Introduction to UK Solar PV Installation

Installing solar panels at your home allows you to cash in on the Government’s feed-in tariff scheme and reduce your energy bills by 50%.

You can earn up to £8,080 through the Government’s feed-in tariff; these earnings are tax free and index linked.

Fill in the form above to compare solar panel prices in your area or read our guide to domestic solar panels below.

In This Guide:

How Does Solar PV Work?

Solar panels require light, not heat, so work well in the UK climate, and they still produce energy in cloudy conditions. Solar PV cells turn light from the sun into DC electricity and then an inverter is used to convert this into AC electricity. The electricity is then fed into your home through a meter for you to power your appliances.

a diagram showing how solar PV panels work

The free electricity is automatically used in your property when there is demand for electricity. During periods where the supply from the solar panels exceeds demand, the spare electricity is sold back to the grid. Electricity from the grid will still be used during periods, such as night time, where energy demand exceeds the amount being generated by the solar panels.

By powering your home with free electricity from the solar panels, you should expect to save around 50% on your energy bills.

Learn more about how solar panels work

Solar Panel Installation

An increasing number of UK homeowners and businesses are installing solar panels to significantly reduce energy bills and cash in on the Government’s feed-in tariff.

Whilst the Government’s feed-in tariff has reduced over the last few years, so too has the cost of solar panels. This means solar panels still deliver a healthy return on investment. Solar energy storage is also helping to increase the return on investment.

Installation of solar panels is relatively quick; most domestic solar installations can be completed in just one day. Once you have decided to install solar panels, you will want to compare quotes from at least two or three MCS accredited installers to ensure you are getting the best deal. To qualify for the feed-in tariff, you must use an MCS accredited installer.

You can join the thousands of homeowners and business who have used The Eco Experts to compare the prices from MCS accredited installers by entering your postcode in the form at the top of this page.

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Pros and Cons of Solar


Cash in on the Government's feed-in tariff
If you install solar panels using an MCS accredited installer you will be eligible for for the feed-in tariff which pays you up to £8,080 tax free over 20 years for producing renewable energy.

Reduce energy bills
Installing solar panels will also allow you to reduce your energy bills by around 50% as you can use the electricity generated by the solar panels to power your property’s appliances free of charge.

Protect from rising energy bills
As well as reducing your energy bills, solar panels will also protect you from rising energy costs. Over the next 20 years, energy bills are expected to increase significantly so powering your home with free electricity will limit the impact rising energy costs will have on your household’s budget.

Environmentally friendly
Solar panels produce renewable energy so will help significantly reduce your environmental impact. By installing solar panels you can reduce your CO2 output by up to 40 tonnes over 25 years.


High initial cost
Although you can expect a strong return on investment from solar panels, installing them requires a large payment upfront to pay for the solar panels. Solar panels can cost between £2,500 and £9,000.

Requires space
Solar panels require adequate space on a roof that is shade free. Some properties may not have a big enough roof to install the desired size of solar panel system. That said, most homes in the UK are suitable for solar panels so this shouldn’t be an issue for most.

Read more about the pros and cons of installing solar panels

Types of Solar Panels

The main two types of solar panel are polycrystalline and monocrystalline. However, it’s worth noting that the main factor to consider when choosing your solar panels is power output. The power output of a polycrystalline panel will be virtually identical to a similar sized monocrystalline panel. See the most efficient solar panels.

Both polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels perform well in the UK climate and will take up a similar sized space on your roof. Therefore you shouldn’t worry whether your panel is polycrystalline or monocrystalline; the main consideration should be power output.

Whilst solar panel design has improved greatly to blend in with the design of roofs, some people opt for solar roof tiles, also known as solar slates, which blend seamlessly with traditional slate.

View the best solar panels and companies

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Feed-in Tariff for Solar Panels

By installing solar panels you could earn up to £8,080 tax free over 20 years through the Government’s feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme.

The feed-in tariff pays you a set rate, currently 4.39p/kWh, for the electricity generated by your solar panels regardless of whether you use the energy to power your property. This is called The Generation Tariff.

Your energy supplier will also pay you a set rate, currently 4.85p/kWh, for all the electricity you produce but do not use. This spare electricity is automatically fed back into the grid so your energy supplier pays you for this too.

Whilst the feed-in tariff has reduced over the last few year, the cost of solar panels has fallen significantly in the same time period, meaning you can still expect a healthy return on investment.

Learn more about the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme or if you live in Scotland, see our guide to government solar grants in Scotland.

Costs of Installing Solar Panels

As mentioned in the section above, the cost of solar panels has fallen significantly over the last few years. The cost of the solar panels you have installed will depend on their make, quality and size. To compare prices of installers operating in your area, enter your postcode in the box below.

The table below gives you an indication of typical solar panel costs:

Typical System Size
Approximate Roof Space
Estimated cost
Estimated earnings over 20 years
8 sq m
14 sq m
£3,000 - £4,000
21 sq m
£4,000 - 6,000
28 sq m
£6,000 - £8,000

Learn more about solar panel costs

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Solar Earnings and Return on Investment

By installing solar panels you will receive regular tax-free cash payments over 20 years from the feed-in tariff. You will also significantly reduce your energy bills by powering your home with free electricity.

The amount you will make depends on the size of solar panel system you have installed. Below is a table showing typical earnings over 20 years for different sized solar panels.

System size
Estimated earnings year 1
Earnings over 20 years

Learn more about solar panel investment

Domestic Solar Panels

Most homes in the UK are suitable for solar panels; around 10 - 12 million homes are classified as ‘very suitable’ yet only around 500,000 have them currently. If you have a South, West, or East facing roof that is angled between 10 and 60 degrees, solar panels are likely to generate a significant amount of electricity.

Most homes don’t need to get planning permission for solar panels unless it’s a listed building or located in a conservation area. It’s always worth checking with your installer if you are unsure.

The Government’s feed-in tariff scheme makes installing solar panels a lucrative investment, with homeowners able to earn up to £8,080 tax free for producing solar power. The average domestic property will require a solar panel sized between 1kW and 4kW, which typically costs between £2,500 and £9,000.

You can use our solar calculator to discover how much your home would make by installing solar panels.

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Solar for Businesses

Solar panels can be a wise investment for businesses; they allow them to power their office with free energy, reduce their energy bills, cash in on the Government’s feed-in tariff and show their customers that they are environmentally friendly.

Whilst the feed-in tariff has reduced over the last few years, the cost of solar panels has also reduced. This means businesses can still expect a healthy return on investment by installing solar panels at their premises.

Large scale solar projects provide the opportunity to make significant earnings for the owners and power many thousands of homes. Typical commercial solar projects are located in open fields or on top of large buildings, such as warehouses or factories.

Our commercial solar guide provides an in depth look at commercial solar panels and the project management needed for the scheme to be a success.

Learn more about commercial solar

Additional Information

The Eco Experts will support you throughout your journey with solar panels. Our site has a number of in-depth guides and you can also fill out the form at the top of the page to compare the price of solar panels in your area.

To understand how many solar panels you will need, read our guide. You can also see prices for individual solar panels sizes:

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