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Why get solar panels?

  • Generate free, green electricity
  • Reduce your electricity bill by up to 64%
  • Get paid for what you don't use

The complete guide to solar panels in Wales

  • There are now more than 100,000 homes in Wales with solar panels 
  • Solar homes in Wales cut their electricity bills by 74%, on average
  • Welsh households typically break even on solar panels in 13.07 years  

With the cost of solar panels dropping, homes all over Wales are going solar. More than 100,000 households in Wales now have solar panels, meaning 7.7% or Welsh households are cutting their electricity bills with renewable energy from the sun.

Since around 2010, solar panel installations have rocketed from a meagre 3 megawatts (MW) to over 1,120 MW in 2020. And the demand for them is only growing.

The Welsh government, for example, is adding solar panels to many public buildings to increase community-owned renewable energy in the region.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about solar panels in Wales, including their efficiency, costs, and government support schemes. So, if you want to get on the solar bandwagon in Wales, you’ve come to the right place. 

If you’re ready to start looking for solar panels, we can help you compare solar panel prices. Enter a few details, and our trusted suppliers will contact you for free quotes.

Roof Mounted Solar Panels in Holyhead, Wales. There is a clear blue sky in the background.

Two homes with solar panels in Holyhead, on the Isle of Anglesey

Is it worth getting solar panels in Wales?

Solar panels in Wales are worth it because Wales receives more sunlight and fewer clouds than most places in the UK.

A typical 3.5 kW solar panel system in Wales will generate 2,800 kWh, above average.

Factoring in your grid savings and the excess electricity you can sell via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), a three-bedroom home in Wales will, on average, save £614.04 per year—cutting more than 70% off your electricity bills.

You can also reduce carbon emissions by around 0.5 tonnes per year.

Solar panels also help increase a property’s attractiveness, with 69% of people telling our latest National Home Energy Survey they were likely to buy or rent a property with solar panels.

Do solar panels work in Welsh weather?

Solar panels work very well in Wales, as the country receives more sunshine than most of the UK.

Of course, the system’s efficiency may vary with the direction the panels face and the time of the year.

Even on the sunniest days, your solar panels must be installed in the right place for maximum efficiency. South-facing solar panels will be more effective yearly than north-facing installations simply because they’ll receive more sun.

Wales, being a hilly nation close to the Atlantic Ocean, can be a little hard done by when it comes to sunshine. However, according to the Met Office, some areas of Wales compare favourably with the rest of the UK.

Pembrokeshire, for example, typically receives around 1,700 hours of sunshine annually. The more hilly regions, however, tend to receive much less, on average, around 1,200 hours a year.

Tp put that into perspective, the Shetland Islands tend to receive 1,100 hours a year, while the Channel Islands tend to receive around 1,900 hours of sunshine a year. On average, May is when Wales tends to get the most sunshine in any given year, with December receiving the least.

How many people have solar panels in Wales?

According to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), more than 100,000 homes in Wales have solar panels.

Solar panels in Wales have increased in popularity year on year, with 2023 pushing the number over 100,000. According to the MCS, around 7.7% of Welsh households now benefit from solar installations.

In 2010, solar panels in Wales generated just 3 megawatts (MW) of electricity. A decade later, in 2020, Wales produced 373 times more than that — a massive 1,119 MW.

In 2021, 28% of Wales’ electricity was renewable, and the government aims for this figure to hit 70% by 2030.

There’s an appetite for green technology in Wales in general, as shown by the fact that the country was ranked the most climate-conscious part of the UK in our 2023 National Home Energy Survey.

Aerial view of a solar farm operating in the Welsh countryside. There are many solar panels over a green field with a clear blue sky in the background.

How much do solar panels cost in Wales?

Solar panels cost £7,138 on average in Wales for a 3.5 kW solar panel system, including installation.

House sizeNo. of panels neededCostTonnes of CO2 saved / yearSavings / yearYears to break even

1-2 bedrooms






3 bedrooms






4+ bedrooms






Solar panels continue to fall in price, which is great news as 69% of people ranked cost as the most important factor when evaluating which low-carbon product to purchase.

Working out the total cost of solar panels in Wales depends on a few factors. These include:

  • The size (in kW) of the system
  • Installation costs
  • The type of panels and installer you choose

Where do you want to install solar panels?

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When do you break even on solar panels in Wales?

The average home will break even on solar panels in Wales after 12.8 years.

This compares favourably to the UK average, which is 14.6 years. If you spend more time at home or work from home, your payback period could be even shorter, between 6 and 10 years (depending on energy use).

However, such estimates assume that you get a big enough solar panel system to provide enough electricity to power half of your home’s needs – for instance, a 3.5 kW array for the average three-bedroom house.

You can then sell the rest of your solar energy back to the grid, typically cutting your electricity bills by more than 70%.

What grants are there for solar panels in Wales?

The UK government offers a few different options for grants, rebates and schemes that can help reduce the cost of solar panels in Wales. These are detailed below.


ECO4 was established to support low-income households that are unable to upgrade their homes and heating systems. The ‘4’ comes from the fact that ECO4 is the fourth and final stage of the scheme.

You can get up to £10,000 towards energy-saving initiatives if your home qualifies, including solar panel systems with ECO4.

To qualify, you’ll need to meet specific criteria including:

  • A household income of up to £34,500 per year (for larger families of 4 or more children). If you are a single parent with one child, you’ll qualify for £19,900.
  • Being referred by your energy provider, local authority, or doctor
  • Receiving certain benefits

To apply to the ECO4 scheme, all you need to do is get in touch with one of the energy suppliers that are offering it.

You’ll then be invited to a telephone assessment, which involves answering questions about your income, whether you receive benefits and your property’s energy efficiency rating.

The installer will then arrange a date to visit your home and confirm whether it suits the grant.

Additionally, your home must be insulated to a certain level before you can receive solar panels, which might mean you can also get insulation provided through the scheme.

There’s also LA Flex, which is a part of ECO4 and helps local councils expand the eligibility for the scheme for those who might not meet the benefit criteria.


The Welsh government introduced the Nest scheme to offer free, impartial advice on making your home warmer and more energy efficient and, if you’re eligible, free energy efficiency improvements, including solar panels.

The Nest Scheme includes advice and support on saving energy and money in your home and funded home energy improvements. 

Every resident in Wales is eligible for advice and support, but you must meet certain conditions to qualify for funding. These include:

  • Your home must be privately owned or rented 
  • Your home has poor energy efficiency and is expensive to heat
  • You or someone you live with receives a means-tested benefit OR has a chronic respiratory, circulatory, or mental health condition and an income below certain thresholds

If you think you meet the eligibility criteria, call Nest on 0808 808 2244 or request a callback using their online form.

An advisor from Nest will ask you a few questions to see if you and your property qualify for any free home improvements. If you’re successful with your application, an assessor will visit your home to see what energy efficiency improvements they can offer.

Like every country in the UK apart from Northern Ireland, Wales benefits from the SEG.

The Smart Export Guarantee

You can make money from solar panels via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The SEG is a form of solar funding that allows you to make a small amount of money from feeding your spare electricity back into the grid.

The best rate available nationwide is 24p per kilowatt hour (kWh) from Octopus Energy. However, this does change over time, so be sure to shop around to get the best bang for your buck.

Licensed electricity suppliers (those with 150,000 customers or more) are required by law to offer an export tariff for people who choose to use the SEG.

VAT reduction

The UK government introduced 0% VAT on energy-saving materials, including solar panels, in April 2022, and this rate will last until 2027.

This should help encourage more households to adopt the technology and save on energy bills.

In 2022, the VAT on energy-efficient systems was reduced from 5% to 0%. This can reduce the cost of installing solar panels in Wales by up to £1000. 

The 0% VAT reduction will last until 2027. This should help encourage more households to adopt the technology and save on energy bills.

Next steps

If you can afford solar panels, they’re worth getting. They allow you to generate your power while slashing your carbon footprint. That’s a win-win in our books!

But remember, the number of panels you need and the overall cost depend on the energy you consume and the number and size of panels installed.

You can start finding solar panels with our handy (and free) comparison tool. Fill in a few details, and our trusted suppliers will contact you with free quotes.


Solar panels work excellently in Wales because the country receives more sunlight than most places in the UK – meaning you can get a better return on your money here.

On average, a 3.5 kW system will generate 2,800 kWh, which is above average, and ensures that the average Welsh household will break even in just 13.07 years.

You can apply for either the UK government’s ECO4 scheme, or the Welsh government’s Nest scheme. Both provide funding for energy-saving measures such as solar panels if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

Solar panels are usually considered ‘permitted development’ under planning law, with no need to apply for planning permission. There are still sometimes exceptions to this which must be observed, such as installing solar panels on a listed building.

Check with your local planning authority through your local council before installing a solar panel system, just to make sure.

Written by:
Tom Gill
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.
Reviewed by:
Roland is Editor of The Eco Experts. He is passionate about solar power, reducing plastic waste and how technology can help humanity overcome some of its greatest challenges.
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