The Complete Guide to Solar Panels in Wales Written by Tom Gill Reviewed by Charlie Clissitt Updated on 31 July 2023 ✔ There are more than 84,000 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. There are now more than 84,000 households in Wales with solar panels, meaning one in every 17 homes cuts their electricity bills with sunlight.In this guide, we'll analyse whether it's actually worth getting solar panels in Wales, what government grants are available, and how you can sell energy to the grid.If you’re ready to start looking for solar panels, we can help you compare solar panel prices. Just enter a few details and our trusted suppliers will contact you with free quotes. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started Two homes with solar panels in Holyhead, on the Isle of AngleseyWhat's on this page? 01 Are solar panels worth it in Wales? 02 Do solar panels work in Welsh weather? 03 How much do solar panels cost in Wales? 04 Are there any grants for solar panels in Wales? 05 How many people have solar panels in Wales? 06 Next steps 07 FAQs Are solar panels worth it in Wales?Solar panels in Wales are absolutely worth it, because Wales receives more sunlight – and less cloud – than most places in the UK.A typical 3.5 kW solar panel system in Wales will generate 2,800 kWh, which is 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 save £546 per year, on average – cutting 74% off your electricity bills.You can also cut down your carbon emissions by around 0.5 tonnes, which is increasingly important in this ongoing climate emergency.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.When do you break even on solar panels in Wales?The average home will break even on solar panels in Wales after 13.07 years.This compares favourably to the UK average, which is 15.1 years.We've assumed you'll get a big enough solar panel system to provide you with 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, which will typically cut your electricity bills by 74%, overall. 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.This means they typically produce more electricity every year, and break even faster than the majority of solar panel installations.Of course, even on the sunniest of days it’s important that your solar panels are installed in the right place for maximum efficiency. Throughout the year, south-facing solar panels will be more effective than north-facing installations, simply because they’ll receive more sun.Also, you could always consider getting a solar battery. A solar battery will allow you to store any excess electricity you don’t immediately need, and use it later. There is a substantial upfront cost to solar batteries – around £4,500 – but having one means you can drastically reduce your reliance on the grid.An important point to remember about solar batteries is that despite the high upfront costs, they will help you stop buying electricity from the grid. Electricity in Wales costs around 27.35p per kWh (kilowatts per hour). Without a solar battery, you’ll still need to buy electricity from the grid when the sun goes down. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started How much do solar panels cost in Wales?House sizeNo. of panels neededCostTonnes of CO2 saved / yearSavings / yearYears to break even1-2 bedrooms6£4,2830.3£32813.073 bedrooms10£7,1380.5£54613.074+ bedrooms14£9,9930.7£76513.07Solar panels cost £7,138 on average in Wales for a 3.5 kW solar panel system, including installation.Solar panels are continuing 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 how much solar panels cost in Wales depends on a few different factors. These include:The size of the systemInstallation costsThe panels and installer you choose Are there any grants for solar panels in Wales?There are two grants that can help people in Wales get solar panels — the UK government's Energy Company Obligation scheme, or ECO4, and the Nest scheme.ECO4ECO4 was setup to support low-income households who are unable to upgrade their homes and heating systems. The ‘4' comes from the fact ECO4 is the fourth and final stage of the scheme.You can get up to £14,000 towards energy-saving initiatives if your home qualifies, including solar panel systems with ECO4. To qualify, you'll need to meet specific criteria including:Having a household income less than £31,000 per yearBeing referred by your energy provider, local authority, or doctorReceiving certain benefitsTo 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's suitable for the grant.Additionally, you home must be insulated to a certain level before you'll receive solar panels, which might mean you'll also get insulation provided for you 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.NestThe 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.To qualify for Nest support, you'll need to:Own or privately rent your homeHave poor energy efficiency and high heating billsReceive a means-tested benefit or have a chronic respiratory, circulator, or mental health conditionIf you think you meet the eligibility criteria, give Nest a call on 0808 808 2244, or request a call back 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.The Smart Export GuaranteeYou 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 15p per kilowatt hour (kWh) from Scottish Power.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.Like every country in the UK apart from Northern Ireland, Wales benefits from the SEG.VAT reductionThe 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 start saving on their energy bills. How many people have solar panels in Wales?There are more than 84,000 homes with solar panels in Wales, according to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).Solar panels in Wales have increased in popularity year after year, with the first six months of 2023 seeing 7,100 solar installations — nearly three times as many as the same period in 2022.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.28% of Wales’ electricity was renewable in 2021, and the government aims for this figure to hit 70% by 2030.There's definitely 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. Next stepsTo get the most out of solar panels for your home in Wales, you’ll need to assess how much energy you use. This will give you an idea of what size solar panel system you’ll require, and how much money you could save.If you can afford solar panels, they’re absolutely worth getting – generate your own power all whilst slashing your carbon footprint. That’s a win-win in our books!You can get started on finding solar panels with our handy (and free) comparison tool. Simply fill in a few details and our trusted suppliers will get in touch with free quotes. FAQs Are solar panels worth it in Wales? 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. Can I get a grant for solar panels in Wales? 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. Do I need planning permission for solar panels in Wales? 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 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. 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.