SOLARWATT, the premium provider of photovoltaic systems, is stepping up its offering to the growing self-build market, to support natural innovators who are taking control of their energy supply and use.
Encouraged by programmes such as Grand Designs and Amazing Spaces, and a host of publications and online platforms, growing numbers of people are building their own homes. Clean, reliable energy is a big priority for them.
One building society survey found that given the opportunity, 53% would consider building their own home, suggesting we could emulate Europe, where the trend is well established – 80% of home completions in Austria are self-build. Here, up to 1,900 homes are to be built over 10 years at Graven Hill in Oxfordshire.
Despite the ‘alternative’ tag sometimes applied to self-builders, many are worldly, with successful careers. They tend to be individual in outlook, doing their own research, prioritising quality, durability, style and value. Energy independence and the environment are crucial.
These natural innovators are drawn to SOLARWATT’s multi-award-winning products, so the German company is exhibiting at Build It Live South East, in Maidstone, on 9-10 February, stand i13. SOLARWATT is also establishing a permanent display in the coming months at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Swindon. The company has teamed with Environment Logic, an independent renewable-energy consultancy, for both initiatives.
Innovators want quality, reliability and durability – they also want something new
Experts will be on hand at both locations to advise and support self-builders as well as installers, specifiers and the public on the benefits of energy independence, and demonstrate products such as Vision glass-glass solar PV modules, MyReserve modular batteries and the Energy Manager home control system.
The construction industry keeps a close eye on the self-build market as it’s where a lot of innovation happens – people putting up their own homes, whether alone or with help from architects and contractors, often want to try something new.
“This is an important, growing market, overlooked by some, and we want to be right at the centre of it with our premium products,” said Neal Goddard, SOLARWATT UK Sales Manager for the South. “Self-builders want the best and insist on value, such as our 30-year product and performance guarantees on our modules. Come and talk to us at Build It Live and NSBRC.”
At some 12,000 homes a year, self-build accounts for up to 10% of new housing in the UK, worth £3.4bn to the economy. The sector is growing at 6.25% a year and is estimated to reach 16,500 housing completions annually by 2020.
Keen to explore new solutions to the growing housing shortage, the Government in a 2017 white paper reasserted its commitment to support self-build – spanning DIY homes, projects where someone arranges for an architect or contractor to build and community-led projects.
* Neal is Sales Manager, UK (South)