price premium was typically between 5% and 10%, and sometimes as high as 27%.
A study of home sales in the ACT found that a 9.4% premium was paid for seven-star homes, compared to a three-star home.
There has been a steady increase in interest in more sustainable homes, said Andy Marlow, principal and architect at Envirotecture, an architecture firm specializing in sustainable design.
He said energy-efficient features can improve a home’s resale value, but the evidence for sales of the greenest homes is thin. Most people who undertake ultra-sustainable construction or renovation don’t sell because they have nothing else to buy, he said.
He referenced a training program for estate agents that helped them highlight specific features of a home that improve energy efficiency – in addition to talking about regular inclusions such as granite countertops. , they might also talk about sustainable features such as double glazing.
“Twenty-five to 28% of Australian homes have solar panels,” he said.
“There will be a time when we won’t talk about it because it will be like having a roof over your head.”