Is ‘Solar Together’ Worth It? Written by Tom Gill Updated on 26 January 2023 Not everyone is able to pay the upfront cost of a solar panel system, but thankfully there are options available.One option is to join a group-buying scheme like Solar Together, which thousands of people across the UK have used.We’ve investigated whether Solar Together is worth it, asking if it’s better than buying your own solar panels, how you can get involved in the scheme, and what the pros and cons are — plus we’ve explored examples of successful Solar Together schemes.If you want to skip Solar Together and get down to finding your own solar panel system, we can help. Fill in a few details on our easy-to-navigate form and we’ll put you in touch with our trusted suppliers. They’ll get back to you with solar panel 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 What is Solar Together? 02 How much does it cost to be a part of Solar Together? 03 Is Solar Together worth it? 04 How do you get involved with Solar Together? 05 The pros and cons of Solar Together 06 Examples of successful Solar Together schemes 07 Next steps What is Solar Together?Solar Together is a group-buying scheme that helps people install a solar panel system at a reduced cost – typically 30-35% less than the average market price.Homeowners, small or medium-sized businesses, and tenants (with a landlord’s permission) can apply for Solar Together as a group. Installers then bid in an auction to win permission to install the solar panel systems, which are fully owned by the homeowner, landlord, or business.You can also get solar batteries for a reduced cost in some cases, which’ll let you store electricity your solar panel system generates during the day for use at night. How much does it cost to be part of Solar Together?It’s completely free to register with Solar Together, and you have zero obligation to go ahead with a solar panel installation.The only costs involved with Solar Together are the purchase of the solar panel system and its installation.You’ll have an average of five weeks after registration to accept a solar panel installation, and if you decide not to go ahead you can always register again for free.Choosing to get solar panels installed will mean paying a deposit, which you can claim back if there are any issues that prevent the solar panels from being installed. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started Is Solar Together worth it?Yes, because with Solar Together you can get access to solar panel systems at a cheaper price than if you’d bought a system outside of a group-buying scheme.Solar Together is cheaper because multiple households and/or businesses are involved in the purchase, and because solar panel installers bid lower than they’d usually charge to win the right to install the systems.These companies get access to more installations, so they typically make more money overall than if they were just installing a single solar panel system.It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Is it better just to get your own solar panels?Solar Together is simply a group-buying scheme that lowers the cost of purchasing solar panels — you’ll still fully own the system.The scheme isn’t the same as the Rent-a-Roof initiative, which leases the entirety or part of your roof to energy companies so they can profit from any excess electricity generated by the solar panels.All the electricity you’ll generate with a solar panel system purchased through Solar Together is yours to do with as you see fit. How do you get involved with Solar Together?Solar Together isn’t a nationwide scheme — you’ll instead need to check whether one is operating in your region. Solar Together Essex, for example, helps Essex residents purchase solar panels at a reduced price.You can then register for your regional Solar Together scheme, even if it’s not currently available. You’ll be notified as soon as it’s back again, as long as you’ve already signed up. Are there any eligibility requirements?Eligibility for Solar Together has some regional variations, but it’s mostly uniform across the UK. You can register for Solar Together if you’re a homeowner, a tenant with a landlord’s permission to install solar panels, or the owner of a small or medium business.If your landlord needs convincing, you can let them know that more and more Brits want to rent or buy property with solar panels. Our National Home Energy Survey found that 69% of respondents said they were likely to buy or rent a home with solar panels, up from 65% last year. Do I need planning permission?You generally won’t need planning permission for solar panels with Solar Together.You might need to apply for permission if you live in a listed building or a conservation area. In this case, you can download an application form for Listed Building Consent from your local authority. The pros and cons of Solar TogetherAdvantagesDisadvantagesYou can get a solar panel system at lower costIt can take longer to find an installerSolar panels generate free, clean electricityThe scheme isn’t always available — you’ll typically have a short window in which to applyYou can profit from selling excess electricity via the SEGYour energy bills will be reducedYou’ll fully own the solar panel system Examples of successful Solar Together schemesSolar Together Norwich has installed solar panels on hundreds of homes, adding around 4,500 kW of clean electricity to the city.That’s equivalent to having roughly 1,280 homes with 3.5 kW solar panel systems installed.And in Essex, Solar Together has received over 1,000 applications since it launched in February 2021.We spoke with a solar panel owner who bought their system and storage battery through Solar Together and you can read the full interview here. Next stepsSolar Together is a fantastic way to get a solar panel system installed at a lower price than if you purchased one without the scheme — at least when it’s available.Ideally, Solar Together would always be an option, and the fact it’s not points to a failure on the government’s part.It’d be a great way to convince more people to adopt solar power, and in the middle of a climate crisis, this is more important than ever.If you’d rather just purchase a solar panel system outright without Solar Together, we can help. Fill in our simple form here and we’ll put you in touch with our trusted suppliers. Just enter a few details and they’ll back to you with bespoke solar panel quotes for you to compare. Written by: Tom Gill Writer Tom joined The Eco Experts over a year ago and has since covered the carbon footprint of the Roman Empire, profiled the world’s largest solar farms, and investigated what a 100% renewable UK would look like. Tom has a particular interest in the global energy market and how it works, including the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the future of hydrogen, and Cornwall's growing lithium industry.