Landlords and occupiers that are considering installing solar panels would be well advised to act quickly, as a confluence of events and market trends means that installations are as attractive as they have ever been.

At the end of last year, the government introduced limited but nevertheless significant changes to the permitted development regime for solar installations, effectively lifting the cap on the volume of energy that can be installed.

Moreover, the cost of panels is now incredibly low – in all likelihood, unsustainably so. In the short to medium term, prices are likely to start going up again for a variety of reasons.


Property Week caught up with Stuart Patience, director and head of energy solutions at Hollis, to find out more.

What is the significance of the changes to permitted development?

It’s part of the government’s strategy to remove red tape in planning, to try and help decarbonise the UK and get more people to invest in solar. Previously, you could install up to 1 megawatt without full planning permission under permitted development rights (subject to certain caveats). Now they have taken that cap away, allowing solar to be installed on buildings more easily and removing the costs and time associated with full planning applications.

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