Solar Panel Costs in the UK: 2024 Prices

Cost of solar panels in the UK

  • A 4kW solar panel system is suitable for the average home in the UK and costs around £9,000 – £10,000
  • The estimated average yearly savings you can expect with a solar panel system range from £515 to £1,175
  • If you install a 4kW solar panel system, you will break even on your investment in about 12 years. Since solar panels have a lifespan of about 25 years, you will be able to enjoy free energy for more than half their lifetime. 

Are you considering harnessing the power of the sun and installing solar panels in the UK? If so, you’re not alone, as more than 1.3 million homes are taking advantage of this renewable energy source. 

Depending on the size of solar panels, they can cost between £5,000 to £17,000, with savings in the range of £515 and £1,175 per year. Many people are intrigued by the idea of solar energy but need to figure out the cost of solar panels and whether they're a viable option for them, which can be complicated.

But don’t worry, because we’ve put together this comprehensive solar panel price guide. We aim to provide you with all the required knowledge to act confidently when purchasing your solar system. Our guide will walk you through the different factors contributing to the cost of solar panels in the UK. But we don’t stop there. At Solar Guide, we excel in offering a service that goes beyond just providing information.

We also connect you with reputable solar panel installation companies that can provide you with up to 4 tailored quotes. This saves you hours of tedious research and by comparing these quotes, you can ensure that you’re receiving the best deal for your specific needs. All our quotes are completely free and without any obligation to commit to an installation service, so just click the button below to get started.

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How much are solar panels in the UK in 2024?

So, how much do solar panels cost? The most common type of system is the 4kW solar system, which costs between £9,000 and £10,000. It can save the average household about £770 per year, provided that they have a decent number of sunlight hours and are installed on a south-facing roof.

In 2024, the price of solar panels in the UK can vary depending on several factors. Let’s break it down per kilowatt (kW) system to provide a clear understanding of the price range. Please note that the following prices are estimates that may vary based on the specific circumstances of your installation.

Here’s an overview of the average costs for solar panels in the UK in 2024:

House Size Number of Solar Panels (350W) Roof Space Price Range Annual Electricity Bill Savings
1-2 bedrooms 5-8 10-16m² £5,000 – £8,000 £515
2-3 bedrooms 10-13 16-26m² £9,000 – £12,000 £770
4-5 bedrooms 13-16 26-32m² £12,000 – £13,000 £1,175
6+ bedrooms 26-32 52 – 64m² £13,000 – £17,000 £1,175+

These estimates are approximations and can vary depending on factors like solar panel type and quality, installation complexity, extra necessary equipment (e.g. solar inverters and solar batteries), and property location.

If you want to find out exactly how much you can expect to spend on a solar panel installation for your home, you will want to consult a solar panel installer who can offer you tailored advice. However, finding a professional you can trust can be a difficult task that can take hours or even days of research and price comparisons.

Luckily, our service provides up to 4 completely free, non-binding quotes from our network of vetted installers. All you have to do is click the button below and fill out our easy, 30-second form. Then sit back and relax while the installers reach out to you with quotes for their services.

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When will solar panels pay for themselves?

If you’re wondering: “When can I expect my solar panels to pay for themselves?”, the answer depends on several elements, including the system’s upfront cost, electricity usage, local energy rates, and potential incentives.

Solar Panel System Size Savings After 5 Years Savings After 10 Years Savings After 15 Years Savings After 20 Years Savings After 25 Years
3kW £2,575 £5,150 £7,725 £10,300 £12,875
4kW £3,850 £7,700 £11,600 £15,400 £19,300
6kW £5,900 £11,800 £17,600 £23,500 £29,400

Solar panels cost savings

With these figures in mind, you can also calculate how long it will take for your solar panels to pay for themselves. For system sizes ranging from 3kW to 6kW, the return on investment period is about 11 to 14 years.

Solar Panel System Size Estimated Annual Savings Break-even Point
3kW £515 14 years
4kW £770 12 years
6kW £1,175 11 years

Solar panels break even points

Once your solar panels reach the break-even point, the financial benefits continue to accumulate. As your panels generate electricity beyond this point, you can enjoy years of free or significantly reduced electricity bills, providing substantial savings over the system’s lifetime.

So, now is the time to embrace solar energy and reap its rewards. But for that, you’ll need to find a solar panel installer you can trust. Fortunately, we can help you find a reliable installer without dedicating days to researching companies and comparing their prices. Our service can make this process as easy as possible by providing you with multiple quotes from reliable installers in your area in no time.

All you have to do is fill out a 30-second form and you can get up to 4 free, non-binding quotes. Start your journey towards energy independence, environmental sustainability, and financial savings today by clicking the button below.

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Which factors influence the cost of solar panels in the UK?

In the UK, solar panel prices depend on several factors. Considering all these aspects before purchasing solar panels is a good idea. Let’s explore the key factors that influence the cost of solar panels in the UK and how they can impact your overall investment.

What factors affect the cost of solar panels

Type and size of solar panels

There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. These differ in how efficient and long-lasting they are, as well as in cost. 

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, as they generate the most electricity per metre squared. However, this also makes them the most expensive option on the market. 

The exact cost of monocrystalline solar panels will vary depending on the manufacturer and the size of the solar panels. As a rule of thumb, monocrystalline solar panels have their highest price point at about  £1 – £1.50 per Watt

Polycrystalline solar panels, on the other hand, have a lower efficiency rating than monocrystalline panels. That said, they are easier to produce, leading to them having a lower price point. 

This solar panel type is generally priced at around 90p per Watt. Exactly how much you'll end up paying for polycrystalline solar panels depends on the manufacturer and the power output of your panels. 

Thin-film solar panels are the least efficient option when it comes to a solar system, but they do come at a very attractive price. As the cheapest solar panel option on the market, thin-film solar panels cost somewhere between 40 and 80p per Watt

When choosing a solar panel type, be sure to consider both the cost of the solar panels, as well as their efficiency, and think of which option would be most beneficial for you in the long run.

Quality and brand

The quality and brand of solar panels can impact their price. Well-established and reputable brands often offer higher-quality panels with better warranties, which may come at a higher cost. That said, investing in trusted brands ensures reliability and longevity for your solar panel system. 

You can consult the table below for an indication of what some of the best solar panel brands in the UK are: 

Solar Panel Manufacturer Average Cost (4kW System) Warranty Period
SunPower £6,600 – £7,500 25 years
Project Solar £5,000 - £8,000 Lifetime (99.9 years)
REC Group £5,000 – £7,000 25 years
REA Solar £5,000 – £8,000 25 years
Sharp £5,500 – £7,000 12 – 25 years 

Installation complexity

The complexity of the installation process can influence the overall cost. Factors such as the type of roof (e.g., flat or pitched), accessibility, and electrical work required can affect the installation cost. This is also why it is important to know whether your roof is suitable for solar panels.

In general, solar panel installation costs in the UK are somewhere around £300 - £500 per person per day. Generally, two installers will work together to install your solar panel system, and depending on its complexity, they can take up to 3 days to complete the installation. This means that you can expect to spend anywhere between £600 and £3,000 on labour costs alone.

Mounting systems and additional equipment

Mounting systems, such as roof racks or ground mounts, are necessary to install solar panels securely. The type and quality of the mounting system can affect the cost, which ranges from £600 to £2,500. Additionally, inverters and other components like wiring, circuit breakers, and energy storage systems (if desired) also contribute to the overall expenses.

Energy needs and consumption

The amount of energy you need and consume plays a significant role in determining the size and cost of your solar panel system. For households with low energy consumption, a 3kW solar panel system is suitable. This system size costs around £7,000 and £8,000

Households with greater energy needs, for instance large homes with 4 or more bedrooms, will need a solar panel system with a size between 6kW and 12kW. This will also lead to higher costs, as they can range from £12,000 to £17,000. So, make sure to check your energy consumption requirements and consult a professional to determine what size solar system you need. This way, you avoid overspending on your solar panels.

Regional factors and incentives

Costs can vary regionally due to labour rates and market competition differences. Additionally, various incentives and schemes, such as feed-in tariffs or government grants, can affect the overall cost of solar panels. These incentives promote renewable energy adoption and can help offset some of the installation costs.

One of the incentives in place in the UK today that can help you alleviate the financial burden of installing solar panels is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). You can find out more about what it is and how it can lower the cost of solar panels below.

Make use of SEG payments to reduce solar panel costs

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a crucial policy that can help you make money from your excess solar panel energy by pumping it back into the energy grid. This is where having a high-power system can be handy, as you’ll be able to make more money from the solar energy you export.

Under the SEG, energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers are obliged to offer an export tariff to owners of any of the eligible systems, which includes homes and businesses. Since the companies decide what the tariff will amount to, different energy suppliers provide different rates. On average, you can earn about 5.5p per kWh.

Household Size System Size (kW) Electricity Generated Per Year (kWh) Average Energy Consumption (kWh) Income Earned With SEG Total Annual Savings With SEG Savings After 25 Years With SEG
1 bedroom 2-3kW 1,700 – 2,550kWh 1,800 kWh N/A N/A N/A
2 bedrooms 3-4kW 2,550 – 3,400kWh 1,800 – 2,700kWh £38.5 – £41.25 £550 – £810 £13,875 – £20,250
3-4 bedrooms 5-6kW 4,250 – 5,100kWh 2,700 – 4,100kWh £55 – £85 £855 – £1,230 £21,375 – £30,750
5+ bedrooms 6-12kW 5,100 – 10,200kWh 4,100 – 8,200kWh £55 – £110 £1,230 – £2,500 £30,750 – £61,500

To apply for the SEG, you need a supplier that is part of the scheme and then you can begin earning from your solar panels as long as you are exporting energy.

Various other incentives and solar panel grants are available in the UK to encourage the adoption of solar energy. These include the Home Energy Scotland programme, the Home Upgrade Grant, and the Energy Company Obligation. To take advantage of these incentives, staying up to date with the latest government programs and guidelines is crucial.

While the availability and specific details of solar panel grants may change, it is clear that incentives exist to help make solar panel installations more accessible and affordable. By exploring these opportunities, you can reduce the upfront cost and accelerate the return on investment for your solar panel system.

Your savings greatly depend on how much you pay for your solar panels. To get the most accurate price for solar panels and find the best installer for the job on your home, Solar Guide is the ideal solution. By filling out a simple 30-second form, we can provide you with up to 4 quotes from professional installers in your area. This way, you avoid any of the stress of researching and contacting installers yourself and you can find the best deal for your home in no time. Simply click below to get started now!

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Are there hidden solar panel costs?

While solar panels are known for their long-term financial and environmental benefits, it is crucial to be aware of any additional expenses that may arise once you install them.

Maintenance

Solar panels generally require minimal maintenance, but cleaning solar panels is important to ensure optimal performance. This can be done by professionals, which may incur some costs. Typically, annual solar panel maintenance costs are about £100 – £200.

While these costs can add up, they will not set you back a whole lot and it's worth investing in regular maintenance to make sure that your solar panels can function optimally for years to come. 

Inverter replacement

Inverters convert the DC electricity generated by the panels into usable AC electricity. Inverters have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Eventually, you may need to replace the inverter, which is an additional cost to consider down the line. An inverter replacement will set you back around £500 to £1,500, but it is a necessary expense to ensure the efficiency of your solar panel system. 

Monitoring systems

Although monitoring systems are optional, they can offer insightful information and aid in spotting potential problems before they arise. The cost of monitoring systems can vary depending on their features and complexity and it ranges from £500 to £1,500. They can be a great way to keep track of your system's efficiency as well, allowing you to adjust your panels to ensure optimal performance.

Insurance (optional)

This will protect your investment in case of any unexpected damage or incidents. Location and coverage options affect insurance costs, but as an estimate, you can expect to pay somewhere between £100 – £150 per year for solar panel insurance. While these expenses can add up, solar panel insurance is worth considering to avoid mounting repair costs. 

System upgrades

Upgrading your solar panel system with more efficient panels can provide improved performance, but will come with associated costs. A new solar panel system can cost anywhere from £5,000 to £17,000 depending on the size of your system. 

You would of course also need to factor in installation costs and any other upgrades, so make sure to carefully consider your budget. That said, making adjustments to your solar panel system to ensure heightened efficiency can bring significant savings in the long run.

Breakdown of the typical solar panel installation cost

Solar panel installation costs can vary depending on several factors, including the system’s size, additional equipment required, and labour costs.

Solar panels also come with many important costs for peripheral products that help in monitoring performance or maintaining the system. To better understand the average installation costs in the UK, we've provided a cost breakdown in the table below.

Cost Breakdown Cost Ranges Average Costs
Solar Panels £5,000 – £17,000 £13,500
Mounting Systems and Racking £600 – £2,500 £1,550
Inverters £500 to £1,500 £1,000
Electrical Work £600 – £3,000 £1,800
Solar Battery (Optional) £2,500 – £10,000 £7,500
Monitoring Systems (Optional) £500 – £1,500 £1,000
Total Installation Cost (Estimated Range) £9,700 – £38,000 or more £26,350 

The solar panels themselves can range from £2,000 to £11,000, depending on the type, size, and efficiency. Mounting systems and racking, which secure the panels to your roof or ground, typically cost between £600 and £2,500. Inverters, which convert the direct current (DC) generated by the panels into usable alternating current (AC), range from £1,000 to £3,000.

Electrical work is another essential aspect of the installation process, ensuring the safe connection of the solar panels to your electrical system. The costs for electrical work typically range from £600 to £3,000. Additionally, the cost of monitoring devices, which let you monitor the solar panel efficiency, may be anywhere between £500 and £1,500.

How do solar batteries influence the solar panel system costs?

Energy storage systems, such as solar batteries, allow you to store excess energy generated by your solar panels for later use. They typically cost between £2,500 to £10,000, depending on the storage capacity they have. You can find a rundown of solar battery prices per storage capacity below:

Battery Capacity (kWh) Estimated Cost
3 £2,500 - £3,500
4 £3,500 - £4,000
5 £4,000 - £5,000
6 £5,000 - £7,500
12 £9,500 - £10,000

In addition to a solar battery, make sure to consider that the total cost of your new solar panel installation can vary significantly based on your energy needs, location, and specific requirements. To determine the best option for your home, getting quotes from many installers and discussing your options with them is essential.

With all these things to keep track of, a reliable solar panel installer can become an essential component. While finding one can take days of strenuous research if done alone, Solar Guide can help simplify your search. Just fill in our simple, 30-second form, and we will connect you with up to 4 of the best solar panel installers in your area. Our service is completely free and you are not obliged to accept any of the offers you are given. To get started, simply click the button below.

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FAQ

  • Are the costs of solar panels increasing in the UK?

Solar panels have become more expensive over the last few years, so it is quite likely that costs will continue to fluctuate. That said, while there can be some uncertainty about future prices, it might be worth considering investing in solar panels sooner rather than later, to avoid mounting costs.

  • What is the average cost of installing solar panels in the UK?

Based on current market trends, the average cost of solar panels typically ranges from £5,000 to £10,000 for a 2 – 4 kW system. The standard cost of installing solar panels in the UK can vary based on system size, the type of solar panels, and installation complexity.

  • Is it still worth installing solar panels in the UK?

Yes, installing solar panels in the UK is worth considering. They provide several benefits including reduced electricity bills, lower carbon emissions, and earnings from excess energy generation. What is more, solar panels pay for themselves in the range of 11 to 14 years on average.

  • How much will 10 solar panels cost in the UK?

The cost of 10 solar panels in the UK can vary based on several factors, including the type of panels and the brand you choose. Depending on the size of the solar panels, it will cost between £9,000 and £12,000 to install 10 solar panels, not taking into account labour costs.

  • How much does a solar panel cost per kilowatt?

Exactly how much a solar panel costs per kilowatt depends on the type of solar panel you're talking about. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive, and their cost per kW is somewhere around £1,000 – £1,500 whereas polycrystalline solar panels cost about £900 per kW. When it comes to thin-film solar panels, these cost between £400 and £800 per kW.

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