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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

How much do solar panels cost in the UK in 2024?

  • The average UK domestic installation in 2024 costs £9180
  • Save hundreds on your annual electricity bill from day one
  • It will take less than 15 years to break even – then it’s all profit
  • Earn money back from the Smart Export Guarantee
  • A solar battery will help reduce your electricity bills further 
  • Join the 1.4 million UK households who are already benefitting from solar panels

Solar panel installation costs have fallen sharply in the past 12 months, according to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). So far this year, domestic solar panel installation costs have averaged £9180.61. This is compared to the biggest peak in May last year, when it surpassed £10,700. 

While the price of solar panels has gone down, the price of electricity remains high. From April 2024, the cost of electricity per kilowatt (kWh) dropped to 24.50, meaning that solar panels will save the average 3-bedroom household £483 per year, or 73% off their annual bill on average (if you take advantage of the Smart Export Guarantee) – a huge saving, especially in a cost-of-living crisis, when the price of everything has gone up. 

According to our calculations, it takes less than 15 years for the average household to break even on solar panels, which leaves 10-15 years of pure profit. With all of these savings, it’s not hard to understand why more than 1.4 million UK households have had solar panels installed, according to the latest MCS data

In this article, we’ll run you through some of the things you need to consider when getting a quote for solar panels on your home.

How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of solar panels is based on numerous factors, including the size of your roof, your electricity usage, whether you want to include the cost of a solar battery, and the number of solar panels you choose. Even the type of roofing, the height of your home and where your electric cables are will also have an effect.

According to industry averages, solar panels for the average three-bedroom house will cost £7,026.

This is the average price of a 3.5 kilowatt-peak (kWp) system, which is typically the right fit for a standard three-bedroom house.

A household with one or two bedrooms will generally need a 2.1kWp system, which costs around £4,216 for 6 panels.

The cost of solar panels will be different for every household, which is why it’s best to get multiple quotes from different suppliers.

It’s a big investment, so it pays to do your homework. We would recommend getting at least five quotes from different installers before making a decision on who to go with. 

To get accurate quotes from trusted installers, use our quick quotes form. All you have to do is provide a few details, and installers in your area will be in touch with quotes for you to compare. 

For a rough guide, have a look at the table below for a breakdown of installation costs, the savings you’ll make and how much profit you’ll be likely to make after the full 25-year life cycle of your solar panels.

The right number of panels for your home

0 out of 0
Property size
Annual electricity usage
Number of solar panels
Average installation cost*
Annual electricity bill savings**
Time it takes to break even
Solar panel profit after 25 years

1-2 bedroom house

3 bedroom house

4 bedroom house

1,800 kWh

2,700 kWh

4,100 kWh










14.55 years

14.55 years

14.55 years




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

** Includes estimated Smart Export Guarantee payments

Factors that impact solar panel costs

There are three key factors that affect the price of solar panels:

  • Panel type: Some panel types, such as monocrystalline solar panels, cost more than others. This is because they use the latest technology and are highly efficient
  • Panel efficiency: The more sunlight a solar panel can convert into electricity per sq metre, the more expensive it will be 
  • Panel number: More solar panels means more materials, which means a higher cost. You can limit the number of panels you need by choosing highly efficient ones

If you want to know more about solar panel efficiency, or find out how many you need, head over to our guides.

Breakdown of installation costs

The cost of your solar panel installation will ultimately come down to much your installer charges. Each supplier will likely be different so reach out to several to make a more informed choice. 

As a guide, installers will charge different prices for: 

  • Parts – the materials used (solar panels, cables, inverters, etc)
  • Business costs – your installer’s overheads, including scaffolding, getting approvals/planning, as well as vehicle and travel expenses
  • Labour – the work of installing a solar panel system

Solar panel material costs

Typically, 40-50% of the installation costs will go towards buying the materials, including panels, brackets, and an inverter – which will be around £3,150 for the average three-bedroom household. 

An inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity your panels produce into alternating current (AC) electricity, which can power electricity into your home. 

The installation company will mark up the basic cost of these materials by around 30% to make a profit, which is standard practice in this industry and many others. Suppliers will be able to break down the costs of each material, if asked, so any concerns, don’t hesitate to ask them.

Solar panel business costs

High costs are inevitable when installing anything and for solar panels specifically, approximately 30-40% of the price you pay goes towards paying your installers business expenses. 

These expenses include regulatory approvals, including planning permission, vehicles, fuel and scaffolding. 

For reference, the average 3.5kWp solar installation will come to approximately £2,450.

Solar panel labour costs

The other 10-30% of the cost goes towards paying for labour of the people who will actually fit your panels and the associated kit. 

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

That’s great value, especially when you consider that doing it yourself could cost £3,000 more than hiring a professional. 

According to Everyone’s Energy, customers should be aware of installers pushing limited-time offers on solar panels. Instead, you should get quotes from at least five reputable installers and check their TrustPilot reviews before signing a contract.

How to reduce solar panel costs

Solar panel and battery installation can be pricey, but the good news is that there are government funding schemes and incentives to help reduce the cost. Here are the main ones: 

  • The government’s ECO4 scheme: Funding for solar panels for energy poor households on certain benefits
  • Solar Together: A group-buying scheme that can save you 30-35% on the cost of solar panels
  • The Home Energy Scotland Loan: An interest-free loan for solar panels available for most Scottish residents
  • The Home Upgrade Grant: Funding for solar panels for low-income, off-grid households

For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply for these schemes, check out our guide to solar panel grants.

Can you get solar panels on finance? 

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

  • E.ON
  • Scottish Power
  • SolarStyle
  • Sunsave

E.ON solar panels, for example, can be bought on finance.

Its interest-free option enables you to get a typical six-panel (2.61 kWp) solar system installed for £241.04 per month over 24 months. Prices for six panels start with E.ON from £5,785. 

Solar panel maintenance costs

There are three future solar panel maintenance costs you should consider: 

  • Inverter replacement
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Cleaning

Solar panel inverter

The solar inverter is a key part of any solar panel system, converting electricity from DC to AC. This needs to happen before the inverter can be installed. 

The cost of your inverter will be included in the final quote of your solar panel system, which will approximately be between £500-£1,000, depending on the power you choose. You should remember, however, that inverters only last 10 years, while solar panels last for 25-30, so you’ll need to factor in double the cost to get a more accurate figure.

Maintenance and repair

Solar panels are quite robust and don’t break often, but there’s always a chance they could fall prey to freak accidents, like falling trees, stray cricket balls, extreme weather, or birds developing a taste for wires. 

You can prevent that last issue from happening though, by bird-proofing your solar panels when you get them installed. It’s also a good idea to ask your installer what repairs or maintenance costs their warranty covers.

In the event of any other mishap, you should always hire a professional solar panel repair company. Small breakages can be fixed for £80, while sweeping repairs could cost you up to £1,500.


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

However, if you notice your solar panels becoming dirty – for example, dust building up on them during a dry, hot summer – you should consider getting them cleaned. 

Solar panel cleaning by a professional will cost around £100, but you can also do it yourself with a hose.

How much will solar panels save you?

Solar panels offer savings between £280 and £700 for most homes on their annual electricity bills. This can go a long way to relieving some of the pressures you might be under with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 

The savings you make 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 (SEG) rate

Another way to potentially save once you have solar panels installed is by shopping around. You can use price comparison websites to find the best price for your home, or go to different supplier websites to find out individual prices. 

What’s more, using a solar battery – which we go into more detail about below – and exporting less electricity to the grid via the SEG will result in lower SEG payments, around £63, since you’ll be using solar electricity and exporting less back to the grid. 

Either way, if you install a solar battery, you’ll be paying for less electricity from the grid, as you will be using stored electricity. This will save you approximately £227 more on electricity than with solar panels alone.

When will you break even on solar panels?

It will take the average household almost 15 years (14.55 to be precise) to break even, according to our calculations. 

Solar panels typically last at least another 10 years after this point. A three-bedroom household will end up with a total profit of £5,042.72 in energy bill savings and SEG revenues, on average. A one-to-two bedroom home will have a total profit of £3,025.63, while a four bedroom home will generate £7,059.80. 

We base our calculations on the latest MCS data on solar panel costs, and the yearly daylight hours in the UK. Please check out our full page: Are solar panels worth it? for all the nuts and bolts.

How much do solar batteries cost?

A solar battery allows you to store the excess electricity your solar panels generate during the day so you can use it after the sun goes down. 

With a solar battery, you’ll typically use an extra 30% of your solar energy and it will take you an extra decade to break even. The reason for this is that batteries only last around 12 years and you’ll probably need to buy two over the course of your solar panels’ 25-30 years. 

The average cost of a solar battery for a three-bedroom house is £4,500, meaning you could pay up to £9,000 over the lifespan of your solar panels. 

For a 1-2 bedroom house, the cost of installing just the solar battery is approximately £2,500, while four-or-more bedrooms are looking at £8,000. 

But what price are you looking at to install both? 

The table below explains just that. We’ve calculated the costs to install both solar panels and storage, but again, this price will differ depending on the factors listed above:

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


However, homes are limited to a certain battery size. The larger the capacity of your battery, the more electricity it can store. Of course, this does come with a higher cost. 

Before you decide if a solar battery is the right move for you, check out our guide to the best solar batteries. We also go more in depth on solar battery costs in this guide, where you can find out what a solar battery is, how it works and if there are government grants or incentives available.

Six things to consider before buying

There are a lot of things to consider before buying solar panels. Here are six questions to ask yourself before you finalise your purchase: 

  1. Is your roof suitable for solar panels? Make sure your roof is at the best angle and direction for solar panels. Ideally, south facings (although east or west facing is fine) and at an angle between 10 and 60 degrees
  2. Do you need a structural inspection on your roof? A set of 10 solar panels typically weighs 200kg, so it’s always best to check that your roof can support the extra weight
  3. What size solar panel system is right for you? Figure out how much electricity your household uses, as this will give you the best estimate for what size solar panel system meets your needs
  4. Should you install a solar battery along with your solar panels? Solar batteries allow you to use more of the electricity your panels generate. This will reduce your carbon footprint and electricity bills even further, but will cost an additional £4,500 to install
  5. Can you sell your excess energy instead? If you want to forgo the cost of a solar battery, you can sell the energy you don’t use back to the grid with the SEG. Just make sure to set this up before your panels are installed What’s more, most companies will insist that you have a smart meter to be able to take advantage of SEG
  6. Have you compared solar panel prices? Don’t just go with the first installer you find. Compare quotes from five reputable solar panel installers, and go with the option you feel suits you best

Where do you want to install solar panels?

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Find a good solar panel installer

To find a good solar panel installer, you should look beyond costs and consider factors like:

The best solar panel installers offer 20-30-year product warranties, and at least 10-year long workmanship warranties. 

For quick quotes from trusted installers in your area, simply fill in our form.

How long does a solar panel installation take?

Solar panel installation usually takes one to two days, but larger installations – ones of over 14 panels – can take up to four 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.

Next steps

Now that you have an idea of how much solar panels cost, it’s time to contact an installer. 

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 suppliers, who will provide you with quotes to compare.

Written by:
Tamara Birch, senior writer, The Eco Experts
Tamara has written about environmental topics for more than four years. This includes advising small business owners on cost-effective ways, like solar panels and energy-efficient products to help them become more sustainable. 
Reviewed by:
Roland is Editor of The Eco Experts. He is passionate about solar power, reducing plastic waste and technology that can help humanity overcome some of its greatest challenges.
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