Solar Panel Costs in the UK 2024

Last updated: April 19, 2024

What is the average cost of a new solar panel system installation in the UK? Here we explain the average costs and breakdown of how to get the best deal on a new system.

In this guide, we’ll explain the major factors that impact the final price of a domestic solar panel installation in the UK.

This will include average costs, common install scenarios and how you can estimate the buyback period (or break-even point) for your specific circumstances.

Important note: the break even point for solar panels is now at it’s lowest ever, meaning it takes between 11 and 18 years for the average home to break even.

Let’s begin…

Solar Panel Costs UK Key Points:

  • The cost range for a 350-watt solar panel in the United Kingdom is typically between £600 and £800.
  • The most widely installed solar panel system is a 3.5-kilowatt peak (kWp) setup, which usually consists of 12 solar panels (at 350 W each) and costs between £5,000 and £10,000.
  • Installing solar panels could lead to annual savings of up to £465 on energy bills, based on the current Energy Price Guarantee, as per the Energy Saving Trust.
  • Additionally, by utilizing the Smart Export Guarantee, you could earn an average of £120 by selling any surplus energy generated.

How much do solar panels cost in the UK?

Please bear in mind that a complete solar panel installation does not simply include the costs of the solar panels themselves, but also includes the following:

Short answer: the average UK cost of a new solar install sits at around £5,300.

How much is a single solar panel in the UK?

The average cost of a solar panel in the UK based on a 350-watt panel is currently between £600 and £800.

However, please bear in mind that this is the price for a single solar panel and does not include the professional installation or any other extras e.g. pigeon proofing.

Solar Panel Installation Calculation Scenarios:

Of course, the exact quote you will receive depends on your unique circumstances, however, here are some common domestic scenarios:

3.5 kWp Solar System Costs (Most Common Domestic Install Size)

A 3.5 kWp solar system is one of the most common solar PV arrays installed on UK domestic properties since it will typically meet the energy demands of a three-bedroom home with 2 to 3 residents.

So how much would it cost on average?

A 3.5 kWp solar panel system would typically require around 10 solar panels (at 350 W each) and cost between £5,000 and £10,000.

*kWp stands for ‘kilowatt peak’. This is the amount of power that a solar panel or array will produce per hour in prime conditions.

5 kW Solar System Costs

If you have a larger home with around four residents you will need to install a larger PV array.

See also  Solar Water Heating Panels Prices UK

In some cases, a 5 kWp solar PV array will be sufficient to meet those energy demands.

A 5 kWp solar system will typically require around 15 solar panels at 350W each and cost between £8,000 to £12,000.

Cost of Solar Panels per kW System in the UK

System SizeEstimated CostsNumber of PanelsRoof SpaceAnnual Electricity Bill SavingsSavings after 25 Years with SEG
3.5kWp panel system£5,500 – £6,000~1022 m²£160~£5,993
4kWp panel system£6,500 – £9,000~11-1229 m²£270~£9,240
5kWp panel system£8,500 – £10,000~1232 m²£320~£11,088
6kWp panel system£9,500 – £12,000~1543 m²£430~£14,533

*The figures in this table are calculated based on 350W solar panels and the national average household energy consumption (2022). The table makes a broad estimate and figures may vary according to the size, type, and quality of the solar panel system, as well as export tariffs.

How much are solar batteries?

If you want to add a solar battery i.e. solar battery storage onto your installation this will cost extra.

On average a new solar battery will cost between £3,000 and £9,000 depending on the size, type and brand of the battery.

For example, one of the most popular solar battery brands is GivEnergy that offers there batteries at around £5,000 for a battery that will provide capacity for the average three-bedroom house.

Remember a solar battery offers you some major advantages, it allows you to store the energy your solar panel system uses so that you can utilise the energy in the evening and during non-sunlight hours.

How much can you save & earn with solar panels?

A new solar panel system can save you around half of your electricity bill on average and the financial gains to be made are even more impressive with the new Energy Price Cap taking effect.

For example, the average household with a 3.5 kWp solar system could save you as much as £514 a year on your energy bills (based on the Energy Price Guarantee).

If you also use a solar battery, you could save even more, in fact, without one around 50% is returned back to the National Grid.

So by using a solar battery you could save as much as an extra £230 on average or sell the energy back to the grid using the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

See also  Best 4kW Solar PV System & Installation UK

The SEG allows you to sell the energy you generate back to the grid and depending on the supplier you choose you could sell it for as much as 12p for every kilowatt hour (kWh).

To conclude on average households save around £465 a year for the average-sized home, but you could also sell excess energy via the SEG and earn an average of £120.

What is the break-even point of solar panels in the UK?

There’s a common rebuttal to having domestic solar panels installed – you never break even on their upfront costs.

But this isn’t true.

In fact, for the average UK three-bedroom household, the average break-even point is now between 11 and 18 years – that’s lower than it’s ever been before.

It’s also important to remember that the average solar panel lasts for around 25 years, meaning that for 15 years of that time, you can now expect your solar panels to generate a profit.

What impacts the price of solar panels?

There are a variety of factors that can impact the price of solar panels, although we have provided some common installation scenarios above with average costs, the following can also impact the final costs:

  • Efficiency of the solar panels being installed.
  • The type of solar panel you have installed and fitted.
  • The number of panels you have installed.

Efficiency of the Solar Panels

The energy efficiency of a solar panel refers to how much of the sunlight hitting it is converted to electricity.

For example, if a solar panel is 22% efficient, that means that 22% of the sunlight hitting its surface will be converted to electricity.

In general the more efficient a solar panel, the more you can expect to pay.

Type of Solar Panels

There are two major types of solar panels available, these are monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.

Monocrystalline cells are on average more efficient than polycrystalline cells, and as a result are more costly.

Number of Solar Panels

The more number of panels you have installed, the higher the cost of the installation.

The exact number you require is largely determined by your annual energy consumption, however, you can reduce the number by choosing high-efficiency solar panels too.

Get a Free Quote for your New Solar System

If you are considering getting solar panels installed, we advise you to seek a quote from at least three solar panel installation companies.

See also  Solar Panel Grants & Funding in the UK

To make things extra convenient, we have developed a solar quote tool that will provide you with an estimate.

All you have to do is answer a few questions about your property and it will provide a new solar quote with a range of different options.

FAQ: Solar Panel Costs UK

1. How much does it typically cost to install solar panels in the UK?

Answer: The average cost of installing solar panels in the UK ranges from £4,000 to £6,000 for a standard 3-4kWp system. This price can vary depending on the size of the system, the type of panels used, and the complexity of the installation.

2. Are there any government grants available for solar panel installation in the UK?

Answer: As of now, there are no direct government grants for solar panel installations for most homeowners. However, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme allows solar panel owners to earn money by selling surplus energy back to the grid.

3. How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

Answer: The payback period for solar panels in the UK typically ranges from 9 to 15 years, depending on factors like initial installation costs, electricity usage, and how much energy you sell back to the grid.

4. Can solar panels increase the value of my home?

Answer: Yes, solar panels can increase the value of your home by making it more energy-efficient and attractive to prospective buyers who are interested in reducing their energy costs.

5. What warranties come with solar panels?

Answer: Most solar panels come with a performance warranty that guarantees 80-90% performance after 20-25 years and a product warranty from the manufacturer covering defects for 10-15 years.

6. Do solar panel prices vary by region in the UK?

Answer: Generally, solar panel costs are consistent across the UK, but installation costs can vary slightly due to local labour rates and other regional factors.

7. What are the maintenance costs for solar panels?

Answer: Solar panels require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional checks by a professional to ensure all components are functioning correctly should suffice. This typically costs around £100-£150 per year.

8. Are there different types of solar panels, and do they affect cost?

Answer: Yes, there are mainly three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Each has different efficiencies and costs, with monocrystalline being the most efficient and usually the most expensive.

9. How does shading affect solar panel performance?

Answer: Shading can significantly impact the efficiency of solar panels. It’s important to install them in a location with minimal shading from trees, buildings, or other structures, especially during peak sunlight hours.

10. What is the environmental impact of installing solar panels?

Answer: Solar panels significantly reduce carbon emissions by generating renewable energy and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. They are considered a key technology in combating climate change.