Solar panels

Understanding Solar Panels Cost in the UK

In the current climate, more and more households are switching to solar power in the UK, choosing to reap the rewards of energy independence, monthly savings and making a difference for the planet. In this article, we explore the cost of solar panels in the UK in detail and how you can save money with solar panels while making a sustainable choice. Keep reading to discover: are solar panels worth it?

Discover what you are going to find in this article:

✓ The average cost for solar panels for a three-bedroom house is £7,000.

✓ The average payback period is eight years.

✓ A 350W solar panel costs between £150 to £300.

Sustainable savings

Go solar with Soly

To set up a no-obligation consultation, we ask you to leave your details so we can contact you. Solar panels are at the heart of the sustainable revolution. Discover the benefits of solar energy at your home. The consultation will give you:

  • Exactly how much you could save with solar (up to £1,300 per year!)
  • A free, no-obligation quote on high quality solar panels
  • Industry leading performance guarantees for 25 years

Free and without obligation

Schedule your appointment with Soly over here

    The Average Cost of Solar Panel Installation in the UK

    Cost Comparison: Then and Now
    The cost of solar panels in the UK has dropped by 80% over the last 10 years. As the market has become more competitive, technology has advanced and the government has stepped in to provide support and incentives, making solar panels more affordable. Today, the average cost of solar panels for a three-bedroom house in the UK is £7,000 for a 3.5 kWp system with 10 solar panels.

    Breaking Down the Installation Costs
    Solar panel installation costs include various components beyond the solar panels themselves. Here are some key costs to be aware of that contribute to the overall investment:

    • Equipment: The type and quality of the solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and any necessary electrical components.
    • Labour: Installation covers the work carried out by professionals to mount the solar panels on the roof, connect the wiring and set up the system. Labour costs vary based on location and complexity of the install.
    • Additional Fees: Homeowners should be aware of any potential maintenance costs or additional fees associated with extended warranties, permits, grid connection, financing or interest charges with loans or leases.

    As these fees vary, it’s important to obtain detailed quotes from reputable solar installers, with a clear breakdown of all costs. Keep in mind that a lower price doesn’t necessarily equal quality. Use our Soly configurator to estimate your solar panels cost in the UK.

    Comparing Panel Types and Their Costs

    The main types of solar panels include monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. Each type has unique characteristics that influence their cost and performance:

    Panel Types

    Monocrystalline Solar Panels

    Made from single-crystal silicon, monocrystalline panels are highly efficient and have a sleek appearance. They are ideal for limited roof spaces. Monocrystalline panels are generally more expensive upfront compared to other types. However, their higher efficiency can contribute to better long-term energy production for cost savings over time.

    Panel Types

    Polycrystalline Solar Panels

    Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple crystal structures, making them less efficient than monocrystalline panels. They are, however, more cost-effective and suitable for installations with more space.

    Panel Types

    Thin-Film Solar Panels

    Thin-film panels are made from layers of photovoltaic material. They are lighter, more flexible and easier to manufacture in large quantities. Thin-film panels are less efficient but can perform better in low-light conditions. They are generally the most affordable option, especially in cases where space is not a problem.

    The cost of solar panel installation depends on the size of the solar energy system and the quality of panels. The size of the system, measured in kilowatts or megawatts, comprises the number of panels, inverters and mounting structures. The quality and type of solar panels chosen for the installation, such as high-efficiency monocrystalline panels, contribute to both upfront costs and long-term energy production. Inverters, labour expenses, location and accessibility considerations all contribute to the overall cost. Incentives, rebates, and warranty choices can help reduce the overall solar panels costs in the UK.

    What is the average cost of installing solar panels in the UK?

    According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average 3.5 kWp solar panel system requires 10 solar panels at a cost of £7,000. A 350W solar panel alone costs between £150 to £300.

    Request a no-obligation quotation for solar panels

    Calculate your savings in less than a minute

    Free and without obligation

    Are Solar Panels a Worthy Investment in the UK?

    We answer the question “are solar panels worth it?”

    Impact of Solar Panels on Home Insurance
    In the UK, most insurers include solar panels within your standard buildings insurance and do not come at an extra cost. However, some providers may see solar panels as a risk and increase premiums accordingly. It’s wise to check whether your current insurance policy covers solar panels and consider changing to a different provider if not.

    Potential Financing Options
    If you’re exploring financing options for solar panels, you can consider the following options:

    • Loans: Includes borrowing a lump sum to cover the upfront cost of solar panel installation that you repay with interest over an agreed period. You’ll own the solar panels outright, benefit from any increase in property value and be eligible for government incentives.
    • Leases: Includes leasing the solar panels from a solar company for a fixed monthly payment. You have full use of the system and enjoy lower upfront costs and immediate energy savings, but you don’t own or need to maintain the system.
    • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): Includes agreeing for a solar company to install solar power on your roof. You can use the solar energy generated by the system at a predetermined rate, lower than energy bills, but you don’t own or pay maintenance on the system.

    Environmental ROI of Solar Panels
    Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. By harnessing sunlight to generate electricity, solar panels emit no greenhouse gases and offer a cleaner and renewable alternative. Solar panels also increase the resale value of your home.

    Solar panels

    Long-term Savings Breakdown

    As a homeowner, you can expect substantial financial savings from solar panels over the long term. By generating your own electricity, you can decrease your dependence on grid power and enjoy lower monthly expenses. You can also feed back any energy through net metering programs to earn credits or payments. Over the years, these savings and potential earnings create a fantastic return on investment.

    Solar panels

    Are solar panels worth getting in the UK?

    Yes, solar panels are worth getting in the UK, especially with the rising cost of living and fluctuating energy bills. Investing in solar panels can save significantly by reducing energy bills by as much as £450 on average per year. You also have the potential to make money by feeding energy back to the grid. Government incentives are making the investment more attractive and let’s not forget that solar panels can increase the value of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

    Calculating Your Solar Panel Needs

    Use our calculator or read more about how to calculate your solar panel requirements.

    Understanding Solar Panel Efficiency
    Solar panel efficiency is the ability of a solar panel to convert sunlight into electricity. Efficiency is measured as a percentage, representing the portion of sunlight a panel can convert into usable power. Higher efficiency panels can generate more electricity, making them more productive.

    The efficiency of solar panels determines how many panels you need to meet your energy requirements. More efficient panels can produce the same amount of energy with fewer panels, making them suitable for smaller homes. Less efficient panels require a larger roof to generate the same amount of power, but are more affordable. Homeowners should consider the trade-off between higher efficiency (which comes with a higher upfront cost) and the available space you have for installation.

    Factors Influencing Solar Panel Quantity

    Several factors impact the number of solar panels you need:

    • Roof Size and Shape: The available roof space dictates the number of panels you can install.
    • Roof Orientation and Tilt: The direction a roof faces and its tilt angle affects the exposure to sunlight. Ideal orientation (south-facing at 35-degrees) maximises energy production, while other orientations may require more panels.
    • Sunlight Hours: Homes in areas with more sunlight hours generally require fewer panels than homes with less consistent sunlight.
    • Shading and Obstructions: Shade from nearby trees or buildings can reduce panel efficiency.
    • Energy Consumption: High energy users may require more panels to meet their needs.
    • Regulatory Restrictions: Local regulations, such as homeowner association guidelines and building codes may restrict the number of solar panels you can install.
    • Budget: How many panels you can install often comes down to what you can afford.

    Measuring Your Roof for Solar Panels

    Here’s how we recommend measuring your roof to estimate the space available for solar panels:

    • Pick a sunny day to ensure accurate measurements.
    • Get a tape measure, a notepad and a pen (or a smartphone measurement app).
    • Carefully climb onto the roof. If you’re uncomfortable doing so, consider hiring a professional.
    • Draw a simple sketch of your roof, including chimneys, vents and dormers.
    • Measure the length and width of each roof section and multiply the length by the width to calculate the square footage of each section.
    • Add up all roof sections to determine the total roof area.

    Take note of any shading or obstructions that may affect sunlight exposure, and subtract these areas from the total roof area to estimate the available space for solar panels.
    For a more accurate assessment, schedule a virtual consultation with Soly’s renewable energy experts for a free solar design of your roof.

    Here’s how you can determine the number of solar panels you need:

    • Calculate your average daily energy consumption.
    • Consider the efficiency of the solar panels you plan to install.
    • Evaluate the sunlight exposure on your roof and adjust your calculations,
    • Multiply the solar panel efficiency by the average sunlight hours in your location to estimate daily solar energy production per panel.
    • Multiply the daily energy production per panel by the number of sunlight hours in a day to get the total daily solar energy production for one panel.
    • Divide your average daily energy consumption by the total daily solar energy production per panel to determine the number of panels needed.

    While the above calculations provide a basic estimate, factors like system size, inverter efficiency and local regulations may influence the final result. Consult Soly’s solar professionals for a more accurate assessment.

    How many solar panels do I need for a 3 bedroom house UK?

    A typical three-bedroom house in the UK uses 2,900kWh per year on average. Let’s assume we want to use a 3.5kWp system, which is the most common system, and that each panel produces 300kWh annually. Using the formula “Number of Panels = Annual Energy Consumption (kWh) / Annual Energy Production per Panel (kWh)” we can calculate that this home would need 9.67 (rounded up to 10) panels.

    Register now

    Calculate your savings in less than a minute

    Free and without obligation

    Government Incentives and Solar Panel Schemes

    Understanding Feed-in Tariffs and Smart Export Guarantee
    Discover the difference between these schemes and how they can reduce solar panels cost in the UK:

    Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs)
    Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) were a UK government incentive program designed to encourage the installation of solar power. Launched in 2010, it provided financial incentives to homeowners generating renewable electricity, but it’s no longer accepting new applicants. The grant paid homeowners for the electricity they generated and the excess energy they fed back to the grid.

    Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
    SEG replaced the Feed-in Tariffs scheme in the UK in 2020. It’s designed to encourage homeowners to feed excess solar energy back to the grid. Unlike FiTs, SEG doesn’t offer a fixed payment rate determined by the government. Instead, it requires energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers to offer a special tariff for the electricity exported to the grid.

    More information on the Government website.

    Exploring Additional Government Support

    Here are some other forms of government support that can help reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels:

    • The Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO4): The ECO4 pays homeowners up to £14,000 for the excess electricity generated and fed back into the grid.
    • Home Upgrade Grant: The Home Upgrade Grant provides grants of up to £10,000 for adopting green measures like installing solar power.
    • 0% VAT Incentive: Homeowners will automatically pay 0% VAT on energy-saving products such as solar panels until 2027.

    Can I get free solar panels for my house UK?
    Yes, if you are eligible for the ECO4 scheme, you may be able to cover 100% of your fees to install solar power in your home. To qualify, you need to be a homeowner or landlord, earn a low-income wage and be a vulnerable or fuel poor household.

    Tips to Save Money with Solar Panels

    Maximising Solar Panel Efficiency to Save Money
    Here are a few tips for how you can maximise your system and save money with solar panels:

    • Regular Maintenance: Keep solar panels clean and trim nearby trees or branches to ensure the panels absorb as much sunlight as possible.
    • Monitor System Performance: Use monitoring tools to track energy production and identify any issues.
    • Install a Battery: Invest in energy storage solutions, such as batteries, to store energy to use at night or during periods of low sunlight.
    • Use Energy-Efficient Appliances: Use energy-efficient lightbulbs and efficient appliances to reduce your energy consumption.
    • Smart Home Technologies: Use smart home technology to perform energy-intensive tasks when the sun is shining.
    • Temperature Management: Ensure proper ventilation beneath your solar panels to prevent overheating. Solar panels are more efficient at cooler temperatures.

    The Role of Battery Storage Systems
    Incorporating battery storage systems into solar panel setups offers several benefits for improved energy management and cost savings:

    • Energy Independence: Batteries help you store excess energy generated during the day for use during periods of low sunlight or at night.
    • Peak Shaving and Load Management: Batteries can be used to discharge stored energy during times when electricity costs are higher.
    • Backup Power: Battery systems provide reliable backup power during grid outages.
    • Financial Incentives: Financial incentives or rebates are available to homeowners who install solar and battery storage systems..
    Solar Panel Warranties and What They Cover

    Maintenance and Additional Costs to Consider

    Solar panels

    Performance Warranties

    Performance warranties guarantee a certain level of energy production over a specified period, usually 10 to 25 years. These warranties ensure that the solar panels will maintain a specific level of efficiency throughout the warranty period. If the panels fall below the guaranteed performance, the manufacturer will compensate for or replace the underperforming panels. For example, a 25-year performance warranty might guarantee that the solar panels will produce at least 80% of their initial rated output after 25 years.

    Solar panels

    Equipment Warranties

    Equipment warranties cover the physical components of the solar panel system, including the panels, inverters and related hardware. Equipment warranties often range from 10 to 25 years. If any of the covered components fail or experience defects within the warranty period, the manufacturer will repair or replace them at no additional cost. For example, a 10-year equipment warranty might cover the replacement of faulty inverters or malfunctioning solar panels during the specified period.

    Anticipating Repairs and Replacements

    You may need to repair or replace the panels over the course of their lifespan. Common issues include inverter failures, which may cost between £500 to £2,000 to replace. Damaged or faulty wiring can cost anywhere from £100 to £300, while faulty solar panels may need replacement (costs vary based on the type and size of the panels if they aren’t covered by warranty).

    Keep in mind that you’ll have to cover installation or labour fees as well if not covered by a workmanship guarantee. Regular inspections and prompt repairs can prevent more extensive damage and minimise the total cost of repairs.

    Solar Panel Maintenance Best Practices

    Here are some routine tasks and best practices to keep your solar panels in optimal condition, most of which don’t require a big cost:

    • Regular Cleaning: Clean the solar panels at least once a year to remove dust, dirt and debris that can reduce efficiency.
    • Visual Inspections: Inspect the panels to identify any signs of damage, such as cracks or shading.
    • Trimming: Trim nearby trees or branches that cast shadows on the panels.
    • Check Wiring: Inspect wiring for any signs of wear, damage or loose connections.
    • Monitor System Performance: Keep an eye on the inverter and system’s performance. Sudden drops in production may indicate potential issues.
    • Secure Mounting Hardware: Ensure that the mounting hardware securing the panels to the roof is secure, especially after severe weather.

    Warranties typically cover performance and equipment. Regular maintenance and repairs ensure the system performs at its best. If you haven’t already, you may wish to consider installing a battery to store excess energy, providing a reliable power source during periods of low sunlight.

    High quality solar systems
    Long-term warranties
    Transparent costs
    Online application system

    Real-life Examples: Solar Panels at Work in the UK

    Key Solar Panel Manufacturers in the UK
    Here are some of the major solar panel manufacturers whose products are used in UK projects:

    • JinkoSolar is a world leader in the solar energy market globally. Jinko panels are used in Soly’s residential projects, as well as other commercial and utility-scale projects in the UK.
    • Canadian Solar is a global leader with a strong presence in the UK. They offer a range of solar panels and have been involved in numerous successful projects.
    • SunPower is known for high-efficiency solar panels. Their panels have been used in various UK projects, providing reliable and efficient energy solutions.

    The Impact of Solar Panels on Community Projects
    Here are a few community projects across the UK where solar panels have had positive outcomes for residents:

    Beddington Zero Energy Development: This eco-village incorporates solar panels extensively to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills for residents.
    Brighton Earthship: This community center features off-grid solar power, providing energy for lighting, heating and other needs.
    Stroud Community Solar: This community share offer funds solar installations on local buildings. The project not only generates clean energy but also offers financial returns to investors.

    Businesses like Shell, KFC and Volkswagen have put their trust in Soly. Many homeowners across the UK have also switched to solar power and reaped the rewards. These success stories show how UK homeowners can save money while contributing to a greener and more sustainable future. If you’re considering making the switch to solar energy, contact Soly for personalised guidance and a tailored quote breaking down solar panels cost in the UK.

    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.
    cards knowhow icon icon
    The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels with Battery Storage for Homeowners
    Solar panels with battery storage are a revolutionary approach to sustainable energy at home.
    cards knowhow icon icon
    The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panel Installation
    Understanding the basics of solar panel installation is important for homeowners looking to take back control of their energy needs.
    cards knowhow icon icon
    Solar Batteries: A Comprehensive Guide
    Batteries store excess energy generated by your solar panels during periods of sunlight, ensuring a continuous power supply even when the sun is not shining.