How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the UK?


  • The average family home needs a solar PV panel that provides about 3kW of electricity. This will cost between £4,000 and £6,000 and cover about 21 sq m of roof space.
  • Solar panel prices have reduced by over 70% in the last few years.
  • You can earn up to £8,080 through the Government's feed-in tariff and save 50% on your electricity bills.
  • Fill out the form above to compare solar panel prices from installers in your area or read our guide to solar panel costs below.

In this guide:

How much do solar panels cost?

What about solar prices in the future?

How much could I save?

How do I make money? What is the Return On Investment?

What size solar panel system should I get?

Is my roof suitable for solar PV?

How long will my solar panel earn me money for?

What are the risks?



How much do solar panels cost?

The price of a solar panel will vary depending on the quality and size. The cost of solar panels has reduced by 70% in the past few years due to the technology maturing and mass market production.

A 4kW solar system will cost around £6,000 - £8,000.

The average prices for typical system sizes are listed in the table below:


Approximate Roof Space:

Typical System Size:
Estimated Cost (£):

Estimated Annual Output:

CO2 saved over 25 years (tonnes):

Estimated First Year Return:
Profit Over 20 years:
8 sq m
1kW
2,500-3,000
850kWh
10
£130
£100
14 sq m
2kW
3,000-5,000
1,700kWh
20
£222
£562
21 sq m
3kW
5,000-6,000
2,550kWh
30
£316
£1,320
28 sq m
4kW
6,000-8,000
3,400kWh
40
£404
£2,080

The chart below shows the plummeting costs of a typical 4kW solar system over the last few years. In 2016, prices will rise slightly due to a recent EU ruling meaning that installers will have to pay the full 20% VAT on solar panels.


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What about solar prices in the future?

While solar costs are likely to fall slightly in the future, we recommend installing as soon as possible to benefit from low prices and cash in on the government’s Feed-in Tariff.

The Feed-in Tariff is reduced every quarter. As a result, the sooner you install, the higher the Feed-in Tariff rate your solar panels will qualify for and the more you will earn.

Once your solar panels are installed and registered for the Feed-in Tariff, you lock in that tariff rate for the full 20 years of the payments.


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How much could I save?

You earn money from solar panels in three ways. The government pays you for both the energy you use and the energy you don’t use (Feed-in tariff). You then make further savings because you are powering your house with free energy.

Of course, the more energy efficient you are the more money you will save.



Savings Each Year

Source of Income
Savings/Earnings for installs after 15 Jan 2016
Generation Tariff
£168
Export Tariff
£79
Electricity Bill Savings
£157
Total per year
£404

*This table is based on a 4kW solar panel installation using data taken from the Energy Saving Trust.



Savings Over 20 Years

Year
Earnings/Savings for installations after 15 Jan 2016
Profit/Loss for installations after 15 Jan 2016
One
£404
-£5,984
Five
£2,020
-£3,980
Ten
£4,040
-£1,960
Fifteen
£6,060
£60
Twenty
£8,080
£2,080

*You will be paid the Feed-in tariff for 20 years. This table shows how much you can earn and save over time based on a 4kW system on average.

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How can I start saving?

  • Step 1 - Click your location on the map below to get your FREE quote in less than 30 seconds.
  • Step 2 - Once you answer a few simple questions, compare quotes in your area to find the best deal!

UK Map For Solar

See if you are eligible for solar panels and get a quick quote



How do I make money with solar panels?

Solar panels allow you to earn money in the following three ways:


Feed-in tariff rate – 4.39p/kWh

Firstly, the government pays you for the electricity you generate and use, this typically adds up to about £168 per year for an average 4kW panel. The Feed-in tariff is tax-free, index-linked and lasts 20 years.

National Grid sell back rate – 4.85p/kWh

The government also pays you for the electricity you produce but don’t use. This gets sold back to the grid and will earn you about £79 per annum.

Savings on energy bills

You will also save on your energy bills because the electricity you use when your panels are in use is free. This should save you about £150 a year. On top of this, you are helping the environment by not using as much carbon.

a diagram showing how solar PV panels work
Feed-in Tariff Rates 2016 - 2019

Quarter:

Generation Tariff for <10kW (p/kWh):
Q1 2016
4.39
Q2 2016
4.32
Q3 2016
4.25
Q4 2016
4.18
Q1 2017
4.11
Q2 2017
4.04
Q3 2017
3.97
Q4 2017
3.90
Q1 2018
3.83
Q2 2018
3.76
Q3 2018
3.69
Q4 2018
3.62
Q1 2019
3.55

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What size solar panel system should I get?

It is important you get the right sized panel to meet your household’s needs.

A single resident and a couple will use about the same amount of energy (3,300kW per year). A family with two children will use between 3,300kW and 4,500kW per year so will need a bigger panel.

Because of the way the Feed-in tariff works the more energy you produce, the more you get paid. If this is a priority for you, you may wish to invest in a bigger panel.

This table shows what factors you should consider in a solar panel comparison.

Solar Panel Comparison Table

Criteria:

Brand X:
Brand Y:
Brand Z:
Number Of Panels
15
15
15
Annual Output
1,400 kW
1,500 kW
1,600 kW
Area Needed
14m2
14m2
14m2
Cost of System
£4,800
£5,000
£5,300
FiT Income Per Year
£224
£240
£256
Energy Savings Per Year
£84
£90
£96
Export Tariff Per Year
£32
£34
£36
Total Benefits Per Year
£340
£364
£388
Annual Return on Investment
7.08%
7.28%
7.32%

Don't Miss Out! Install before 15 Jan 2016 to lock-in the high Tariff rate.


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Cheap Solar Panels

Green Deal Finance

The Green Deal has now been ended by the government with no replacement. Here is what the Green Deal offered:

The UK Government launched Green Deal in 2012 – a financing mechanism to help people pay for energy-efficiency improvements to their home such as insulation, glazing and microgeneration. Installation and materials are not charged for up front, but repaid directly through the savings in your energy bills. Green Deal replaces the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). First of all your home will need to be assessed for eligibility, so call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 to arrange an assessment with a local Green Deal representative. Once assessed - and if approved - you can take your personal Green Deal report to any registered Green Deal Provider, and if they can they’ll fund and carry out the work for you.

You repay your provider over time through your electricity bill - your electricity supplier passes payments directly to your Green Deal Provider. Your repayments won’t exceed the savings you’re making on household bills, so you essentially make your repayment without feeling the pinch. In fact, you may even be better off from the start.

If you sell your home before you have repaid your provider, this isn’t a problem. You simply hand over the remaining charge – and all that valuable energy efficiency – to your buyer. Interest is charged on these repayments but remains fixed for the duration of the repayment schedule. Be aware that Green Deal Providers set their own rates of interest, so it’s worth getting a few quotes before you settle on your provider. Early repayment is allowed on these plans too, though your provider may apply a charge. Again, it’s worth shopping around to see which providers will charge what.

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Is my roof suitable for solar PV?

Most roofs are.

Unless your roof is particularly shadowy or completely north-facing, you should be fine. You may also need to check if you live in a listed building or conservation area.

While south-facing roofs are ideal, east and west-facing rooftops only produce 15% less electricity.

You will also need a small amount of space (normally in the attic) for your inverter. This converts the sun’s light into the energy you will use.

Solar panels can also be installed so they fit around skylights and other features.

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How long do solar panels take to install?

It should only take a couple of days, and you will be able to generate electricity the day after your installation is completed.

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How long will my solar panel earn me money for?

Solar panels work for about fifty years, meaning half a century of free electricity.

Having a panel should ensure huge energy bill savings as prices look set to soar for the foreseeable future.

It also means that you and your family will be protected if there is an energy shortage, because you won’t be relying on gas or electricity companies, just the sun.

The Feed-in tariff lasts for the first twenty years of your installation, earning you about £8,000 over that period.

Not only that, the Feed-in tariff is tax-free and index-linked.

Energy efficiency is often on the top of most property hunters' lists so it is more than likely that, if you want to sell your house, buyers will appreciate the energy savings of your solar PV panels.


Watch a video on how solar PV works

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What are the risks?

Solar panels are low-risk because they don’t have any moving parts apart from the small inverter. This tends to be the only part that may need replacing.

However, most PV installations come guaranteed for the first 25 years, and it’s widely acknowledged they last another 25 after that.

However, it is important you make sure you only use MCS accredited installers.

They will install your solar panel properly and to industry standard, as well as providing a guarantee. You will not be eligible for the FiT if you do not use an MCS accredited installer.

We advise getting at least three quotes before you make a decision.

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Anything else?

Don’t forget to include your PV system on the household insurance policy.

You can complete the form at the top of the page to compare the prices of up to 4 local MCS accredited installers in your area. This is a completely free comparison tool which helps you find the best price.

If you want to read previous customers' experiences, click here to read our case studies and testimonials.

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