How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels?

This article was updated in September 2017


Home with solar panels on and sunflowers growing

In 2017 solar panels cost around £6,000 for the average sized residential home, this is about 70% cheaper compared to what they were in 2010. It means solar panels are now more affordable than ever. And that’s great news for homeowners.

Even though there’s never been a better time to invest in solar energy, solar panels are a considered purchase. It’s not like nipping out to the shop to buy a new pair of shoes.

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Although prices have dropped a lot, systems still cost several thousands of pounds. So you really do need to do your home work. And that means getting at least three solar PV quotes from MCS solar installers to ensure you get the best possible price and the right number of solar panels to meet your requirements.

Solar panel costs will depend on the size of the system you have installed, the installer fitting them, and the brand and quality of the panels themselves. For example, black monocrystalline silicon solar panels (the black ones) are slightly more expensive compared to polycrystalline silicon solar panels, which are characterised by their marbled blue appearance.

It’s very important to get the right number of panels for your home. The number of occupants in your household will influence the size of the system required.

What are some of the solar panel brands and manufacturers?

The price of a solar PV system will depend on its size (kWp/kilowatt peak) and quality. The best solar panels are the ones that produce the highest percentage of usable electricity, in other words they have the highest conversion percentage rate.

As with most things, you get what you pay for. So ideally choose a brand which has a good reputation and is known for reliability and quality of build.

The best solar panels will depend on your requirements, not least the size of your roof and which way it is facing. Houses with smaller roofs need panels that produce the most power per square foot. If that’s the case, monocrystalline solar panels, although a bit more expensive than monocrystalline panels, would be the best option.

When it comes to choosing a manufacturer, stick to the popular brands. Well known solar panel manufacturers include:

At the end of the day, there isn’t really much to tell the big brands apart because all solar panels are made from much the same components and materials.

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How much do solar panels cost?

As we briefly mentioned, installation costs have dropped. A lot. In fact, solar panel prices are 70% cheaper compared to 2010 prices. For most people though it’s not how much they are willing to pay for a solar PV system, but rather how much they can afford to pay. Now that systems are cheaper, solar panels have become more affordable, meaning more people can invest. Solar panels have become the most accessible of all renewable energy technologies.

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty; how much do solar panels cost?

A 2kWp system, typically 8 panels, starts at around £3,800.

Prices for a larger 4kWp system, which offers the best return on your money through the feed-in tariff, start at £5,800. in 2010 a system of this size would be in the region of £12,500.

More than 500,000 UK households have rooftop solar panels

Solar panels are easily the most popular type of renewable energy for UK homeowners, with solar panels installed in more than half a million UK homes at the time of writing. Uptake has been bolstered by the solar subsidy scheme, which pays solar energy adopters  a tax free income for 20 years. The more energy you produce the more you get paid.

Is it still possible to make money from solar panels?

Even after all the government cut backs, you will eventually not only recoup your investment, but also begin to profit.

See how much you can earn with our solar profit calculator

You get paid by applying for the feed-in tariff scheme (FiTs) so that you get paid for the electricity your solar panels generate. The feed-in tariff rate is currently 4.14p/kWh as of April 2017.

Payments are tax-free, index-linked and last for 20 years. Furthermore, any electricity you produce but don’t use can be sold back to the National Grid. At the time of writing, you’ll currently earn an extra 5.03p/kWh for doing this.

Use our solar PV calculator to estimate your annual income from FiTs and overall investment payback. It’s also worth remembering that solar panels have to be fitted by an MCS solar installer to be eligible for the financial benefits of the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme. The product needs to be MCS accredited too otherwise you’ll lose out on lucrative FiT payments. Solar Guide can put you in touch with approved and rated solar professionals to provide you with free no obligation solar panel quotes.

Energy bills are expected to double by 2020, taking the annual cost of an average household bill to over £2,500. Take control of your energy bills by making the switch to solar energy. Read more about the costs and savings of solar panels and the benefits associated with the popular renewable energy.

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