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Solar panels for conservatories

More than 1.3 million UK households now have solar panels

A typical three-bedroom home will save up to £483 a year on its energy bill with a solar panel system

Solar panels can help you cut your carbon emissions by around 12% annually

More than 1.3 million UK households now have solar panels installed and their popularity is only set to increase – which makes sense, given solar panel costs have decreased by 82% over the past decade.

Roofs are the most common places to install solar panels, but did you know that you can also install them on conservatory roofs?

We’ve looked into what it means to put solar panels on your conservatory roof, going into the advantages and disadvantages, what you’ll expect to spend, and the things you need to consider before going ahead with the installation.

If you’re ready to get yourself some solar panels, all you need to do is fill in our quick form with a few details. After that, we’ll put you in touch with our trusted suppliers who’ll give you bespoke solar panel quotes for you to compare.

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conservatory in the sun

Is it possible to put solar panels on your conservatory?

Yes, you can install solar panels on your conservatory roof and it’s an almost identical process to installing them on the roof of your home — if your conservatory has a solid roof.

Solar panels on glass roofs are typically smaller however, because it’s often too risky to install the solar panels meant for solid roofs on glass, so sacrifices in power have to be made.

If you have a solid-roof conservatory, you can choose to either mount a solar panel system on top, or install solar roof tiles, which is the more aesthetically pleasing option.


When can’t you install solar panels on a conservatory?

You can’t install solar panels on a conservatory with a plastic roof, because the structure isn’t reliable enough to withstand the 25 or more years your solar panel system is expected to last.

You’ll need to ensure the structure of your conservatory is strong enough to support the additional weight of a solar panel system. Because you can’t typically put a normal-sized solar panel system on a glass conservatory, you’ll need to convert to a solid roof.

You also can’t install solar panels on a conservatory without planning permission in some cases, but this is quite rare.

Conservatory dining room in UK house

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The advantages and disadvantages of putting solar panels on your conservatory

Solar panels help cut your energy bills
The upfront cost for a solar panel system can be high
You can improve the efficiency of your conservatory
You might need to apply for planning permission to install solar panels
Excess electricity generated can be sold back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee
You’ll need to keep your solar panels clean to work efficiently
Your carbon emissions will be reduced
Weather conditions will affect how much power your panels generate

Cutting energy bills

If you can get solar panels on your conservatory, it’s absolutely worth it.

A three-bedroom home can save up to £483 a year with a 3.5 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system, for example. You would need a large enough solid roof on your conservatory to hold a system of this size however.


Improving your conservatory’s cost efficiency

Solar panels can cover some of your conservatory’s electrical needs, making it much more cost-efficient.

In the winter months, you can also use solar panels to provide some heat to your conservatory.

Conservatories are generally pretty cold places to be in the winter months, and all that glass means they can be expensive to heat up and difficult to insulate.

Getting a solar panel system to cover some of the heating costs should reduce your energy bill – though don’t expect your conservatory to be toasty warm.


Making a profit with solar panels

You can sell any excess electricity generated by your solar panel system back to the grid with the SEG.

The best rate for the whole of the UK is currently 12p per kilowatt hour (kWh) which is the tariff offered by Scottish Power, even to non-Scottish Power customers. However, if you’re with Octopus Energy you can get as high as 15p per kWh.


Reduced emissions

Solar panels are great for the environment, reducing household emissions by around 12% per year.


High upfront costs

Solar panels are quite expensive to buy outright, even though prices have dropped by 82% since 2010. A three-bedroom home can expect to spend an average of £7,026 for a 3.5 kW solar panel system.

You can reduce the cost you’ll pay via schemes like Solar Together, which is a group-buying initiative designed to make solar panel systems more affordable.


You might need planning permission

It’s rare to happen, but there can be instances where you’ll need to apply for planning permission to install a solar panel system on your conservatory.

You can check with your local planning authority through your local council to see if you’ll need permission. If not then you’re good to go ahead with the installation.


Solar panels might not cover all energy needs

The reality of solar power is that the sun isn’t always shining, meaning your solar panel system might struggle to power your conservatory throughout the year.

You could consider getting a storage battery, which’ll help you store energy generated by your solar panels during the day for use at night or on days when it’s particularly cloudy.

How much do conservatory solar panels cost?

The average cost of a 3.5 kW solar panel system is £7,026, which will typically have a break-even point of 14.55 years.

This is because of the high cost of electricity — 24.50p per kWh — compared to before the energy crisis.

Installing a solar panel system on a conservatory with a solid roof costs the same as it would installing on the roof of your home, as it’s functionally the exact same process.

Things to consider before putting solar panels on your conservatory roof

Make sure your conservatory is structurally sound

You need to ensure your conservatory can actually support a solar panel system before you go ahead with installation.

You’ll have no issue if your conservatory has a solid roof, but if not you’ll need to check. That’s because some conservatories use plastic to support the glass roof, which isn’t suitable to support solar panels.


Check if solar panels affect your warranty

Adding a solar panel system to your conservatory might affect its warranty, so you should double check with your warranty provider before going ahead with the installation.

Some companies offering lightweight roofs for conservatories state that installing a solar panel system voids the warranty. In this instance you will need to either convert to a solid roof, or accept that your warranty will be invalidated.


Combining solar panels with your conservatory can be worth it, but if you can install a system large enough to meet your needs on your roof, you might want to consider that instead.

If that’s not possible and your conservatory is the only place you can install solar panels, then it’s absolutely worth it. You’ll shrink your energy bills, reduce your carbon emissions, and benefit from free, clean electricity using only the power of the sun.

Ready to get solar panels? You can always fill in our easy-to-navigate form with a few simple details and we’ll put you in touch with our trusted suppliers. They’ll get in touch with bespoke solar panel quotes for you to compare.

Written by:
Tom Gill
Tom joined The Eco Experts over a year ago and has since covered the carbon footprint of the Roman Empire, profiled the world’s largest solar farms, and investigated what a 100% renewable UK would look like. Tom has a particular interest in the global energy market and how it works, including the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the future of hydrogen, and Cornwall's growing lithium industry.
Reviewed 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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