Solar Panel Costs 2019

DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which is due to end on 31st March 2019


A solar panel system for a three-bedroom house costs around £6,000 in the UK.

Solar panels could reduce your monthly energy bill by nearly 50%.

Fill out the form above to get bespoke solar panel quotes from professional installers in your area.



You don’t have to live in sunny California to use solar panels. Over 840,000 homes in the UK are solar powered, and the cost of solar panels is currently at its lowest point since 2010.

Here’s everything you need to know about solar panel prices in the UK.

What's in this guide to solar panel costs?

Head straight to a specific section by clicking the links below.



How much do solar panels cost?

The typical cost of a 3-4kWp* solar panel system ranges from £5,000 to £8,000 (including installation costs), depending on the efficiency and quality of the solar panels. Between 2015 and 2018, Which? concluded that the average cost of a 3.6-4kWp solar panel system in the UK is £6,672.

*The power of a photovoltaic (PV) cell is measured in kilowatt peak (kWp), which is how much energy it can generate at peak performance during the summer.

Here is a breakdown of the solar panel costs:

Solar Panel Size
Cost
Number of Solar Panels
Roof Space
Annual Electricity Output
Suitable For
1kW
£1,500 to £3,000
4
8 sq. metres
850 kWh
1 adult
2kW
£3,000 to £5,000
8
14 sq. metres
1,700 kWh
2 adults
3kW
£5,000 to £6,000
12
21 sq. metres
2,550 kWh
Family of 3
4kW
£6,000 to £8,000
16
28 sq. metres
3,400 kWh
Family of 4+


Price estimates last updated in February 2019.

Cost of solar panels for a three-bedroom house: A family of three or more will need a 3-4kWp solar panel system, which will provide them with around 3,000 kWh of annual electricity. This system consists of approximately 12-16 panels, and requires up to 28 square metres of roof space.

Cost of solar panels for small households: If you’re in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom property, a 1-2kWp solar panel system will produce more than enough electricity (up to 1,700 kWh per year). This system consists of 4-8 panels, and needs up to 14 square metres of roof space.

The majority of solar panels are 250 watts, costing around £400-£500 per panel.

How much will solar panels cost me?

Did you know you can fill in just one form to get tailored solar panel quotes for your home, all for free?

You tell us what your personal requirements are. And our suppliers will then contact you with a free solar panel installation quote for you to compare and decide for yourself. To use our quick quote-finder, just answer the question below.

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Solar panel calculator

Let’s ask the machine!

Our solar panel cost calculator gives you an estimate of how much it costs to install solar panels, the amount of roof space they'll need, and how much electricity they'll produce in a year. Just enter the number of solar panels you're interested in installing on your roof.

Not sure how many solar panels you’ll need? According to Smarter Business, the average UK household uses about 3,100 kWh of electricity each year, which equates to between 12 and 16 panels. Most solar panels come in one standard size; about 1.6m x 0.9m (and around 5cm thick).


*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. For a tailored quote, use our quote-finder tool, and talk directly to qualified solar panel installers near you.


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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 number of solar panels you want, how efficient they are, and what type you go for.

Panel type

Most solar panels are made from silicon, which comes in two different forms; monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline cells are smaller, more durable, and more efficient than polycrystalline cells, so they come at a higher price.

Panel efficiency

The ‘efficiency’ of a solar panel refers to how much sunlight it can convert into electricity, represented as a percentage. For example, if a solar panel has 19% efficiency, this means it can convert 19% of its received sunlight into energy for your home. Currently, the best solar panels on the market are nearly 23% efficient, but the average is between 15% and 18%.

Number of panels

This one’s quite self-explanatory; the larger your solar PV system, the more panels you’ll be buying, and the more you’ll pay. As indicated in the table above, a 1 kWp system consists of only four panels, while a 4 kWp system consists of 16 panels.

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.

Want to find out what solar panels we recommend installing? Check out our guide to the best solar panels.


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How much could you save with solar panels?

Solar panels are a great way to reduce your energy bills, because you’re creating your own power instead of buying it from the National Grid.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a standard 4 kWp system can save you between £85 and £220 per year. What’s more, 84% of the 390 UK homeowners we surveyed in January 2018 said that their solar panels are saving them up to 50% on their monthly energy bills.

Energy bill savings from solar panels ultimately depend on two things: how much electricity your solar panels produce, and how much of this electricity you use. The more you can get out of your solar power, the less you’ll rely on the National Grid.

For example, solar power works only in the daytime (surprise surprise), which means you won’t get much use out of your solar panels if you’re never at home in the day. This is where a solar battery comes in useful (see the section below for more information).


What about the Feed-in Tariff?

DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which is due to end on 31st March 2019

The Feed-in Tariff is a UK Government initiative that pays households for every kWh (kilowatt hour) of solar energy they produce. The initiative is due to come to an end on 31st March 2019. Homeowners can also sell any unused solar energy to the National Grid under the Export Tariff, but this is also concluding on 31st March 2019.

Don’t worry; if you’re already part of the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you will continue to receive payments until your contract expires. There are currently no government plans to replace the Feed-in Tariff, but we will update this page if and when the situation changes.

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Other solar panel costs

There are four additional costs you should consider when installing solar panels.

Solar power inverter

The solar power 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 can last up to 25 or 30 years, unfortunately, the inverter isn’t quite so hardy – it will generally need replacing after 10 or 15 years, the cost of which will set you back between £800 and £1,000.

Solar battery

You don’t have to buy a solar battery, but it does mean that none of your unused solar energy goes to waste. With a solar battery, you can store up all that solar power and use it when you need it – so when the sun goes down, your renewable energy party can carry on. Almost 10,000 homes in the UK have a solar battery, and a typical battery will cost between £1,200 and £6,000 (depending on capacity, lifespan, battery material, etc.)

Cleaning

The rainy weather in the UK isn’t all bad. In drier countries, dust and dirt builds up on solar panels and needs washing off regularly, but frequent rainfall keeps the UK’s solar panels looking fresh. You can also buy self-cleaning solar panels (covered with a hydrophobic coating) which stops water droplets from sticking to the surface. Of course, your solar panels will require a clean eventually, and you can either pay around £100 for the service or attempt it yourself.

Repair

Solar panels are reliable pieces of technology that aren’t prone to breaking, so finding the money to pay for repairs isn’t something you need to worry about too much (as long as you’ve bought high quality solar panels).

If your solar panels do break, it’s often caused by faults within the hardware from the manufacturing process. You may find, however, that your solar panel’s glass becomes cracked or broken over time from extreme weather, or that a pesky squirrel in your garden has eaten its way through a wire causing it to become loose or disconnected.

Most problems are relatively easy to fix, but you should never attempt to carry out repairs yourself. Always hire a professional solar panel repair company to do it for you. Depending on the extent of the damage to your solar panel, you should find that small breakages can be fixed from as little as £80, while large repairs will cost you up to £1,500.

Click on the orange button below to get a personalised solar panel quote for your home.

How Much Would Solar Panels Cost
for Your Home?


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Things to consider before buying solar panels

Before buying solar panels, make sure:

  1. You have enough money to cover the upfront cost. Solar panels that generate enough electricity for a nuclear family can cost up to £8,000 to install, and buying them on finance will still require a deposit.

  2. Your roof is suitable for solar panels. Solar panels should be installed on a south-facing roof (although an east or west-facing roof is still sufficient), at an angle between 10 and 60 degrees. Your roof shouldn't be covered in shade from trees or buildings.

  3. You have carried out a structural inspection of your roof. Have your roof surveyed to make sure there is no damage that could compromise your solar panel installation, such as water damage. Any problems should be fixed before you buy solar panels.

  4. Your roof tiles are in good condition. Solar panels last for around 25 to 30 years, so if your roof tiles are already over 15 years old, it might be worth getting them replaced before you buy solar panels. It will be harder to repair/replace roof tiles once solar panels have been installed.


  5. You've considered what size solar panel system is right for you. Make sure you buy solar panels that cover your household's energy needs. After all, you don't want to install solar panels that produce far too much electricity, or worse still, not enough. Check how much electricity you use by looking at your energy bills.

  6. You've thought about whether to install a solar battery at the same time. Solar batteries enable you to become more self-sufficient by storing the electricity your solar panels generate. It's much more difficult to retrofit a solar battery to solar panels which have already been installed.

  7. You've compared solar panels. Don't just buy the first solar panels you find. Get like-for-like quotes from at least 3 installers to make sure you get the best deal on your solar panels.

  8. You use an MCS accredited installer. Your solar panels must be installed by an MCS accredited installer to qualify for the Feed-in Tariff. If you don't use an MCS installer, you won't receive money from the Government for the electricity your solar panels generate.

buying solar panels



Finding an installer

Once you start looking for an installer, make sure they adhere to the standards of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This is a quality assurance scheme within the renewable energy industry, supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

We can help you find a solar panel installer; simply click the bright orange button below, fill in your details, and our professional suppliers will get back to you with their best prices. Be sure to get at least three quotes before you make a decision.

If you’d like to know more about the industry’s top suppliers and solar panel models, check out our guide to the best solar panel manufacturers.

We’ve also got some splendid pages about how solar panels work, as well as the pros and cons of solar panels.



Next steps

To summarise, if you live in a three-bedroom house, then a sufficient (i.e. 3-4kWp) solar panel system will cost between £5,000 and £8,000. It’s a sizeable investment, but once it’s on your roof, you’ll see your energy bills drop (by up to 50%) and your self-satisfaction levels shoot up.

What now? We can help you get your solar panel quotes in three easy steps.

  1. Fill in our form, so we know exactly what your requirements are
  2. Be matched with accredited solar panel installers near you and talk directly to them
  3. Compare the quotes and see how much time and money you save

Just click below to get your free quotes for local solar panel costs.


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