4kW Solar Panel System Guide And Costs

A typical 4kW solar panel system will generate savings of £8,080 over 20 years and cost around £6,000. That’s a return on investment of over £2,000.

A 4kW system is the most popular size for residential solar panels and will deliver a healthy return on your investment.

You can compare prices of leading 4kW systems by completing the form at the top of this page.


In this Guide:



4kW Solar PV Systems

4kW solar systems are one of the most popular system sizes for residential installations.

A 4kW solar panel will typically cover the energy requirements of a family home of 4 people.

A typical 4kW solar system will require about 24 to 28 square meters of shade free roof space.

If you have limited roof space it is possible to get a high efficiency 4kW system which would require less space, although this will be more expensive.

How Much Can you Make with a 4kW System?


How Will I Save and Earn Money?

Installing a 4kW solar system onto your home allows you to earn money from the UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme and to save money on your monthly electricity bills:

  • Generation Tariff: your energy provider will pay you a fixed rate for every kWh of electricity you produce from your solar system. You will start to receive these payments once your solar system has been registered, and the tariff rate will be guaranteed for a period of 20 years.

  • Export Tariff: your energy provider will also pay you a fixed rate for each kWh of electricity that you don’t use and sell back to the national grid. Until smart meters are installed to accurately monitor how much electricity you give back to the grid, energy suppliers currently estimate that households with a 4kW solar system export approximately 50% of the electricity that they produce. You will start to receive these payments once your solar system has been registered, and the tariff rate will be guaranteed for a period of 20 years.

  • Energy Bill Savings: as you are producing free electricity from your solar system, you can save up to 50% on your energy bills every month. This is because you will not have to buy as much electricity from your energy provider to power the appliances within your home. The exact amount you will save will depend on how much energy you use.

What is the Current Feed-in Tariff Rate for 4kW?

The table below shows you how much you could earn from each kWh of electricity you produce from your 4kW solar system, based on the Feed-in Tariff rates for October to December 2017:

Quarter:

Date Range:

Generation Tariff for 4kW Solar System:

Export Tariff for 4kW Solar System:

Q4 2017
Oct 1st to Dec 31st
4.00p per kWh
5.03p per kWh

The Feed-in Tariff rates get reduced every quarter. If you are considering solar panels don’t wait too long as you will want to qualify for the current higher Feed-in Tariff rates.

Once you register your panels, you are locked in at those rates for the entire 20 years of the Feed-in Tariff. Click here to learn more


How Much Will I Earn?

The table below shows you the typical earnings from a 4kW solar system in different cities in the UK. These earnings are estimates and are based on the Feed-in Tariff rates for systems installed between October and December 2017:

Location:
Annual Payment from Generation Tariff
Annual Payment from Export Tariff
Annual Electricity Bill Savings
Total Earnings in the First Year
Profit over 20 Years
Birmingham
£135
£85
£72
£292
£800
Cardiff
£139
£88
£72
£299
£1,000
Glasgow
£132
£83
£72
£285
£600
London
£143
£90
£72
£305
£1,280
Manchester
£138
£87
£72
£297
£950

*based on a £6,000 4kW solar system installed on a south facing roof with no shade and a monthly household electricity bill of £50

Please note that for homeowners in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation Certificates (NICROS) scheme ended in April 2017. This means that you can no longer receive payments from the generation tariff for the electricity you produce from your solar panels. You can however, still cut your monthly electricity bills and receive payments from the export tariff for the electricity that you sell back to the national grid.

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How Much does a 4kW Solar Panel System Cost?

The table below shows the typical price of a 4kW system (including 5% VAT) compared to other residential sizes:

Typical Solar System Size:
Number of Solar Panels:
Estimated Cost:
1kW
2
£2,500 - £3,000
2kW
8
£3,000 - £5,000
3kW
12
£5,000 - £6,000
4kW
16
£6,000 - £8,000

Learn more about solar panel costs


Compare Prices of 4kW Solar Systems



Is a 4kW System Right for You?

There are 4 factors to consider when deciding whether to install a 4kW solar system:

  1. You want to earn a high return on your investment. You can earn up to £1,280 over 20 years by installing a 4kW solar system. This makes it a popular and profitable size for residential solar panels, since it qualifies for the highest payout from the Feed-in Tariff.

  2. You have adequate roof space. Typically a 4kW solar system requires 24 to 28 square meters of free roof space.

  3. You use a medium to high amount of electricity. A 4kW solar system typically covers the energy consumption of a family home of 4.

  4. You have plenty of roof space and/or a large property. You should consider installing a 5kW solar system. Even though it qualifies for a lower Feed-in Tariff band, the extra energy produced is likely to earn you more money overall. The installation costs are likely to be only a few hundred pounds more than a 4kW system, so over 20 years your return on investment could be higher.


  5. Installation

    Key points to remember when installing a 4kW solar panel system:

    - You will typically need 24 to 28 square meters of free roof space.

    - This roof space will need to be shade free for the majority of the day to get the best results.

    - 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.

    - Before your installer installs the panels they are required to complete a survey of your roof structure to ensure it is suitable for solar panels. The vast majority of roofs in the UK can comfortably support the weight of solar panels, but installers are legally obliged to check.

    - You will get the best results for South, South-West and South-East facing roofs. West and East facing roofs will still deliver acceptable yields.

    - To qualify for the Feed-in Tariff scheme you will need to use an MCS accredited installer.



    Finding the Best Price

    It is recommended that you compare quotes from at least 3 or 4 MCS accredited installers to ensure you get the best price. Always ensure that the quote breaks down the different elements of the quote.

    You can join the thousands of homeowners who have used The Eco Experts to compare prices from up to 4 local and trusted MCS accredited installers. Simply enter your postcode at the top of this page to begin. This is a completely free comparison tool which helps you find the best price.


    Compare Prices of 4kW Systems