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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

The average cost of buying and installing one 350W solar panel is £703

A solar panel system suitable for a three-bedroom house typically costs £7,026

Solar panels will reduce your electricity bills by 70%, on average 


This is the best time in history to get solar panels, with the cost of going solar having dropped by 82% since 2010, according to the International Renewable Agency (IRENA).

Meanwhile, the price of electricity has soared, meaning solar panels will now cut your energy bills by £537 per year, or 70%  on average – a huge saving, especially in an energy and cost of living crisis.

Plus, it only takes 13.08 years for the average household to break even on their solar panels, according to our calculations, which leaves over 10 years of pure profit. With all of these benefits, it’s not hard to understand why more than 1.4 million UK households have had solar panels installed, according to the latest data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

When it comes to actually getting solar panels installed on your property, solar panel installers Everyone’s Energy recommend getting at least five quotes from different installers before making a choice.

We can make this easy for you with our quick quotes form. All you have to do is provide a few quick details, and our network of trusted solar panel installers will be in touch with free quotes for you to compare.

Cost of solar panels for different house sizes

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

6

10

14

£4,216

£7,026

£9,837

£322

£537

£752

13.08 years

13.08 years

13.08 years

£3,843

£6,405

£8,967

* Please note these prices are based on Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) cost data (March 2023), the average price of electricity (January-March 2024), and Ofgem's latest typical domestic consumption values (2023). 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

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How much will solar panels cost for your house?

According to our calculations, solar panels for a three-bedroom house cost on average £7,026.

That’s the average price of a 3.5 kilowatt-peak (kWp) system, which is typically the right fit for a standard three-bedroom house. ‘Kilowatt peak' is the unit used to measure the power output of a solar panel system. It’s the amount of power that a solar panel or array will produce in perfect conditions.

In general, solar panels cost £2,007 per kWp.

A household with one or two bedrooms will generally need a 2.1 kWp system, which costs around £4,216, and if you live in a four or five-bedroom household, you can expect to pay £9,837 for a 4.9 kWp system, according to data sourced from the MCS.

There are a lot of factors that influence the cost of solar panels, and you might end up paying more or less than what we’ve stated, depending on your situation.

Every solar panel system is custom made, at least, that’s what solar panel installers Everyone’s Energy told us. That means the price you pay is unique to you, and can be influenced by the size and shape of your roof, the type of roofing you have, how tall your house is, where your electric cables are, and much more.

For example, 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 clean your solar panels.

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.

Interview with a solar panel owner

Solar panels on the roof of a house
Tilly Casson
Homeowner
Tilly lives in Farnham, Surrey, and she has owned solar panels since November 2021

Is there anything you wish you'd known before you bought solar panels?

“First one is a smart meter. I wish I had realised I did not need to get a smart meter for the SEG* — I thought I had to, but in reality with the way the prices are and what they give you back, I wish I had my old mechanical meter.

“I believe the SEG application needs to be made a lot smoother and easier.”

The cost of adding a solar battery

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

A solar battery is a device that allows you to store 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, but it’ll take you an extra decade to break even, since batteries only last around 12 years and you’ll probably need to buy two over the course of your solar panels’ 25-30-year lifespan.

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

1-2 bedrooms

1,800 kWh

6

4 kWh

£9,216

3 bedrooms

2,700 kWh

10

8 kWh

£16,026

4+ bedrooms

4,100 kWh

14

9.5 kWh

£25,837

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 £8,000.

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

To learn about this technology in more detail, read our guide to solar battery costs, and to find out which ones would suit your home, check out our guide to the best solar batteries.

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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:

  • Parts – the materials used (solar panels, cables, inverters and so on)
  • 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: £1,900-£4,400

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 appliances in 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.

Solar panel business costs: £1,500-£3,400

30-40% of the price you pay goes towards paying your installers business expenses, such as regulatory approvals, vehicles, fuel, and scaffolding.

For the average 3.5 kWp solar installation, this comes to around £2,450.

Solar panel labour costs: £800-£2,000

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

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 could cost £3,000 more than hiring a professional, who's able to access trade pricing.

Solar panel installer Everyone’s Energy told The Eco Experts that customers should beware of installers pushing limited-time offers on solar panels. Instead, you should get quotes from five reputable installers, and be sure to check their TrustPilot reviews before signing a contract.

How much money will you save with solar panels?

Solar panels will typically cut your electricity bill by 70%, resulting in annual savings between £300 and £800 for most homes.

We base these estimates on the current electricity price, ScottishPower's 12p per kWh Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) rate (the highest rate you can get without switching energy suppliers), and solar energy data from the European Commission and MCS.

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

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

Different energy suppliers offer different rates per kilowatt hour (kWh) (a unit of measurement for how much energy your solar panels generate and your home consumes).

Without it, the average three-bedroom household in the UK will save around £379 per year on its electricity bills with a 3.5 kWp system of 10 solar panels. This goes up to roughly £537 a year when you add the £159 in payments the average household gets from the SEG.

Using a solar battery and exporting less electricity to the grid via the SEG will result in lower SEG payments, around £63 per year, since you’ll be using more solar electricity and exporting less back to the grid.

However, you’ll get the benefit of paying for less electricity from the grid, as you will be using electricity from your battery that has been charging away during the day, saving you £227 more on electricity bills than with solar panels alone.

When will you break even on solar panels?

The average household will break even in 13.08 years, according to our calculations.

With solar panels typically lasting at least another 10 years after this point, a three-bedroom household will end up with a total profit of £6,405 in energy bill savings and SEG revenues, on average.

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

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.

Are there ways to reduce the cost of solar panels?

There are several ways to reduce the cost of solar panels. 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 information on eligibility requirements, and how to apply to 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

EON solar panels, for example, 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.

What other factors can affect solar panel costs?

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

  • Panel type – some panel types, such as monocrystalline solar panels, cost more than others, because they use the latest technology and are highly efficient
  • Panel efficiency – the more sunlight a solar panel can convert into electricity per square metre (i.e. the more efficient it is) the more expensive it’ll be
  • Panel number – more solar panels mean more materials, which means a higher cost. You can limit the number of panels you need by opting for highly efficient ones

The cost estimates we’ve provided can be used as a rough guide, but ultimately each case is unique.

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

Other solar panel maintenance costs to consider

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

  • Inverter replacement
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Cleaning

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.

The cost of your first inverter will be included in the final quote for your solar panel system, but since inverters only last for 10 years, and your solar panels should last for 25-30, you’ll need to replace your inverter halfway through.

A new inverter will cost you between £500 and £1,000.

2. Maintenance and repair

Solar panels 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 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.

3. Cleaning

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.

Six things to consider before buying solar panels

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 facing (although east or west facing is sufficient) and at an angle between 10 and 60 degrees.
  2. Do you need a structural inspection of your roof? A set of 10 solar panels typically weighs 200 kilograms, 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, reducing your carbon footprint and electricity bills even further, but they will cost an additional £4,500 to install, so you will have to decide what’s going to be best for your needs
  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. 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.

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 solar suppliers, who will provide you with quotes to compare.

Solar panel costs FAQs

Solar panels are definitely worth it in the UK. Despite what you might think, solar panels work in cloudy weather, which the UK is no stranger to. The average home will save around £537 per year on their electricity bills with solar panels.

The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost, which is £7,026, 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 – unless you’ve stored electricity with a solar battery.

A 3.5 kW solar roof tile system costs £14,550, on average, almost twice as much as a solar panel system of the same size.

This is because installing solar roof tiles involves retiling your roof, adding to the installation time and driving up labour costs.

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

To find a good solar panel installer, shop around and ask about not just price, but warranties.

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

It’s also important to look at reviews from third party websites such as TrustPilot. If the company does other work besides installing solar panels, you can usually filter the reviews for the word “solar”, and find all the ones relevant to you.

Written by:
josh jackman
Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.
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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