Solar panels

The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panel Installation Cost in 2024

The interest in solar energy is growing rapidly in the UK as homeowners seek sustainable for rising energy costs. If you’re considering installing solar, you may be interested in the costs to work out if its a viable option for you. Calculating the total solar panel installation cost includes considering the upfront investment, long-term savings on energy bills and available financing options. In this article, we explore these costs in more detail.

Many people are now considering switching to solar energy. It’s clean, renewable energy you can save and use for various applications, reducing energy bills and decreasing carbon footprint. But worrying about the solar panel installation cost is understandable. 

Yes, the initial upfront cost of solar panels can be an obstacle because understanding how much solar energy costs can be complex to comprehend. The price of a solar installation depends on a range of factors, from the size of solar panels to their numbers, battery storage, and installation and maintenance costs. 

So, if you’re thinking about switching to green energy, this article is for you. We’ll accurately break down the installation costs, explaining what you can expect when trying to reduce your dependence on the main grid.


  • Solar panel installation costs can be determined by the type of panels used, system size, installation complexity, and any additional installation components. 
  • The materials represent 40% to 50% of the overall installation costs. 
  • Government incentives and grants reduce upfront costs. 
  • System maintenance costs are minimal but you’ll need to replace the inverter every 10 years. 
  • The installation process involves site research, getting quotes, and post-installation monitoring of system operations.

Understanding Solar Panel Installation Cost in 2024

You’ve probably weighed up the pros and cons and finally decided to switch to solar energy. Congratulations!

This smart decision won’t only reduce your carbon footprint, but will also result in massive cost savings in the short and long run. 

But if this seems like a smart decision, why isn’t everybody installing a solar power generation system?

The answer lies in the cost. Solar energy production is still considered a new technology, and the initial upfront cost is one of the main reasons people spend time thinking before installing solar panels. 

However, it’s not just about solar panels types. The size of the whole system that works for your property, the complexity of the installation process, batteries, inverters, and any other necessary components add to the cost. 

If you’re considering switching to solar energy, you’ll need a detailed breakdown of all these costs. This is what we will cover in the following section. 

Type of Solar Panels

Typically, the first question you’ll ask yourself or the experts you consult to install your solar system is: What type of solar panels should I use?

Choosing panel types affects solar panel prices, a major concern for those considering switching to green energy. Each panel type offers different benefits and drawbacks and has a specific lifespan. All these factors affect solar panel costs. 

Monocrystalline Panels

Monocrystalline panels are made of a single crystal of silicone and are highly efficient. They can last for 25 to 30 years with proper maintenance. As a result, you won’t have to worry much about replacement costs. 

Ideally, these panels have an efficiency rate of over 20%. They’re perfect for homes and commercial buildings with limited roof space. You’ll need fewer panels to generate the same amount of electricity. 

Compared to other panel types, these perform remarkably in extremely hot weather. For these reasons, these panels come with a higher price tag. If you need to install a larger system, you’ll need more panels, adding to the overall cost.

Polycrystalline Panels

The main difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels is that the latter is made of multiple silicone crystals. Several silicone fragments are melted to make the sheets, so their cells are less pure. 

As a result, the efficiency of polycrystalline panels is lower than 20%, typically sitting between 13% and 16%. Moreover, this also indicates that polycrystalline panels would stop producing electricity when the monocrystalline ones are still functioning. 

So, for example, if you have two equal surfaces, one covered in monocrystalline panels and the other in polycrystalline ones, the first one will produce more electricity than the second given that nothing else changes. 

Polycrystalline panels can last for 25 years with proper maintenance. Their main advantage is that they’re more affordable. As a result, they represent a good choice for homeowners who want to balance cost and efficiency when concerned about solar panel pricing. 

Thin-Film Panels

Thin-film panels are the least efficient type, but also the most affordable. They’re made of thin layers of PV material deposited into glass, plastic, or metal. 

The resulting sheets are lighter and more flexible than the previous two. As a result, thin-film panels allow for more flexible installation in various locations. 

Determining the efficiency of these panels depends on the PV material used. However, it’s usually between 7% and 18%. Under the same conditions, thin-film panels can produce half the kilowatts monocrystalline panels will produce. 

These panels take up a lot of space. Moreover, you’ll have to install more to generate enough power. But that’s not all. They’re also less durable and can be easily damaged by fallen branches or tree limbs. 

System Size

The second factor that affects the cost of a solar panel system is the actual size of this system. It’s measured in kilowatt-peak and depends on your property’s consumption and the available roof space. 

Small Systems

How much do solar panels cost? To accurately answer this question, you’ll need to calculate how much power you need to generate. 

Small systems are usually made of six panels and are designed to produce around 2.1kWp, enough to power a 1 or 2-bedroom household. These systems work for homes with less energy consumption, like a retired couple or a single person. They cost around £4,216. 

Medium Systems

Standard three-bedroom houses require medium systems that produce about 3.5kWp. They’re usually made of 10 to 12 panels and the typical solar panel installation cost is around £7,026. 

Despite the higher cost, many homeowners consider installing medium systems as they provide the perfect cost vs efficiency balance.  

Large Systems

If you live in a larger home with a higher energy consumption, you’ll need a bigger system. These systems provide between 4.5kWp and 6kWp, depending on the number of solar panels installed. The cost of installation can be anything between £7,100 and £8,000, based on the number of panels installed and their efficiency. 

Installation Complexity

Installing a solar panel system isn’t always a complicated process. But sometimes it is, which adds to the overall cost.

Factors like roof layouts, structural upgrades, and regulatory approvals should be taken into consideration when you’re planning to switch to green energy. 

Roof Layout

When a professional is estimating the cost of your solar panel system, they’ll examine the roof layout. Roofs with multiple angles and obstructions like chimneys are more labour intensive to work with. 

Installers will have to spend more time figuring out the perfect layout for your roof and might have to use special equipment. These factors complicate the process of installation and add to the overall cost. 

Approval and Permits

Sometimes, you’ll have to get specific approvals and permits to install solar panels on your roof. In this case, the money and time spent to get these documents will add to the overall installation costs. 

Getting permits usually involves inspection visits, inspection fees, and paperwork. Most professional installers will handle this part on your behalf.

Additional Components

Solar systems aren’t made of solar panels alone. Mounting systems, inverters, and batteries are crucial components that add to the system’s cost. Each of them plays an essential role in the functionality and efficiency of the solar system. 


Inverters are key components of your solar system as they convert DC or direct current produced by the solar cells into AC or alternative current which you can use at home. 

They come in all shapes and sizes, and cost between £500 and £1,800. This cost is determined according to the inverter’s type, reliability, durability, and lifespan. 


When your solar panels convert solar energy into electricity, you don’t want the excess unused energy to go to waste. Solar batteries store this energy to be used later when the system can’t cover your power needs. 

Many people think of solar batteries as an accessory to solar panel systems. But they help overcome the problem of intermittence which you might face. Typically, the average cost of a solar battery that works for a three-bedroom house is around £4,500.

Mounting Systems

Mounting systems secure solar panels to your roof. This is why they should be reliable enough to withstand long-term use in adverse conditions. 

Ideally, your mounting system will represent from 10% to 20% of the overall installation cost of solar power. The price will vary depending on how complex the mounting process is and the materials used.

Cost Breakdown

When you receive a solar panel quote, you want to understand where your money is going. The cost can be broken down into different categories including material costs, labour costs, and business costs. 

Material Costs

All the materials used in the installation process can represent between 40% and 50% of the overall cost. This includes the cost of solar panels, batteries, inverters, and mounting systems. This can be around £3,150 for a typical three-bedroom household. 

Labour Costs

Labour costs represent 10% to 30% of the project’s cost. More complex installation processes will cost more time and labour, adding to the overall costs. For example, if the roof is particularly challenging to work with. 

Business Costs

This overhead cost is necessary for a successful and functioning solar panel system. This includes consultation fees, travel expenses, scaffolding, permits, and approvals. Business costs represent between 30% and 40% of the overall cost.

Financial Incentives and Savings

Financial incentives and savings can offset solar panel installation costs. Government grants make switching to renewable energy more appealing despite upfront costs. Moreover, the long-term cost savings from lower energy bills and selling excess energy increase your return on investment. 

Government Schemes

The UK government has launched several initiatives, schemes, and programs to encourage people to switch to green energy and rely less on the main grid. These schemes provide funding and incentives to reduce the upfront cost of solar panel systems to make green energy more accessible and affordable. 

ECO4 Scheme

This is a government scheme that aims to reduce carbon emissions and energy usage in the UK. It funds low-income households to install solar panels, decreasing their reliance on the grid and allowing them to sell excess energy. 

Only eligible low-income families can benefit from this scheme after meeting certain criteria. They should live in homes with EPC ratings of D, E, F or G and claim income-related benefits. 

Solar Together

This is a group-buying initiative to encourage people to switch to renewable energy by allowing them to buy solar panel systems at discounted prices. When people join this group of buyers, they can get their systems with a discount between 30% and 35%. This, in turn, reduces the cost of solar panels per kW in the long run. 

Home Energy Scotland Loan

As electricity prices continue to soar in France – up 60% in four years – more people are turning towards solar panel kits, which promise to help users save on energy costs and installation prices.

Realising the challenges of increasing prices, the government launched the Home Energy Scotland Loan. The programme allows Scottish residents to get a loan to finance switching to green energy despite the high upfront costs. 

You can benefit from this loan if you are a homeowner in Scotland, living in your own home. You can also get this financing if you’re building a home in Scotland. Landlords who rent their properties can’t get this loan. Property developers and businesses aren’t eligible either. 

Smart Export Guarantee

SEG is a government program that allows homeowners to make money from the green energy they produce. Anyone who instals solar panels, wind turbines, hydro technology, micro-combined heat and power, or anaerobic digestion technologies can export any excess energy back to the grid. 

The Smart Export Guarantee requires electricity suppliers to provide homeowners with specific generators and pay for excess energy as an additional income source. 

Export Tariffs

If you live in England, Scotland, or Wales, you can sign up to get the export tariffs. This is a payment made by your electricity supplier for every kilowatt-hour exported back to the grid. 

Variable Tariffs

Export tariffs can be fixed or variable. Fixed tariffs provide the same payment over the length of the contract period, while the variable one differs according to market demands. Nevertheless, the price never falls below zero. 

For example, during peak hours or overcast days, you can make more money from exporting excess electricity back to the grid because of the high demand. Thanks to such initiatives, the average cost for domestic solar panel installations in 2024 is £9,180.61, a sharp decline from £10,700 in May 2023. 

Cost Savings

Most people consider switching to renewable energy for long-term cost savings. In addition to reducing the carbon footprint, an average three-bedroom household can save up to £483 per year by installing a system to generate green energy. 

Annual Savings

The annual savings of £483 per year accumulate over time. In that sense, the cost of solar panel systems should be considered an investment and not an expense. 

Break-even Point

Considering the average cost, the break-even point for solar panel installations is typically less than 15 years. This is when the system pays for itself, providing annual savings equal to the initial overall cost. 

The breakeven point varies according to the price of the system you’ve installed, your actual reliance on the grid, and how efficient your system is. After this point, all your savings from energy bills and additional earnings from exporting electricity back to the grid represent an additional income source.

Maintenance and Future Costs

Homeowners and business owners planning to install solar panels should look beyond the initial upfront cost. Although maintenance is minimal, solar panel systems require regular inspection and some components should be replaced to ensure they remain efficient. These future costs should be considered while budgeting for your solar panel system. 

Inverter Replacement

The first component that will likely fail is your inverter. Inverters usually last 10 years, so you’ll have to plan this replacement at least twice or thrice depending on how long your system will last. The price of an inverter can be between £500 to £1,000, depending on its type. 

General Maintenance

When installed properly, solar panels don’t require much maintenance, but some regular upkeep will guarantee that they function efficiently. Regular cleaning to remove dust and debris guarantees that the panels will absorb maximum energy. 

Regular inspection for any damaged or broken parts due to bad weather or other factors will keep the system functioning as it should. 

Cleaning Costs

Soly solar panels don’t require cleaning – which is a perk our clients appreciate. For other providers, regular cleaning guarantees that nothing blocks the PV cells. This would allow the panels to absorb more solar energy and produce electricity efficiently. You can clean the panels by yourself using a water hose and mild detergent. But if you can’t, you can hire professionals to do the job on your behalf. A cleaning solar panels service can cost about £100. Again, you can forego this necessity with Soly solar panels!

Repair Costs

Although solar panel systems are durable, occasional repairs may be needed to ensure optimal performance. These repairs include fixing of broken parts and can cost between £80 and £1,500 depending on the nature of the damage. 

Warranty Considerations

Solar panel systems usually come with 20 to 30-year warranty agreements. However, it’s crucial to understand the terms of the warranty and what it covers to ensure you’re properly covered. 

The overall warranty covers the system, while inverters usually have a 10-year warranty. Many professional installers offer workmanship warranties to cover installation defects.

Steps for Getting Solar Panels Installed

Understanding the steps involved in the installation of solar panels allows you to comprehend the significance of all costs involved. It also guarantees a smooth and satisfying experience. 

Initial Research

This refers to doing your homework to avoid mistakes and make an informed decision. First, you must assess your energy consumption and research your home’s suitability for solar panel installation. Next, you should plan your budget after studying the different incentives and programs that can help you with the upfront cost. 

Assess Your Home’s Suitability

Assessing your home’s suitability involves assessing the roof’s condition, direction, and shading. You may need to make some minor changes to ensure a successful installation. 

Ideally, your roof should be in good condition to withstand the system’s weight. Although a south facing roof will help produce the most energy, East or West facing roofs also work well. Minimal nearby trees and buildings will also ensure optimum performance.

You might be able to trim nearby branches, but you won’t be able to do anything about shading from nearby buildings. These factors significantly contribute to the system’s overall cost. 

Energy Consumption Analysis

Review your energy bills to assess your actual energy needs and consumption. This information will help you estimate the appropriate size for the system and ensure you generate enough energy to meet your needs. 

Financial Planning

Thinking about the initial investment, system component costs, maintenance, potential savings, and all the available financial incentives will help you plan your budget. Understanding these factors ensures that your system is cost-effective. 

Getting Quotes

Once you’ve done all the necessary planning, it’s time to get quotes from different installers. By analysing every solar panel quote you receive, you ensure you’ll receive good value for your investment. 

Finding Reputable Installers

Do your research by checking online platforms, company reviews, forums, and industry certifications to find reputable installers. High-quality installers will provide transparent solar panel pricing with reliable materials and excellent after-sale service. 

Comparing Quotes

After analysing the quotes, you should compare the installer’s reputation in the market, materials, and warranty terms. All these factors should be taken into consideration before signing a contract.

Installation Process

Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s time for the installation process. This includes site assessment, getting all the necessary permits, and actual mounting and installation. 

Site Assessment

Your solar panel system installer will perform a thorough site assessment to decide on the best system for your property. This includes the type and number of solar panels required based on your energy consumption and needs. 

This process includes measuring the size of your roof, assessing shading given the climate in your area, and determining the best panel placement. 

Permits and Approvals

Obtaining permits and approvals is crucial for ensuring a smooth installation process. The government has facilitated the process of switching to green energy. However, there might still be some local permits that need to be taken care of before initiating the installation process. 

Your solar system installer usually handles this on your behalf, so you won’t have to worry about it. A reliable installer will ensure that all requirements are met before they begin installing your solar panels. 

Installation Day

Your installer will set up scaffolding to ensure safe installation and start mounting the solar panels on your roof. This process takes between one and two days depending on the size of the roof and the complexity of the process. 


Once the installation is complete, your installer will perform some additional steps to ensure it’s operating efficiently. This includes explaining the warranty coverage, system testing, and monitoring. 

System Testing

The installer will test the whole system to ensure it’s working efficiently. They will do several tests to replace or fix any problematic features by checking all the connections, verifying the inverter’s performance, and ensuring that the generators produce electricity as they should. 

Monitoring and Maintenance

Regular monitoring and scheduled maintenance represent a crucial part of the installation process. Most solar panel systems come with monitoring software programs, such as apps, that notify you of the system’s performance. This way, you can track performance and get notified of any performance issues. 

You can also schedule periodic inspections. Professionals will check your system regularly to ensure it’s performing efficiently. 

Warranty and Support

Understanding your system’s warranty terms guarantees long-term peace of mind. Installers can offer different warranty terms, so you should study their offers thoroughly before committing to one. 

You should also ensure you have access to your installer. Keep all your documents saved and know how to contact your installer in case of an emergency.


Is it Worth the Investment?

Taking all energy savings, incentives, and potential earnings into consideration, investing in solar panel installation has a high ROI. It takes less than 15 years to reach the break-even point. After this point, your system will actually generate money that represents an additional source of income. 

Performance in Cloudy Weather?

Solar panels can still generate electricity on cloudy days and in bad weather but at a lower efficiency. 

Nevertheless, there have been advancements in solar cells and the technology used to increase the system’s ability to capture diffused light in less sunny regions. This ensures the panels can provide a steady flow of electricity to cover your energy needs.

What Does Maintenance and Longevity Look Like?

Given the high initial cost of solar panel systems, it’s quite normal to have concerns regarding the system’s maintenance cost and lifespan. Reliable systems require minimal maintenance with almost no major issues that require expensive repairs. With proper maintenance, solar systems can last between 25 and 30 years.

Learnings Recap

This guide covered the costs of installing solar panel systems, explaining all the factors contributing to the initial and maintenance costs. If you’re considering switching to green energy, refer to this guide as part of  doing your homework before assessing different installation quotes. 

  • It’s important to understand the various factors that affect the installation cost, including the type of solar panels, inverters, batteries, system size, complexity of installation, and mounting system. 
  • The government offers incentives and schemes to encourage people to switch to clean energy by reducing the initial upfront cost. 
  • Regular maintenance is minimal, as most systems can last between 25 and 30 years without major issues. 
  • After reaching the break-even point, the system will represent an additional source of income.
  • It’s crucial to understand the installation quote, including warranty terms, to guarantee a smooth installation.

Final Thoughts

Investing in solar panels requires careful consideration of all costs involved. You should also measure these costs against the short and long-term benefits to verify the system’s efficiency. 

Understanding the various factors affecting the installation cost will help you accurately set a budget for this upgrade. This way, you can determine your financial gains while reducing your carbon footprint. 

At Soly, our professionals are trained to help you transition to clean energy with ease. Our experts provide transparent pricing, high-quality materials, and ongoing after-sale support to ensure your peace of mind. 

Your solar panel system is our responsibility, and we guarantee that you’ll have the best solar battery and inverter to ensure long-term problem-free performance. Contact us today to get a quote and embrace the future of a cleaner, greener planet.

Background information

Soly blog

Welcome to the Soly Blog. We gladly share information about all of our products and keep you updated on every development upon the sustainable market. You will be able to find a lot of usable information on almost every topic possible.
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