Solar Panel Quotes: 7 Things to Consider Written by Beth Howell Reviewed by Charlie Clissitt Updated on 26 January 2023 ✔ You should compare at least three quotes before settling on one✔ A solar panel quote will project how much money you could save✔ Solar quotes should outline whether the panels are covered by warrantyGoing solar can benefit homeowners in a lot of different ways, and the technology's popularity has shot up in popularity since the energy crisis began, resulting in the cost of solar panels dropping.In 2022, there were 138,000 solar panel installations accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). And during the first six months of 2023, solar installations grew by 67%.If you’re considering installing solar panels onto your property, you might have come across your first challenge – getting a solar panel quote. It can be difficult to know where to start with this, but we’re here to show you everything you need to know.If you already feel confident about getting a solar panel quote, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the ball rolling. All you need to do is fill in this quick form with a few details, and our expert installers will be in touch with free quotes for you to compare. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started What’s on this page? 01 Things to ask before getting a solar panel quote 02 What will your solar panel quote include? 03 Summary Things to ask before getting a solar panel quote1. What’s your annual electricity usage?2. Is your electricity usage going to increase soon?3. What type of panels will you need?4. Is your roof suitable?5. Why are you buying solar panels?6. Is the installer MCS certified?7. Are you moving house soon?1. What’s your annual electricity usage?Before getting a solar panel quote, you’ll need to check how much electricity your home consumes. This way, you’ll have a rough idea of how many panels you’ll need to power your property.This is super easy to do – you just need to take a look at your electricity consumption on your household bills, which will be measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).If you don’t have an annual summary or the past 12 months’ bills, just contact your supplier and they’ll let you know your yearly total. For context, a three-bedroom house typically uses 2,700 kWh of electricity per year, according to Ofgem.The more electricity your property consumes, the more solar panels you’ll need, which will ramp up the price. You can find out how much this will set you back by visiting our Solar Panels Cost page.2. Is your electricity usage going to increase soon?Think your electricity consumption will increase in the near future? It’s worth factoring this in. We’re not talking about a small change, like needing to do an extra wash a week or putting the kettle on a few more times, but much bigger changes.For example, if you’re considering switching to an electric heating system – such as an electric combi boiler or an air source heat pump – or you’re going to install an electric vehicle charging point, your electricity bills will increase dramatically.You’ll need to consider this before getting a solar panel quote, as it’ll make sure they can generate enough power to cover your energy needs.3. What type of panels will you need?There are three main types of solar panels that all suit homeowners in different ways: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film panels.We’ve outlined the key differences between these panels below:Monocrystalline solar panels – Although they tend to be the more expensive option, monocrystalline solar cells are one of the most popular panels, thanks to their high efficiency rating of 15%-24%. They also tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than other types of solar panelsPolycrystalline solar panels – Polycrystalline cells are usually more affordable than monocrystalline panels. They also tend to be more eco-friendly than other panels, as the manufacturing process avoids wasting precious materials. However, the average efficiency rating on these panels is much lower, averaging between 13–16%Thin film solar panels – These flexible solar sheets are created by placing several thin layers of photovoltaic material on top of each other. Although they’re handier for small or mobile properties, the efficiency rating is much lower – usually between 7% to 13%4. Is your roof suitable?Before you get a solar panel quote, it’s a good idea to check whether your roof is actually suitable for solar panels, which involves assessing a number of factors.As well as checking whether there’s actually enough space on your roof, you’ll also need to make sure the panels on your roof are tilted vertically at an angle between 30° and 45°. If your roof isn’t at this angle, don’t worry – you can always pop your solar panels on tilted brackets.By doing this, your solar panels will be exposed to more sunlight, which will lead to greater electricity production.You’ll also need to make sure the solar panels are facing southward, southeast, or southwest.You can find out more about this on our page: What Is The Best Angle And Direction For Solar Panels?And since solar panels are pretty heavy pieces of kit, it’s a good idea to check if your roof is in good nick before installation – if not, they could cause some damage. But don’t worry, this is generally only the case for very old properties, and your installer will check this before they start fitting the solar PV system.5. Why are you buying solar panels?Are you getting solar panels to shrink your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, or go off-grid? All of these reasons can alter the number of panels you need and the type of panels you go for.For example, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, you might be more tempted to opt for polycrystalline solar panels, since they’re the more eco-friendly cell. However, if you’re looking to either reduce your energy bills or go off-grid, you might be better off with a monocrystalline solar panel, as they have higher efficiency ratings.If you’re buying solar panels simply to make money by saving on your energy bills, you’ll have to wait an average of 15.1 years to break even – but that still leaves you with at least 10 years of profit.And if you're looking to increase your home's saleability, good news: 69% of people are likely or very likely to buy or rent a property with solar panels, according to our latest National Home Energy Survey.6. Is the installer MCS certified?The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an industry-led quality assurance initiative, which ensures products and installation companies maintain a certain level of quality and reliability for customers.So if you’re comparing solar panel quotes, it’s important to check that the installer and manufacturer are MCS certified, which will prove they can provide you with top-quality service.Unlike the Gas Safe Register, MCS accreditation is not a legal requirement for solar panel installers. However, customers will require a certificate if they are applying for financial funding through an incentive scheme, or if they want to receive Smart Export Guarantee payments.7. Are you moving house soon?Although it might seem a little obvious, you don’t want to go ahead with a solar panel installation only to have to move house a few years later.It’s not the end of the world if you need to move house after getting solar panels (you can always get an expert to remove them from the roof and install them on the new property) but it’ll cost you.Installation costs – including labour and other business costs, such as regulatory approvals, vehicles and their fuel, and scaffolding – will set you back £1,900, on average.But even if you are planning on moving at some point in the near future, it could still be worth getting a set of solar panels on your roof, as they can actually increase your property’s value by 2%.Ready to start comparing solar panel quotes? Try our free, custom-built tool to get the ball rolling. All you have to do is 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. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started What will your solar panel quote include?The basicsThe quote should start off by taking your geographical location into consideration, which will impact the number of daylight hours you'll get in a year and how much electricity your system will produce.A list of the items in the systemIf you’re getting a new solar panel system installed, you’re going to want to know which items are actually being installed. The quote will list items such as:Solar panelsSolar invertersBracketsExtra charges, e.g. scaffolding or tilted framesAny warranties includedSolar panel quotes should also outline whether the solar panels – and any additional parts – are covered by warranty.Warranties vary from supplier to supplier, but you'll typically find that the panels themselves will be covered for 10-25 years. This performance warranty will typically guarantee 90% production at 10 years and 80% at 25 years.Solar panel manufacturing companyThe quote will outline which brand of solar panels they'll install – it’s worth doing your research on the best solar panels before going ahead with the quote.Number of panels The quote should also tell you the number of panels that will be needed, as this will impact the size of the installation. This will also include the total area the solar PV system will take up.Estimated annual power outputYour quote should estimate how much power your system is likely to produce annually, as well as outlining how much this will fluctuate throughout the year.Projected energy savingsSolar panel quotes typically include an estimate of how much money you could save on your energy bills. This projection will be based on your annual electricity consumption, so bear in mind that this could change if you start to consume more electricity after the solar panels are installed.You should also bear in mind that you can save more money through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). However, you won’t find this information on a solar panel quote, as it’s run through energy companies rather than manufacturers or installers.The total cost of your system Most importantly, your solar panel quote will estimate the overall cost of your solar panel system. This will include a breakdown of both material and labour costs, so you have a better idea of where your money is going.When it comes to buying solar panels, most homeowners have one thing at the forefront of their minds: the price. That’s why we recommend comparing at least three quotes before committing to one – that way, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal for your home. SummarySo there you have it – everything you need to know about getting a solar panel quote. Now that you know how to prepare for it and what to expect, hopefully it won’t feel so daunting.And whenever you are ready to receive solar panel quotes, we can help you with that too.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. Written by: Beth Howell Content Manager 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: Charlie Clissitt Editor 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.