Cheap Solar Panels

This article was updated on 9th April 2019

Solar Panels on a Roof

Solar panels are at their cheapest price since 2010, over 60% cheaper in fact, making them more affordable now than ever before.

However, with the average home still looking at a price of between £6,000 – £7,000, it can leave many people searching for ways to make the price as low as possible through solar panel grants and even DIY solar panels.

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How Much do Solar Panels Cost?

As we mentioned earlier, the average price of solar panels is siginificantly less when compared to 2010.

The total price will depend on a variety of things, including the manufacturer, the model and the size of the system. Find out the average costs for solar panels in the UK using the table below:

Solar system size Average price
1kW £1,840
2kW £3,680
3kW £5,520
4kW £6,040

Solar Panel Grants

Searching for cheap solar panels can lead many people to looking into the possibility of solar panel grants.

Until 31 March 2019, it was possible to receive 10-25 years worth of government payments for the energy being generated by solar panels through the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), helping to reduce the payback time, in addition with reduced energy bills. A possible replacement for the scheme is the Smart Export Guarantee but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Now that the FiT is closed to new applicants, free solar panel schemes, such as rent-a-roof, which saw companies pay to install solar panels on the roof a home and cover all maintenance, in return for the FiT payments, are no longer an option. In truth though, rent-a-roof hasn’t been a realistic option for getting free solar panels for a number of years as the FiT payments have declined since the scheme was first introduced.

While there aren’t currently any government payment schemes for solar PV panels, it’s possible to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments if you install a solar thermal system to produce heat for your home.

What About Cheap Second Hand Solar Cells?

Another option is to buy cheap residential solar panels second-hand, however this is not without its risks despite being able to get dramatically reduced prices. Therefore, if this is a passage you're contemplating then there are a few questions you need to ask.

Firstly, how old is the panel? Age affects the productivity of solar panels so this is worth bearing in mind. Crystalline panels get affected less as they age compared to amorphous versions, but it's worth getting a copy of the purchase date or receipt as piece of mind.

Secondly, you need the panel to be structurally sound. Cracked or non-sealed panels will have signs of moisture inside the glass or plastic panel from condensation which is a telltale sign to avoid.

You should also get information on how steady the current flow produced throughout the day is. If there are signs of fluctuating voltage or sudden drops, especially during the brightest parts of the day, then there could be internal corrosion issues. Resolving these issues are just as costly as replacement panels.

With so many factors to consider, especially considering reverting to solar power is a big decision financially and in relation to the running of your household, it's a safer option to take the warranties and guarantees that come with new solar panels.

DIY Solar Panels

In an attempt to keep costs as low as possible, getting up on the roof yourself to install solar panels can seem tempting but you’d be much better off hiring a professional. Here are just a few reasons why DIY solar panels are a bad idea:

  1. Complex and dangerous
  2. Poorly installed solar panels can cause fires
  3. Cause damage to the roof
  4. Likely to have a much shorter life than professionally installed solar panels

Are Solar Panels Worth Paying For?

Free solar panel grants might not be available at the moment but that shouldn’t put you off investing in solar energy, as there are a number of benefits still available:

  • Reduced reliance on your energy supplier will help to reduce your energy bills and see you make a return on your investment over the years.
  • Don’t forget that solar panels are at their cheapest price ever so there’s never been a better time to consider solar panels in that sense.
  • Year-round energy generation – even on cloudy days.
  • Continue to use solar energy at night when the sun has gone down by adding a solar battery.
  • Solar panels can be a long term 20-25 year investment.
  • Once installed, solar panels are fairly low maintenance, plus, you’ll be covered by a manufacturer warranty.
  • If you have an electric car (or are considering one), you can charge it using free energy generated by your solar panels.

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Maximise Value of Solar Panels

Once you’ve installed solar panels, you’ll want to get as much out of them as possible.

  • Use appliances when the sun is shining
  • Use appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, one after the other rather than at the same time

The point to remember is to use appliances at the right time. You won’t see much benefit from installing solar panels if you’re using more energy during the night, when the sun has gone down, than when the sun is out. That’s because you use the energy in real-time so your solar panels won’t be generating any energy unless there’s daylight.

The best way to completely maximise your investment in solar is by installing a solar battery. With a solar battery, in addition to the solar panels, you can use solar energy all day and all night. This is because the solar battery will store excess solar energy generated by the solar panels during the day, that would otherwise be sent to the grid.

Solar Battery Capacity Potential Cost
Tesla Powerwall 2.0 13.5 kWh £5,970
LG Chem Resu 3.3 – 9.8kWh £2,628
Sonnen Batterie Eco 2 – 16kWh £4,500
Samsung SDI 3.24kWh £3,500
Moixa Smart Battery 2-3kWh £2,950

Get Free Solar Panel Installation Quotes Today

Once you’ve found the best solar panels for your home, it’s then time to find a solar installer to get them fitted to the roof of your home. This will add to the costs of the solar panels, so you’ll want to find the best deal possible from a trustworthy solar installer.

When it comes to finding the best price for solar panel installation, we highly recommend getting quotes from multiple installers, that way you can compare the quotes and be confident that you’ve found the best price available in your area.

To make finding multiple quotes easier, complete one of our simple online forms, providing a few details about the work and we’ll match you with up to 4 fully-qualified solar installers in your area who will each provide a free quote.

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