How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In The UK?

Solar panels cost between £1,500 and £8,000 depending on their size and electricity output.

You can earn up to £7,250 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 You Save?

How do you Make Money? What is the Return On Investment?

How Long will your Solar Panels Earn me Money For?

Can you get Cheap Solar Panels?

How Much do you Need to Pay for Maintenance?



How Much do Solar Panels Cost?

Solar panels cost between £1,500 and £8,000 depending on their size and efficiency. The table below shows you the typical prices for the most common types of residential solar systems:

Typical Solar System Size:
Number of Solar Panels:
Roof Space:
Annual Electricity Output:
Typical Cost:
1kW
2
8 sq. metres
850kWh
£1,500-£3,000
2kW
8
14 sq. metres
1,700kWh
£3,000-£5,000
3kW
12
21 sq. metres
2,550kWh
£5,000-£6,000
4kW
16
28 sq. metres
3,400kWh
£6,000-£8,000


An average household in the UK will usually need a 3kW or 4kW solar system installed to produce enough electricity to cover their total energy usage. You should therefore be prepared to spend upward of £5,000 on your solar panels if you have a household of 3+ people.

Solar systems larger than 4kW are usually not recommended for residential properties due to the roof space required to install them. 5kW+ solar systems are typically only installed on commercial buildings and cost upward of £8,000. Learn more about commercial solar costs.

Bear in mind that the cost of solar panels has plummeted in recent years due to better technology and cheaper mass market production. Buying a solar panel now means you can save up to 70% on the cost of a solar panel purchased back in 2010. For example, a 4kW solar system in 2010 would have set you back a huge £15,000, but now only costs around £6,000.

Now is therefore the best time to install solar panels, especially as you can earn money from the UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme and save money on your energy bills, whilst improving your environmental footprint!

solar panel cost


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What about Solar Prices in the Future?

The cost of solar panels are likely to fall further in the future. However, we recommend installing them as soon as possible in order to earn money from the UK government’s Feed-in Tariff. This rewards homeowners for installing solar panels with cash incentives.

The Feed-in Tariff is reduced every quarter (three months), however. As a result, the sooner you install solar panels the higher the Feed-in Tariff rate you will qualify for and so the more money you will make.

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 you save with Solar Panels? What's your average monthly electricity bill?



How do you make Money with Solar Panels?

solar panels feed-in tariff

You can earn money by installing solar panels, making them a lucrative investment. Solar panels allow you to make money from the Feed-in Tariff scheme and to save money on your household electricity bills. More information can be found below:


Generation Tariff:

Your energy provider will pay you a fixed sum of money for every kWh of electricity that your solar system produces. You will start to receive these payments once your solar panels have been registered for the Feed-in Tariff scheme. These payments are tax-free and last for twenty years.


Export Tariff:

Your energy provider will also pay you for every kWh of electricity generated by your solar system that you don’t use and sell back to the National Grid. It is currently difficult for energy providers to accurately monitor how much electricity you give back, but it is estimated to be around 50% of the total amount of energy your solar panels generate. Once smart meters are installed, it will become easier to track how much you will be paid by the Export Tariff. You will start to receive these payments once your solar panels have been registered for the Feed-in Tariff. These payments are also tax-free and last for twenty years.


Energy Bill Savings:

Since your solar system produces free electricity, you can save money on your energy bills every month. This is because you won’t need to buy as much electricity from your energy provider to power your home. The exact amount of money you’ll save will depend on how much electricity you use, but it can be up to 50% of your monthly bills.


The table below shows you how much you can earn for each kWh of electricity your solar panels produce, based on the current Feed-in Tariff rates for January to March 2018:

Quarter:

Date Range:

Generation Tariff:

Export Tariff:

Q1 2018
Jan 1st to Mar 31st
3.93p per kWh
5.03p per kWh


Please be aware that if you live in England, Scotland or Wales, your home must have an EPC rating of D or above to qualify for these Feed-in Tariff rates. An EPC rating measures a building’s energy efficiency on a scale of A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). If your home has an EPC rating of E to G, you will qualify for lower Feed-in Tariff rates.


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How Much can You Earn?

Installing solar panels onto your home allows you to earn money through the UK government’s Feed-in Tariff and through savings you will make on your energy bills.

Please note that for homeowners in Northern Ireland, you are no longer able to earn money from the Generation Tariff due to the scrappage of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation Certificates (NICROS) scheme in April 2017. You can however, still earn money from the Export Tariff and save on your electricity bills.


Savings each Year:

The table below breaks down how much you can earn each year from different sized solar systems, based on the current Feed-in Tariff rates for January to March 2018:

Typical Solar System Size:
Typical Cost:
Annual Payment from Generation Tariff:
Annual Payment from Export Tariff:
Annual Electricity Bill Savings:
Total Annual Earnings:
1kW
£1,500
£36
£23
£33
£92
2kW
£3,000
£71
£46
£65
£182
3kW
£5,000
£107
£68
£72
£247
4kW
£6,000
£143
£91
£72
£306

*based on installation on a south facing roof with no shade and a monthly household electricity bill of £50


Savings over 25 Years:

The table below breaks down how much you can earn over 25 years from different sized solar systems, based on the current Feed-in Tariff rates for January to March 2018. Please be aware that you will only receive payments from the Feed-in Tariff for twenty years, but can still make savings on your energy bills for the full 25 years:

Typical Solar System Size:
Typical Cost:
Earnings over 25 Years:
Profit over 25 Years:
1kW
£1,500
£1,850
£350
2kW
£3,000
£3,650
£650
3kW
£5,000
£5,450
£450
4kW
£6,000
£7,250
£1,250

*based on installation on a south facing roof with no shade and a monthly household electricity bill of £50


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How Long will your Solar Panels Earn you Money For?

Solar panels typically last around 25 to 30 years. This doesn’t mean that after this time they stop generating free electricity, however. It simply means that by 25 to 30 years after installation, they will be producing electricity at a lower efficiency than before (i.e. they will produce less energy).

This means that you can earn money from your solar panels for at least 25 years.

You will receive tax-free payments from the UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme for the first twenty years after installation. This can make you over £7,000 depending on what size solar system you have.

Having solar panels will also mean that you can make significant cost savings on your energy bills - sometimes up to 50% - for their entire lifespan. This is particularly advantageous as electricity prices are set to continue to rise in the foreseeable future.

Not only that, but installing solar panels onto your home can increase its market value. A recent survey of UK homeowners found that a third would be willing to pay more for a house with solar panels, in order to benefit from Feed-in Tariff payments and lower energy bills.

Solar panels can therefore earn you a substantial amount of money over a quarter of a century, making them a rewarding investment.

earnings from solar panels


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Could You Save With Solar?

Select How Many Live In Your House To Find Out!

Solar Cost House



Cheap Solar Panels

If you are worried about paying the upfront cost of solar panels, there are some alternative payment methods available to make them more affordable:

Green Deal

The Green Deal scheme was a government-funded initiative to encourage homeowners to make energy-efficient changes to their property - changes included installing solar panels. It involved taking out a loan to pay for the installation, and paying it back with the money saved on energy bills. The Green Deal scheme was scrapped in 2015 however, but there are plans for it to be re-introduced in 2018 with investor backing.


Free Solar Panel Schemes

Free solar panel schemes, or ‘rent-a-roof’ schemes, were popular several years ago. Companies paid to rent or lease your roof from you for up to 25 years. In exchange, they would install and maintain solar panels on it. There was a catch, however - all payments from the Feed-in Tariff would go to the company to pay for the solar panels, meaning you would only make money from savings on your energy bills.

When the government slashed the Feed-in Tariff payments in January 2016, many companies ended their free solar panel schemes as they were no longer as profitable. It is now very hard to find a company who will pay for your solar panel installation.


Solar Buyback

Some companies currently offer what is known as ‘solar buyback’ for households who already have solar panels installed on their home. Solar buyback involves a company paying you a sum of money in exchange for receiving the remainder of your payments from the Feed-in Tariff. Effectively you sell your Feed-in Tariff to receive a single lump payment, rather than receiving the payment over 20 years.


Solar Loans

Some solar companies offer you the option of paying for your solar panels on finance. The company will pay the upfront cost of installation and allow you to pay them back over several years with fixed monthly payments. Unfortunately there are no interest-free loans available, meaning you will be required to pay interest on your repayments.


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Solar Panel Maintenance Costs

Once installed, solar panels require very little maintenance work. Most solar systems will only need to undergo some basic maintenance checks and be cleaned two or three times per year. Some solar panels even have self-cleaning glass, meaning you won’t need to invest any time at all into getting rid of any dirt or debris.

You can easily carry out this maintenance work yourself, or pay a company to do it for you. Some companies offer annual cleaning and maintenance services for approximately £200.

You may also be concerned about the cost of repairs. Luckily, solar panels are extremely durable and very rarely break.

If they do require repair work, this is usually covered by your manufacturer warranty. This is often included in the cost of your solar panels, but you should check to make sure. Solar companies will often charge you extra for extended warranties however, and for any breakages that occur outside of the warranty period.

Manufacturer warranties typically include:

1. 10 year product warranty

2. 25 year power warranty

3. 2 year workmanship warranty


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What Next?

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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