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Why get solar panels?

  • Generate free, green electricity
  • Reduce your electricity bill by up to 64%
  • Get paid for what you don't use

Solar Panel Costs UK 2024

One 350W solar panel costs £786, on average

A three-bedroom house's solar panels will typically cost £7,860  

Solar panels will reduce your electricity bills by 64%, on average 

The average 350W solar panel costs £786 in 2024, though this will change based on the panels' quality, the size of your array, and your location.

A typical three-bedroom household requires a 3.5 kWp system, which costs £7,860 on average, covers 20 square metres of your roof, and cuts your electricity bill by 64%.

Here are the average solar panel costs – and savings – for a variety of households.

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Cost of solar panels for different house sizes

Property size

Annual electricity usage

Number of solar panels

Average cost*

Total annual savings

1 bedroom house

900 kWh




2 bedroom house

1,800 kWh




3 bedroom house

2,900 kWh




4 bedroom house

4,300 kWh




* Please note these prices are based on Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) cost data (March 2023), the average price of electricity (Jan-March 2024), and Ofgem's latest typical domestic consumption values (2021). Total costs may increase with more complex installations. The above estimates do not include the cost of a solar battery.

This is the best time in history to get solar panels.

The cost of going solar has dropped by 82% since 2010 as the price of electricity has soared, meaning solar panels will now cut your energy bills by £557 per year, on average – a huge saving, especially in an energy and cost of living crisis.

More than 1.2 million UK households have solar panels, and when it takes just 14.1 years for the average household to break even – leaving at least 11 years of pure profit – you can understand why.

It’s also simple to compare solar panel prices, with our help. All you have to do is provide a few quick details, and our expert installers will be in touch with free quotes for you to compare.

Is now a good time to buy solar panels?

This is a great time to buy solar panels. You can instantly relieve the burden that these high energy costs are placing on households, cutting your electricity bills by 64% on average.

Electricity prices are unlikely to fall by much in the foreseeable future, and you can take advantage of the current 0% VAT rate on solar installations.

The typical three-bedroom home will save £557 per year at current prices, so it's definitely worth jumping on board now.

What’s the average cost of solar panels?

The average cost of a 3.5 kilowatt-peak (kWp*) solar panel system is £7,860. This size is generally the right choice for a three-bedroom household.

In general, solar panels cost £2,246 per kWp, on average.

A household with one or two bedrooms will generally need a 2.1 kWp system, which costs around £4,700.

And if you live in a four or five-bedroom household, you can expect to pay £11,000 for a 4.9 kWp system, according to data sourced from the MCS.

The higher the quality of your panels, the more they will cost – but their superior efficiency and power will allow your home to generate even more electricity, as long as you keep them clean.

Our CO2 savings are calculated using Energy Saving Trust data, while the amount of solar electricity generated is sourced from European Commission figures.

* kWp stands for ‘kilowatt peak'. It's the amount of power that a solar panel or array will produce per hour in perfect conditions.

kWh means ‘kilowatt hour', and is a unit of measurement used to explain how much energy your solar panels generate and your home consumes.

Solar panel cost calculator

Please note: these costs are estimated and based on industry averages. They are not an exact indication of how much you’ll be charged by a solar panel installer. Want a better idea of how much you’ll end up paying? Pop your details in this short form, and talk directly to qualified solar panel suppliers near you.

Solar panels for your home are cheaper than they've ever been, globally.

Back in 1975, going solar cost a household £84 per watt  meaning an average 3.5 kWp system would set you back £294,000, according to the International Energy Agency.

By 1990, this rate had plummeted to £6.30 per watt, and in 2000, it was down to £4 per watt.

2010 saw the cost fall even further, to £1.75, but there was even better news to come: in 2020, the price of solar panels was 16p per watt.

Solar panel costs have fallen as materials have got cheaper, the delivery chain has become more established and efficient, and the industry has moved increasingly towards mass production.

The cost of adding a solar battery

Property sizeAnnual electricity usageNumber of solar panelsBattery sizeSolar-plus-storage system cost

1-2 bedrooms

1,800 kWh


4 kWh


3 bedrooms

2,700 kWh


8 kWh


4+ bedrooms

4,100 kWh


9.5 kWh


A solar battery is a device that allows you to store excess electricity – including the energy your solar panels generate – so you can use or sell it later on.

With a solar battery, you'll typically use an extra 30% of your solar energy, allowing you to save £144 more per year on average, and cut your carbon footprint by another 15% – which adds up to an extra tonne of CO2 per year.

The average cost of a solar battery for a three-bedroom house is £4,500.

A smaller house will usually pay around £2,500 to add a solar battery onto a solar panel installation, while a larger home will typically spend £5,500.

The larger the battery, the more electricity it can store, and the larger the benefit – but the higher the cost, naturally.

And the price of adding a solar battery to a solar panel system means the average three-bedroom household will take an extra 10 years to break even on the whole installation.

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How much money will you save with solar panels?

The average three-bedroom household in the UK will save £557 per year on its electricity bills with a 3.5 kWp system of 10 solar panels.

This infographic shows how much small, medium, and large households can expect to save with solar panels.

average savings from households with solar panels

Solar panels will typically cut your electricity bill by 64%, resulting in annual savings between £330 and £780 for most homes.

We calculated this figure based on the current electricity price (Jan-March 2024), the highest widely available Smart Export Guarantee rate (ScottishPower's 12p per kWh tariff), and solar energy data from the European Commission and MCS.

For the average three-bedroom household, this means saving £398 per year – and that's just from using half of the solar power your panels produce.

The other half will go to the grid unless you either have a solar battery – in which case you could save as much as another £144 – or use the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

This scheme enables you to earn money for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar-generated electricity you sell to the National Grid.

The typical three-bedroom household can expect £159 per year in SEG payments, meaning you'll make £557 per year in grid savings and SEG revenues.

How much your household could save with solar panels will depend on these factors:

  • The size of your solar panel system
  • Your home's electricity consumption
  • Whether you use a significant amount of electricity during the day
  • Your solar panels' efficiency level
  • Your Smart Export Guarantee rate

When will you break even on solar panels?

The average household will break even in 14.1 years.

With solar panels typically lasting at least another 11 years after this point, a three-bedroom household will end up with a total profit of £6,000 in energy bill savings and SEG revenues, on average.

We used a lot of information and maths to create this study and the graph below.

What makes up the cost of solar panel installation?

The cost of your solar panel installation will come down to how much your installer charges for materials, labour, and scaffolding.

Solar panel material costs: £2,100-£5,000

Typically, 40-50% of the cost will go towards buying the materials, including panels, brackets, and an inverter – meaning a £3,500 cost for the average three-bedroom household.

The installation company will mark up the basic cost of these materials by around 30%, which is standard practice in this industry and many others.

The type of solar panel you choose will greatly affect costs. Solar tiles will be very expensive because you'll have to replace your whole roof, where as polycrystalline and thin film panels are generally cheaper – but less efficient.

Solar panel business costs: £1,700-£3,900

30-40% of the price you pay goes towards paying for business costs, such as regulatory approvals, vehicles and their fuel, and scaffolding.

For the average 3.5 kWp solar installation, this comes to around £2,800.

Solar panel labour costs: £900-£2,200

The other 10-30% of the cost goes towards paying for labour.

This range should cover all domestic installations, including large ones with more than 20 panels.

That's great value, especially when you consider doing it yourself can cost £3,000 more than hiring a professional, who's able to access trade pricing.

Don't go through a salesperson, as they can add 10% – around £790 – to the overall cost. Instead, get quotes directly from trusted installers by using our free comparison tool.

How long does a solar panel installation take?

A solar panel installation typically takes one day.

Larger installations – by which we mean 14 panels or more – will usually take two or three days.

Much of this time is taken up with carefully constructing the scaffolding, so don't be concerned if it's been a few hours and there still aren't panels on your roof.

The cost of solar panels over time

Are there ways to reduce the cost of solar panels?

There are multiple ways to reduce the cost of solar panels. Here are the main ones:

  • The government's ECO4 scheme
  • The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
  • Solar Together, a group-buying scheme
  • The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan
  • The Home Upgrade Grant


ECO4 may be able to provide you with free solar panels if you receive certain benefits and have an electrically heated home.

And the government's SEG initiative compels large energy companies to pay you for the excess solar electricity you generate but don't use.

As an alternative, some people prefer to use a solar diverter to deal with excess energy – a device used to direct excess electricity generated by the solar panels towards a specific load or appliance.

You can also cut the costs of your solar panels through Solar Together – typically by 30-35%. This group-buying initiative is open to homeowners, small or medium-sized businesses, and tenants who have their landlord’s permission.

If a scheme is open in your local area, all you need to do is register for free, and as soon as enough people have signed up, solar installers are allowed to enter an auction for the job, with the lowest bid winning.

You'll fully own your new solar panel system – it'll just cost less than it would if you bought it by yourself.

And if you're a resident of Scotland, you can also access the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan, which can loan you up to £6,000 with zero interest and a repayment duration of at least five years.

The Home Upgrade Grant can subsidise your solar panels by as much as 100%, but only if you live in a low-income, off-gas grid household with an EPC rating of D, E, F, or G.

Did You Know?

Joining a Solar Together scheme can save you 30-35% on the cost of your solar panels, on average – which usually adds up to thousands of pounds.

Can you get solar panels on finance?

You can absolutely get solar panels on finance, from a variety of established companies.

EON solar panels can be bought on finance, with packages that range from paying over 36 months at 0% interest, or across 10 years at 7.9% APR.

Scottish Power offers finance deals that involve households paying over the course of three to five years, with a typical fixed APR of 11.9%.

Other companies like north-east specialist SolarStyle also offer finance plans for solar panels with 0% interest – though in SolarStyle's case, the repayment period is just 12 months.

How are solar panel prices calculated?

There are three key factors that influence the price of solar panels.

The cost estimates above can be used as a rough guide, but you'll also want to think about the type of panels you want, how efficient they are, and how many you need.

1. Panel type

Most solar panels are made from silicon, which comes in two different forms: monocrystalline or polycrystalline.

Monocrystalline cells are more efficient than polycrystalline cells, and are more expensive as a result.

2. Panel efficiency

The ‘efficiency’ of a solar panel refers to how much sunlight it can convert into electricity, represented as a percentage. A solar panel with 19% efficiency can convert 19% of its received sunshine into energy for your home.

The best solar panels on the market are around 24% efficient, but the average is between 18% and 22%.

Did You Know?

The best domestic solar panels on the market usually have efficiency ratings of between 18% and 22%.

3. Number of panels

The more electricity you use, the more panels you can benefit from, assuming you have the space. You'll pay more at first – but you'll save more in the end, too.

You can reduce the number of panels you need by opting for high-efficiency models, but if you have the roof space, it’s generally more cost effective to buy a larger number of cheaper, less efficient panels. Worried about roof space? You can also mount solar panels on sheds and in gardens.

Additional solar panel costs

Once you've used the calculator and information above to work out how many solar panels you need to buy – and whether you want to add a solar battery – there are three future costs you should consider.

1. Solar panel inverter

The solar inverter is a key part of any solar panel system, converting electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) before it can be used in your home.

While solar panels will usually last 25-30 years, your inverter is likely to need replacing after 10-15 years. A new inverter will cost you between £500 and £1,000.

2. Maintenance and repair

Solar panels don't break often. They don’t have any moving parts, and their surfaces are generally built to withstand hailstones the size of golf balls.

Nothing is invincible though, and there's always a chance your solar panels could fall prey to freak accidents like falling trees, stray cricket balls, extreme weather, or squirrels developing a taste for wires.

In the event of a mishap, you should always hire a professional solar panel repair company, as messing with electrical equipment is dangerous and usually expensive.

Small breakages can be fixed for £80, while sweeping repairs can cost you up to £1,500.

3. Cleaning

Frequent rainfall keeps the UK’s solar panels clean, for the most part.

However, rain barely budges bird droppings, which can reduce a solar panel’s efficiency – and if your TV aerial is directly above your solar panels, it may become a perch for birds.

If you notice your solar panels becoming dirty, you should consider getting them cleaned, either by a professional who'll charge around £100, or by you, if you follow our cleaning guide.

Six things to consider before buying solar panels

1. Is your roof suitable?

If your roof is covered in shade, it may not be suitable for solar panels.

Ideally, your roof should be south-facing – although an east or west-facing roof is sufficient – at an angle between 10 and 60 degrees.

2. Do you need a structural inspection of your roof?

A good installer will assess the condition of your roof, and may recommend a structural survey. As long as your roof is in good condition, it should be able to comfortably hold a typical 200 kg solar panel system.

3. What size solar panel system is right for you?

Look at your annual electricity usage, and find a system that generates enough power to meet your household's needs. A three-bedroom house typically needs a 3.5 kWp system, as it uses 2,900 kWh per year – but your home may be different.

4. Should you install a solar battery at the same time?

Solar batteries can store any excess electricity your solar panels generate for use later on. A battery typically costs £4,500, and will save the average household an extra £144 per year.

5. Can you sell your excess energy instead?

You can sell the solar power you don't use through the Smart Export Guarantee, and make £159 per year, on average.

Start setting this up in advance of installation, with the supplier who offers you the best price.

6. Have you compared solar panel prices?

Ensure you get the best deal by comparing the cost of different solar panels. Just fill in some quick details and our trusted suppliers will contact you with their best quotes.

Next steps

Now that you’ve figured out the ins and the outs of solar panels – and the costs that come with them – the next step is to get quotes for your own panels

To speed up the process, use our free, custom-built tool. Just provide a few quick details about your property, and we’ll put you in touch with our expert solar suppliers, who will provide you with quotes to compare.

Solar panel costs FAQs

Solar panels got cheaper when the government cut the VAT rate on energy-saving materials to 0% from April 2022 to 2027.

This is a positive step, though rising fuel prices and the increased cost of living has led many installers to raise their prices anyway, which has negated some of the gain from this VAT cut.

One 350-watt solar panel costs £786, on average.

If you intend to get more solar panels though, we'd recommend buying the whole set at once, to minimise your installation costs.

Solar panels are worth it in the UK, in this year and for the foreseeable future.

The average three-bedroom household will save £557 per year with solar panels, because electricity prices are high, and solar panels work excellently in this country.

The average cost of solar panels in the UK is £7,860 for a three-bedroom house.

A smaller house will need a £4,716 solar panel system, while a larger household will pay £11,005 for solar panels, on average.

The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost, which is £7,860, on average.

The other main disadvantage is the inability of solar panels to generate electricity at night, which means you'll still need to use the grid after the sun goes down.

A 3.5 kW solar roof tile system costs £14,550, on average.

This system, which is sufficient for the typical three-bedroom house, costs considerably more than the average 3.5 kW solar panel system.

And if you have a four-bedroom house, you'll need a 5 kW system – which will cost you £20,250, on average.

Written by:
Charlie has been researching and writing about the home energy market for over five years, and he has been the editor of The Eco Experts since 2021. Charlie's thoughts on solar panels have seen him featured in various publications, including The Times, Ideal Home, and Grand Designs Magazine. Ever since he can remember, Charlie has worried about the planet, and he one day dreams of owning a solar power farm.
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