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Solar Panels UK Cost, Prices, & Installation [Updated 2023]

Solar Panels UK Cost & Prices in 2023 | A Complete Guide

Solar panels are starting to dominate the globe, giving off beneficial treats for every home and business owner, such as being cost-efficient, nature-friendly, and low-maintenance.

Moreover, solar electricity has also been tagged to elevate the property value and release clean and green energy.

However, the question all boils down to this: How much do solar panels cost?

In this article, we'll give you all the essential information about the cost of changing to renewable energy, the prices of each solar panel, and the fee for installing one.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, solar panel costs range from £400 to £8,000. This price is inclusive of all the needed equipment in a solar panel system, such as the following:

  • Solar panel
  • The solar battery storage system
  • Solar inverter
  • Racking or mounting equipment

Moreover, the price of solar panels in the UK will depend on different essential factors (which we will delve into more below), such as:

  • Solar panel type
  • The solar panel's generating capacity
  • Solar panel sizes
  • Solar panel quantity and quality

Nonetheless, the overall cost of solar panels can also be determined by how big or small your houses are, including your roof space.

What Is the Solar Panel Installation Cost in the UK?

The average solar panel installation cost is about the same as the solar panel cost, which is £400 to £8,000. Sometimes, when you buy a solar panel system, the installation costs are already accounted for.

To give you a summary of each installation cost, here is a list of them:

  • For a 3 kWh solar panels system - £5000
  • For a 4 kWh solar panels system - £6000
  • For a 5 kWh solar panels system - £8000

What Is the Maintenance Cost of Solar Panels?

The maintenance of solar panels would cost around £21.24 to £24.99 per month, depending on the service, repair, and health checks your solar panel system needs.

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    Solar panel systems are low-maintenance; you just need to do routine checks and regular light cleaning.

    However, regularly consulting with professionals is needed to keep its efficiency and longevity in terms of its materials.

    The Factors Affecting the Cost of Solar Panels in the UK

    As mentioned earlier, how high or low the cost of a solar PV system is depends on several factors:

    1) Solar Panel Type

    The type pertains to whether your solar panels are made from the following:

    • Monocrystalline
    • Polycrystalline
    • Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC)
    • Thin-film

    Of these four, the most expensive ones are monocrystalline solar panels. Solar panels like these are made from single-cut silicon, and their cost is primarily because of their manufacturing process, which entails a lot of electrical energy.

    On the other hand, the cheapest alternative for a solar panel system is thin-film solar PV systems. Thin films are cheap because, unlike monocrystalline ones, these only require minimal electrical energy and waste.

    2) Solar Panels Generating Capacity

    Solar panels differ in their kilowatt-hour, which will define how much electricity they can store and provide for your house or establishment.

    The size of the solar panel system will depend on your house's size and how much energy is needed for your home to be entirely solar-powered.

    Here are the different electric generation capacities of each solar panel in a system:

    • 3 kWh
    • 4 kWh
    • 5 kWh

    3) Solar Panels Sizes

    The difference in how much solar energy panels produce can also depend on how big or small the solar system is.

    Solar panels installed can be as minimal as 60-cell or 72-cell panels, or the maximum size of 96-cell.

    The minimal sizes can be fitted for your home, as it can be catered by your roof, while the maximal one is perfect for commercial sites.

    Here is the price range of each solar panel system:

    • 60-cell solar panels - £163 to £379
    • 72-cell solar panels - £175 to £212
    • 96-cell solar panels - £260 to £419

    4) Solar Panels Quantity and Quality

    Of course, it is essential to note that the overall price of your solar PV system will significantly rely on how many solar panels you need and of what quality you would like to purchase.

    The more solar panels you need and the higher quality, the more expensive the solar energy system will be.

    Nonetheless, the number of panels in a solar PV system must be based on how much power you need for your electrical appliances.

    On the other hand, the quality will solely depend on your preference. If you want to save more money on your energy bills and are willing to spend more cash upfront, you must get the highest quality possible.

    However, if you are on a tight budget, you can still save money on cheaper solar panels of standard quality.

    How Much Can You Save With a Solar Panel System?

    With properly installing solar panels, you can save approximately 70% from your annual energy bill. The proper installation means saving from an energy price cap or an average of £2,500 to £3,000 in electricity bills.

    Moreover, you won't only have electricity bill savings in the UK — you can also get compensated through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) of the UK government.

    In this Smart Export Guarantee programme, you will be paid by SEG licensees for about 4.1 pence for every kilowatt-hour of excess electricity that you return back to the grid.

    The UK Government imposes this obligation of giving back excess energy to the National Energy Grid on large energy suppliers.

    However, you can only get paid when you register your solar systems with reputable large energy suppliers and if your systems have been installed by licenced workers with a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

    This scheme has been done several times, starting from the Feed-in-Tariff grant of the United Kingdom government. The Feed-in-Tariff worked the same with the SEG, yet the UK government stopped new Feed-in-Tariff applications from the 1st of April in 2019.

    FUN FACT: The average electricity bills in the UK can increase by 20% in 2023, based on a report by the UK Parliament and the Energy Regulator Ofgem.

    How Long Does It Take to Breakeven With a Solar PV System?

    It would take at least 10 years and, at most, 20 years upon a solar panel installation for you to break even with solar panel costs.

    Even if it takes too long, you can immediately feel how much you can save in energy bills (by 70%) when solar panels generate electricity in your house or commercial building.

    Also, ensure that your solar panel and its system have regular light cleaning and maintenance to assure you of cost-cutting your energy bills and eventually recuperate the initial solar panel costs and the installation cost.

    What to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels

    Before jumping into solar panel installations, you must consider the different factors to efficiently utilise your renewable energy technologies, such as a solar PV panel.

    For your convenience, here are the factors in need of consideration:

    #1 The Location of Your Home

    Your place of residence matters in the attempt to install solar panels because for it to work — solar PV panels must be faced in the right direction.

    For people living in the north, find your legitimate south; for those in the south, track where the north is.

    This will give your solar roof tiles or panels more electricity and energy to power your whole house.

    #2 How Much Solar Energy You Need

    After you have identified your house's location, the next thing to consider is how much electricity generated you need.

    By doing this, you get a concrete idea of what panels to buy and how much solar battery capacity to purchase. In this case, this can give you a better judgement of the solar panel and installation costs.

    To do this, you can hire a professional to accurately measure your overall electricity demand

    #3 Your Roof Type & Roof Space

    Your roof space and type will matter when installing solar thermal panels and solar PV panels.

    First, understand your roof type because renewable technologies like PV panels need a specific roof suitable for installation, such as the following:

    • Asphalt shingles roofs
    • Concrete roofs
    • Standing seam metal roofs
    • Tile roofs

    Second, identify your roof space and match it with the size of the panel cells, whether 60-cell, 72-cell, or 96-cell.

    Having the exact measurement of your roof can help energy companies install your panels correctly to be optimal at generating electricity.

    It will also not make them charge you more for the solar panel cost in installation.

    #4 Choosing an Energy Company That Provides the Best Products and Services

    At the end of the day, the non-negotiable factor you must always bear in mind before availing of a solar system is the company.

    Choose the energy company that has a sterling reputation when it comes to the following:

    • Highest quality possible for solar batteries, panels, inverters, and other requisites
    • Commendable customer service and after-sales maintenance
    • Reasonable solar panel prices and installation costs

    Frequently Asked Questions

    We know you have some things in mind that you are eager to ask. Do not worry that much because we got your back as we answer some of your frequently asked questions about renewable energy in a PV system.

    Can I Get Solar Panels for Free in the UK?

    Yes, you can if you qualify for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) of the United Kingdom Government, which aims for large energy companies to provide more energy (renewable and solar) to a target of 450,000 UK residents' homes.

    Nonetheless, there are also other UK programmes through which you can maximise your savings on solar panel prices and electricity costs, such as:

    • 0% VAT on solar electricity generated
    • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) with compensation on every exported electricity to the National Grid

    Do Solar Panels Need to Be Cleaned?

    Yes, PV panels need light cleaning. This cleaning includes removing dust, debris, and leaves that hinder the panels from getting the heat and light they need to generate more electricity.

    Regular cleaning is essential. After all, it will be more helpful in your cause of reducing your carbon footprint and lessening your annual electricity usage because it can store more solar power.

    Can I Run My House on Solar Power Only (UK)?

    Yes, you can if your PV panel has stored enough power. This solar power generation can be possible if your panels are correctly placed and face the right direction.

    If it does not satisfy the two conditions, you may have to use other electric sources during the winter.

    Do Solar Panels Work in Winter?

    Yes, they work in winter if the solar panel and its batteries have stored enough power. Also, your panels can still work during these times, given that the sun's light can still reach the panels.

    With this said, for as long as there are lights and stored energy, your solar panel installation can power through your house's electricity needs during winter.

    How Long Do Solar Panels Last in the UK?

    A solar panel can last for at least 25 to 30 years in the United Kingdom. This is given that your panels have undergone regular light cleaning.

    After this period, your solar panels' energy produced may be lower than usual. This situation can also degrade the efficiency of panels in lowering your electricity bills.

    Most importantly, after this period, you may have to replace your solar systems.

    Do I Need to Tell My Electricity Supplier I Have Solar Panels?

    Yes, it would be best to tell your electricity provider if you have PV panels, especially when stipulated in your contract or government regulations.

    This step is vital to ensure that your solar systems are at par with the UK government's standards. Aside from that, it can also help you achieve the utmost safety when configuring your energy and electricity.

    Conclusion: Is It Worth Having Solar Panels in the UK?

    With all this information on solar panels and costs in the UK, one thing is clear: A solar panel is worth having in the UK.

    In the UK, you can have special deals with the o% VAT, SEG, and the Energy Company Obligation that can maximise energy regulation and energy bill savings.

    Installing a solar panel system in your UK residence or building will provide you with financial help within 25 to 30 years, given that you also do your part by ensuring your panels are clean and clear for the sun's rays and heat.

    Final Words

    Now that you know all about the installation costs, purchase prices, factors to consider, and FAQs, nothing's stopping you from getting the solar-powered home you've always dreamt of.

    Remember that if you need clarifications in the process, you can always go back to this guide to help you out.

    Did you know that Solar Panel Installation can match you with 3 local installers who will provide you with a free quote? Fill out our form today to get in touch with installers.

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    Mark McShane
    Content Writer
    Mark McShane is a seasoned professional in the solar industry and the owner of Skills Training Group, a leading provider of solar training and education. With years of experience in the field, Mark has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, technologies and best practices in the industry. His expertise and passion for solar energy have helped countless professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-growing field of solar energy. Whether you’re an aspiring solar professional or an experienced industry veteran, Mark is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the solar industry.
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