The Complete Guide to Solar Panels for Garage Roofs Written by Melody Abeni Updated on 13 July 2023 ✔ You could fit around four to six solar panels on a standard garage roof✔ Get your garage roof's structure assessed beforehand to avoid damage✔ There’s usually no need for planning permissionSo, you're thinking about turning your garage roof into a mini power station? This humble, often overlooked space is perfect for harnessing the power of natural sunlight in a less conspicuous way – and with the cost of solar panels reducing dramatically over time, it's never been easier to implement.From understanding the logistics to weighing the pros and cons, we've got you covered in everything you need to know about putting solar panels on your garage roof – and when you're all set, fill out our web form for a free, no-obligation quote on your new solar setup. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started What's on this page? 01 Can you put solar panels on a garage roof? 02 Can garage roof solar panels power your property? 03 How much do solar panels for a garage roof cost? 04 The pros and cons of having solar panels on your garage roof 05 Is your garage suitable for solar panels? 06 Do you need planning permission to put solar panels on your garage roof? 07 FAQs Can you put solar panels on a garage roof?Solar panels work great on garage roofs. With the right placement and installation, you can maximise your space, while simultaneously shrinking your carbon footprint.Garage roofs typically bask in abundant sunlight and you can safely mount solar panels on most types of garage, whether flat or sloped, attached or detached. So, if you're contemplating a shift to solar and have a garage roof at your disposal, you're good to go.Can a garage roof support the weight of solar panels?The average weight of a standard solar panel is between 18 kg to 20 kg per panel (around 5 kg to 10 kg per square metre). Most garage roofs can usually support this added weight, but it's crucial to have an installer assess the roof's structure before you go ahead.If there’s any doubt about the roof's structural integrity, your installer should consult a professional structural engineer to make sure your solar panels can be installed safely. Can garage roof solar panels power your property?Absolutely. Although you’ve installed panels on your garage roof, they can generate electricity that can power your entire property, not just the areas linked to your garage.How many solar panels can you fit on a garage roof?In the UK, the average roof size for a medium single garage is around 2.7 m x 5.5 m.With this size, you could fit around four to six solar panels, assuming each panel is the average size of 2 m². Considering a power rating of 350 watts each, these panels could generate approximately 1,060 to 1,590 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year based on typical output.The average one to two-bedroom home uses an average annual energy output of 1,590 kWh, so your garage roof solar panels could potentially generate enough energy to meet a significant portion of your household needs.How are garage roof solar panels connected to your property?There isn't much difference between garage roof solar panels and house roof solar panels in terms of the connection process.Garage solar panels connect to your home just like house roof ones. They feed into an inverter that converts solar energy into usable power, which then goes to your fuse box and gets distributed across your property to power your appliances and lights. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started How much do solar panels for a garage roof cost?The cost of installing solar panels on your garage roof can vary, but based on our research in March 2023, the average price for a three-panel setup is £2,358. For a larger system of six panels, you'd be looking at an average cost of £4,716.Given that the typical garage roof can accommodate four to six panels, you can expect an average cost in the range of £3,000 to £5,000.Remember, these prices are averages – actual costs may vary based on factors such as the specific panels chosen, installation complexities, and any potential roof reinforcement needs. The pros and cons of having solar panels on your garage roof Pros Make the most of unused space in your garden Keep the aesthetics of your main house intact Can be easier to clean and maintain Cons Potential shade from the main property or trees The garage roof may need reinforcement May need extra wiring to connect to the main property Having solar panels on your garage roof increases your property's overall green energy production, but also provides some discretion for those concerned about the aesthetics of solar panels on their house.Also, because of their lower height compared to house roofs, maintenance, cleaning and inspection tasks will be easier and safer.On the downside, not all garage roofs are suitable for solar panels – as we mentioned earlier, they need to be structurally sound and ideally positioned to receive maximum sunlight. If your garage is in a shady spot because of the main house or surrounding trees, that might reduce the panels' efficiency.Also, installing solar panels on a garage roof could require extra wiring to connect the power generated to your house, adding another layer of complexity and potential cost to the installation process. Is your garage suitable for solar panels?Before installing solar panels on your garage roof, we’ve covered the key factors you’ll need to evaluate before charging ahead.Look at the roof's orientation. For maximum exposure to sunlight in the UK, a south-facing roof is best. Then consider the angle – 30 to 40 degrees is often ideal for harnessing the most sunlight.Assess the roof's structural strength. Can it support the additional 15-20 kg per square metre that solar panels and their mounting hardware add? If there's any doubt, it's wise to consult a structural engineer.Shade is another consideration. If trees, the house, or other obstacles cast a shadow over the garage, this will reduce panel efficiency. Ideally, the garage should have a clear, unobstructed path to the sky for the best solar gains.Your garage's distance from the house can affect the complexity and cost of installation. If it's too far, you’ll need more wiring to connect the panels to your home's electrical system, and this could increase costs.Take the time to consider all these factors to decide if your garage roof is fit for solar panels. Do you need planning permission to put solar panels on your garage roof?Installing solar panels on your garage roof in the UK rarely requires planning permission, thanks to ‘Permitted Development’ regulations around solar panels introduced in 2008.As long as your garage isn't a listed building or within a conservation area, you can install panels without permission. But, there are still important rules you must follow:Solar panels shouldn't extend more than 20 cm from the roof's edge.Any disused panels must be removed promptly.Installation should minimise changes to the building's appearance and impact on the surrounding area.Your solar array – the interconnected group of panels – shouldn't rise above the highest point of the roof (excluding the chimney).We’d strongly recommend that you stick to these guidelines for a stress-free solar installation without needing extra planning permission.Next stepsHarnessing the natural power of the sun with garage roof solar panels is a smart move, offering both environmental and financial benefits. But remember to assess suitability, consider the pros and cons, and seek professional advice.Feeling inspired and ready to put your garage roof to work? Get your free, personalised solar panel quotes by filling in our web form. FAQs Can solar panels be on a garage roof? You can certainly install solar panels on a garage roof. It's an excellent way to put the often underused space to good use.However, for optimal results, don’t forget to consider factors like your roof integrity, angle, orientation, and distance from the house before you install. Can I put solar panels on a detached garage roof? You can put solar panels on a detached garage roof. This can be a great way to maximise space and generate additional power.Just keep in mind that the distance from your main property may affect wiring complexity and costs, so it's best to consult a professional before you start planning. Can I put solar panels on an outbuilding? You can install solar panels on outbuildings like sheds, barns, or workshops, as long as they're not listed buildings or in a conservation area.Just make sure the building roof is structurally sound and receives adequate sunlight – and don’t forget about its distance to your main property. Written by: Melody Abeni Since 2020, Melody has been immersed in writing about sustainability, ESG and climate action, drawing on her operational background in financial services and green investing. Her words have found homes in corporate publications scattered across the industry and, as a certified law geek, she's keen on dissecting the role of corporate accountability in climate action.