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  • Generate free, green electricity
  • Reduce your electricity bill by up to 64%
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Can you put solar panels on your council house?

Some councils are offering to install solar panels on social houses

Solar panels can save tenants an average of £537 per year

So far, 170,237 social houses have had solar panels installed 

Solar energy has come a long way over the past decade – solar panel costs have gone down, they’re more efficient, and they’re more aesthetically pleasing.

However, solar panels are still out of budget for a lot of people. And as the energy crisis continues to increase bills, low-income and vulnerable households would significantly benefit from having solar panels on their properties. Thankfully, some councils are installing solar panels to reduce the burden of bills during this difficult time.

Find out whether you can get solar panels installed on your council house in this article.

If you’re not eligible for solar panels through a council scheme, but are looking for a good deal, fill in our short form. All you need to do is enter a few details and our trusted suppliers will get back to you with their best prices.

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Council house with solar panels

What’s on this page? 

Are you allowed to add solar panels to your council house?

This is probably not the answer you’re hoping for, but it depends entirely on which council or borough you live in.

Some councils have started installing panels on new-build properties, whilst others have offered existing tenants the chance to install panels on their homes.

This has become more common in recent years, thanks to a government initiative set up in 2017, which aimed to have around 800,000 council houses fitted with solar panels over five years.

What’s the reason behind this initiative? This scheme is part of a wider goal to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. It’s also a way for vulnerable and low-income households to cut back on their energy bills.

What are the requirements?

If you want to have solar panels on your home, bear in mind that the requirements vary from council to council. So if solar panels have piqued your interest, it’s a good idea to contact your local council to see whether you’re eligible to have some installed on your home for free.

But this isn’t a universal benefit. Each council has a different pot of money, which means there will be varying levels of support from each council.

For example, Waverley council states that it has around 450 council homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, but it doesn’t seem to give existing tenants the chance to install panels. St. Alban’s, on the other hand, recently announced a £1.48 million grant that will be used to install solar panels on social homes, as well as to improve the properties’ efficiency.

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How to get solar panels on your council house

If you find your council does offer solar panels to council houses, your property will need to be assessed to see if it’s suitable. This will involve checking:

  • The strength of the roof
  • The property’s orientation, since panels are most efficient when facing south
  • The dimensions of the roof, to assess how many panels it can hold
  • The angle of the roof, since panels are most efficient when angled between 30°-45°
  • The property’s accessibility
  • Whether there is sufficient capacity available on the local electricity grid

Some councils will also need to do a few background checks, to see whether you qualify for the support, which will likely include checking whether you are eligible for any benefits.

Are there any other options?

If your council doesn’t offer support, or you’re not eligible for it, don’t worry – there are other ways you can access cheaper solar panels.

The government’s ECO4 scheme is a good alternative. This scheme offers solar PV panels to households that meet certain requirements – but only if a biomass boiler or District Heat Network has been ruled out.

If you want to learn more about ECO4 and find out whether you’re eligible for the scheme, check out our Complete Guide to the ECO4 Scheme.

Alternatively, if your neighbours also want to get in on the solar action, you can access cheaper panels through the Solar Together scheme – a group-buying initiative that allows people to buy solar panels for cheaper.

It’s also a good idea to compare prices before settling for a solar PV system, to make sure you get a good deal. You can make this process much faster by using our easy-to-use quote tool. Once you’ve filled out your details, we’ll get you in touch with trusted installers, who can provide you with their best prices.

Solar panels on a council house

How much does it cost to have solar panels on your council house?

The cost of having solar panels installed on a council house will depend on which district you live in. While some councils provide free solar panels, others offer them at a discounted price.

For context, a set of solar panels typically cost between £4,216 and £9,837, with the average three-bedroom house usually costing around £7,026.

However, if you can get this installed through the council, it could be much cheaper.

The installation and maintenance of the panels will also be the responsibility of the landlord or council, which means you won’t have to worry about additional costs.

You can find out more about this on our Solar Panels Cost page.

Is it worth putting solar panels on your council house?

If you can afford it – or if the council can install the panels free of charge – solar panels are definitely worth it.

The main reason why local councils are offering solar panels is to help the government meet its carbon emissions targets. Unlike coal, oil, or gas, solar panels produce clean energy, helping users prevent up to 0.9 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year.

On top of this, solar panels can significantly reduce household energy bills, which will make a huge difference to low-income tenants – especially during the recent energy crisis. On average, a solar PV system can save households around £537 per year on energy bills.

How many council houses have solar panels in the UK?

In 2017, the government earmarked £1 billion to install solar panels on around 800,000 council houses by 2022.

Fast forward five years, and only 170,237 social houses have had solar panels installed to date, according to the MCS – that’s less than a quarter of the target 800,000.


Solar energy is now the cheapest energy source in the world, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Even in the northernmost reaches of the UK, it’s worth it. Having solar panels in Scotland is still extremely profitable.

Hopefully, over the course of a few decades, everyone will be able to benefit from this cheap energy source. But for now, more vulnerable or low-income households should have wider access to it – which is why some councils in the UK are installing solar panels on social houses.

Written by:
Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.
Reviewed 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. 
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