The future of humanity stems from the installation of solar panels in commercial and residential properties.
Indeed, many houses have already installed rooftop solar panels and are enjoying free energy. With fossil fuels running out, it seems fair to convert your energy bills.
The Smart Export Guarantee launched in 2020 promises compensation for exporting renewable energy. Therefore, about 970,000 households in the UK have opted to change to renewable energy.
Over the years the solar panel prices have dropped due to the increase in production. Yet, everyone finds it hard to understand the solar panel cost and how it can affect your energy bill. Moreover, planning will ensure you manage the cost of solar panels without worrying.
For domestic solar panels, the cost in the UK dropped 50% and has become manageable.
Do you want to know more about the cost of installing solar panels? Read on to find out!
- 1 Average Cost of Solar Panels
- 2 Solar Panel System Cost Factors
- 3 How Much Do They Cost?
- 4 Can You Earn Money from Installing Them?
- 5 Smart Export Guarantee – Is it Worth it?
- 6 The UK Cost of Solar Power – How Can it Benefit You?
- 7 Find Out How Many Panels Your House Requires
- 8 Additional Cost
- 9 Carbon Footprint Minimisation
- 10 Solar Panels – The COVID 19 Effect
- 11 Solar Battery Importance
- 12 Solar Thermal System Costs
- 13 Benefits of Solar Panels
- 14 Summing Up
Average Cost of Solar Panels
The solar PV system advances every day and has become a common aspect for most UK households. Therefore, you will find a solar panel system in most homes. Even then, people tend to find the solar panel installation cost to be high.
Installing solar panels on your roof will require planning to initiate the energy bills saving aspect. The right company will help you, in the long run, to make money and afford the outlay.
Solar panels cost £1800 in the UK, depending on your location and installer. Furthermore, a domestic solar panel will have a 4kWp system which can have a cost £6100 as well.
Such solar PV systems can produce 250 Wp, which means you will require four solar PV systems to produce 1kWp.
In turn, making the 4 kWp requirement of 16 panels put together in an array.
This solar panel cost is an average accumulated by the households owning a solar panel system. Therefore, the cost to install solar panels will differ exponentially. Numerous factors influence the cost of getting solar panels installed.
Before getting into the estimated cost of solar PV, you can indulge in the factors that influence said pricing.
Solar Panel System Cost Factors
When you harness solar energy, you save this planet and influence others to do the same. However, it is not easy to go about installing solar panels without proper planning.
Before you get solar panels installed, you need to understand everything it entails. Indeed, the number of panels will affect the price, but other aspects would help you put savings on your electricity. Similarly, the solar energy suppliers will also factor into the type of solar price you get offered.
Solar energy does not leave any carbon footprint and offers bill savings too. Before investing in solar power, take a look at these factors that influence the energy bills and the cost of installation:
What makes a solar panel great? Indeed, their efficiency will translate to its cost.
For example, you would want to buy solar panels that work rather than ornamenting your roof tiles with chunky, solar cells. Therefore, the best solar panels would be the ones that produce usable electricity.
This proportion of energy will make its way to the solar battery storage and minimize your need to produce more electricity.
Its efficiency will depend on the manufacturing quality and installation area. In turn, influencing the price of solar based on the direction the panels are facing.
Having a small roof will minimize the annual electricity generation. However, if you install smaller solar panels with excellent efficiency, you can curb electricity bills.
Even then, you need to consider the per square meter cost and determine if you can afford it.
The best roof space and solar panels will help you achieve an average of 15% to 18% efficiency in today’s world.
Roof’s Pitch Angle
Depending on the contractors you hire, the pitch angle will differ. It will influence the cost of solar electricity because of the generation capacity. For example, some believe that the rooftop pitch angle will not influence power generation.
At the same time, some contractors believe that 10o to 60o would be the optimum angle. Indeed, you can get the best ROI from these angles.
Type of Panels
Usually, solar panels have silicon in them. Furthermore, it comes in different forms like:
The monocrystalline ones are extremely efficient, durable and the solar cells are smaller in size. However, the polycrystalline offers almost the same features but at a lower cost without the smallness guarantee. Due to this, the monocrystalline panels cost more than the latter.
Number of Panels Used
As mentioned earlier, the efficiency and price of your solar panels will depend on the size.
If you buy more solar panels, the cost of installation will also rise. Moreover, a 1kWp translates to four panels in its solar system size. It means that you will require 16 panels to power your house with 4kWp.
Similarly, depending on the roof size, location and usability, you might need 12 panels to generate 4kWp as well.
If you want to save up on the cost of installation, you need to buy high-efficiency solar panels. But do you want enough roof space to fit 16 panels? Then, it will be cost-effective to invest in larger, cheaper, and less efficient panels.
You will get the same electricity production, though!
Access to Sunlight in Your Roof Space
The installation costs are also influenced by the latitude of your roof space and the duration of sunlight it receives. Due to this, the functionality of your solar will be affected, in turn influencing the energy generation.
For example, in the North, you will experience shorter days during winter. However, the summers will experience more daylight hours.
Depending on your northern or southern location, the cost of installing solar energy will differ. Along with that, the efficiency will also diminish in the PV panels. Hence, the sun will be a factor to consider when installing a solar panel system.
Here you can calculate the power output from solar and compare it with the normal on-grid price. If the light energy seems efficient enough, you can install a PV system.
South-Facing Roof Dilemma
What is the best way to generate maximum electricity? Your PV array needs to be facing due south. It will bring in excess energy that you can send back to the grid and earn compensation from it.
Would it be impossible to install a solar PV system facing south?
In that case, you can generate electricity from a west-facing installation too. However, the south direction is great for producing the best solar energy and gaining ROI.
These factors influence the cost of buying solar panels. Therefore, you need to consider these when the contractors excavate your location and prep it for installation.
How Much Do They Cost?
According to the latest government data, solar panels have an average household cost of £5,940. Furthermore, if you have three residents in your home, the solar PV system needs to be 3kWp and requires a 20m2 space. It will amount to 12 to 13 solar PV panels during installation.
As mentioned earlier, the energy bills will only be efficient if the power of your panels is higher and taken care of.
With the popularity of saving energy bills using renewable energy, the average solar panel prices have diminished and become cheaper. For example, in 2014, the cost of a solar PV of 3.8kW was £7,900.
It means that the price has fallen 25% in the last seven years!
Ideally, the energy generation capacity of a single solar panel is 250W. Therefore, to make a 1kWp, you will require four panels.
As mentioned earlier, a 12 panel PV system will be ideal for all energy suppliers to create a 3kWp.
On average, the costs of each solar panel will be anywhere between £400 to £500. Hence, the minimal cost will be £4800.
Can You Earn Money from Installing Them?
The Feed-in-Tariff or FIT was a scheme introduced by the UK government that brought huge ROI on solar panel prices. However, this Feed-in-Tariff initiative stopped in March 2019.
Under this system, you can generate excess electricity, feed it back into the grid, and save on electricity bills.
The replacement for the Feed-in-Tariff is the Smart Export Guarantee SEG. This SEG introduced a system where people generating energy from PV systems could earn money.
Unlike the Feed-in-Tariff, here, the solar panels have to be less than 5MW for you to earn more.
Indeed, the Smart Export Guarantee SEG works differently than the Feed-in-Tariff FIT because the energy supplier will set personalized tariffs.
The SEG payments will help minimize your energy bills, but they will also add value to your property.
It means that the essence of your home will maximize, and the property value will increase too! With the Smart Export Guarantee, you can benefit from installing a solar PV system – both in terms of cost-effectiveness and real estate.
The export tariff rates offered by the government are reasonable and similar to the ones set by these suppliers. Therefore, you need not worry about the export tariff!
The UK government has made it this way that solar power generation is well compensated.
Smart Export Guarantee – Is it Worth it?
The rate offered is 5.6p per kWh or 5.5p per kWh based on the company’s tariff policy. However, you need not sell your excess energy to the company you installed the solar panels from. Due to this, the competition is set to increase on how much electricity someone can buy.
Here are some examples of utilizing the SEG system during electricity generation to save money:
- South-East England will have £240 with SEG as opposed to £120.
- Scotland can earn £195 and not £110.
Indeed, having the SEG in your electricity quota will gain you a huge ROI for the season!
The UK Cost of Solar Power – How Can it Benefit You?
You will get enormous annual savings if you get solar panels from installers registered in England.
Do you want to buy solar to go green, or do you want to cut costs while you are at it?
A monocrystalline solar panel will be the best choice from your energy supplier. Furthermore, you can explore numerous solar installation processes and system sizes that would eventually save you a lot of money on energy bills.
The list provided below is an estimated indicator that does not represent the actual power output for your home in particular. (considered in the higher range)
- A 4-kilowatt peak is the standard system size.
- The number of panels required will be 16.
- Then, the total cost will be £8,000 with an annual energy production of 3800kWh.
- In turn, suggesting that the estimated bill savings would be £270
So what does this mean? The curated cost of solar panels is still on the higher side! Even so, people find it beneficial because of the annual bill savings they can harness.
The Breakdown of the Solar Panels Cost
Do you want to understand more about this data? Here is an example to help you with the solar panel context:
- Assumption- 3 bedroom building or property
- Family – 3 residents
- System – 4kWp
- Panels – 16 individual
- Cost – £8,000 (£500 multiplied by 16)
- Space – 25m2
- Energy – 3800kWh
- Savings – £270 and 0.65 tonnes of C02
So, in a three-bedroom apartment with three residents, you will need a solar panel system with a capacity of 4kWp. It means that the number of solar panels will be 16. Furthermore, this amount will need a space of 25m2 to be functional.
The cost will be £8,000 in total, and the energy generation is 3800kWh. Based on previous electricity generation, you will save up to £270 annually for almost ten years. Therefore, totaling £2,700 of total electricity cost savings, you would not have gotten without solar installation.
You will be getting one-third of the amount spent on the solar PV system.
The Price Division
There is another aspect that factors into the solar power cost even with the Smart Export Guarantee:
- 80% of the amount spent will be the actual solar panel cost.
- 20% will be the installation and labor cost.
These will depend on the roof’s condition, the type of solar PV system, and accessibility.
Average Cost Price Drop
There are numerous benefits of solar energy, due to which the prices dropped, and popularity grew. A survey alludes to the minimized cost of utilizing free solar energy.
For example, a 4kWp solar panel system used to £9000 or more in 2015. However, the average price of solar panels in 2018 was £6600. In March 2019, the cost per kW remained consistent since 2017! Even then, the best solar system will cost more or less depending on the location and solar battery capacity.
Find Out How Many Panels Your House Requires
As mentioned numerous times before, solar panels will have an average cost depending on the roof size, requirements, and location. Moreover, the battery storage in your solar will also determine the capacity in which the electricity is generated. Nonetheless, the different sizes of rooftops will require variable solar panels.
If you have three or more residents, then a solar panel system with a capacity of 3kWp or 4kWp will be ideal. Therefore the annual electricity will be more than 3000kWh and the space required will be 20m2 to 25m2.
For two residents, you will require a 1kWp or a 2kWp system. It comes with three or six solar panels. Therefore, the cost will be accordingly, and the space required is 5m2 to 9.8m2.
The 20% of extra costs in installing a solar panel array on the roof maximizes the cost variables:
- Inverter (£1,000 – £15,000
- Solar battery storage (£1,000 – £6,000)
- Solar panel repair (£120 – £500 for every panel)
- Cleaning and maintenance (£10 per panel)
- Scaffolding (£40 for every day)
- Water tank installation (£4,000)
- Roof preparation or repair (£100 – £1,000)
Even with these factors, the average cost of solar panels should be £1,562 per kilowatt peak.
Carbon Footprint Minimisation
Indeed, solar panel installation will cut down on electric costs, but it can also reduce the carbon footprint. Therefore, your home will have a sustainable essence.
As mentioned earlier, a 4kWp system can save up to 0.65 tonnes of C02 generation. It means that a standard residential solar PV system will prevent the use of fossil fuel and the pumping of carbon dioxide from it.
If you follow the Energy Saving Trust, you will understand that the 3700kWh generation saves 1 tonne of CO2 in the south of England!
Solar Panels – The COVID 19 Effect
Even though the pandemic did not affect the solar PV generation or installation, it did influence the price.
COVID has slowed down the price drops in solar panels, and the costs have significantly become stable. However, the customers did not change, and neither was there an increase in the installation procedures. Instead, the country saw a brief halt in the significant price drops for the last few years.
Even then, government data suggests a £288 cheaper 4kW panel installation process than average. Yet, this came to a steady halt after March!
The industry is coming back to its previous pace and is set to flourish. A September 2020 report showed that there was a 4,073 installation of solar panels in the country. Moreover, this is exponentially more than the 1,800 installations in March 2019.
Solar Battery Importance
Did you know that you could save 50% of the solar electricity just by installing a battery?
People in the UK use electricity during the mornings and evenings. It means that the peak time of electricity consumption is during the rising or setting of the sun. Furthermore, the panels’ solar energy generation will be heightened during midday.
It means that you will not use electricity when the solar panel is at its peak. Indeed, a solar battery will ensure that this unsynced electricity does not go to waste.
In turn, helping you save up on a lot of money that you can get ROI on. So, what does a solar battery do?
These batteries will save the energy produced by solar panels during the day when not in use. Moreover, if you store this excess power, you can utilize it when you require electricity, even during the night.
You might be wondering if this energy is free, why do you need to store it?
Indeed, a battery will save up your energy bills and help you receive money from the SEG system. A solar battery will have a storage system depending on the type. Usually, it houses a 9.6kWh.
Using this will help you generate electricity to power your house for the entire night. For example, in central England, you can use 30% extra energy, which reduces costs by £600 or so!
Solar Thermal System Costs
Usually, solar thermal is beneficial for industrial buildings that require solar-powered thermal energy to function.
The installation cost would be anywhere between £5,000 to £6,000 depending on the meter square and VAT. Moreover, getting hot water will save up costs during the summer months. Here you can use 60% solar power to create much electricity to supply hot water to buildings.
As of January 2019, there has been a 20.66p tariff per kWh of solar thermal energy.
Benefits of Solar Panels
By installing panels, there are numerous benefits that you can harness. Indeed, you can save up on numerous electricity costs, but also save the planet!
Solar power is renewable and an evergreen source of energy. Hence, utilizing it as an electricity source will be beneficial for the environment. Even while using panels, solar power is contributing to the betterment of the environment.
Solar-powered energy used in panels does not require fuel. Therefore, it will only require access to the sun to generate electricity for the entire day.
This technology can be utilized during cloudy days as well!
If you keep your panel system cleaned regularly, then the overall maintenance cost will diminish. Moreover, once installed, it will not require any movement.
It remains solid and static in its place, making it a piece of low-maintenance equipment. However, it would be best to keep it dust-free, debris-free, and the glass panel clean. By doing this every few months, you will ensure that the panels last up to 10 years.
The system generates usable electricity that can replace the main gridline. Therefore, you will not use any of the main power from the government.
The extent of energy cost reduction will depend on the panels’ efficiency, size, and sun alignment. Due to the new SEG initiatives by the UK government, you can now reduce energy bills and earn money. You can do this by exporting the excess power from your battery to the National Grid!
Find Out How Much Electricity Solar Panels Produce
The PV capacity of the UK’s solar generation was an annual 12.8 GW. It represents 3.4% of the annual electricity generation for the country. Moreover, the energy capacity will differ from panel to panel. These numbers are an average of the country’s generation.
By 2019, the UK installed 979,983 systems which translates to a 13,123 MW of solar capacity. Therefore, it was an increase of 323 MW in just a year!
Considerations Before Installing a Solar Panel
- The suitability of your roof
- Solar panel system’s size
- Structural inspection
- Solar battery installation
- Condition of your roof tiles
- Comparison of numerous solar panels
If you have considered all of these things, then moving forward in the selection process will be ideal. Therefore, the contractors you choose will help you inspect your roof and give you a quote. It will be based on the type and size of the solar panels.
Did you find out how much it will cost to install a PV system off the national grid? Utilizing free solar energy will bring in huge ROI even if the Feed-in-Tariff FIT is no longer valid.
The government has introduced the SEG initiative to pay you. It will depend on the annual electricity per kw generation and submission to the national grid. Furthermore, it would be best to get informed about the system size before you install solar panels in your home. Doing so will help you analyze the average cost better.
Usually, a 4kWp capacity will require 16 solar panels to work together. Therefore, the cost can be £8,000 after taking installation charges.
These depend on the space you can offer, the sun’s alignment, and the solar battery capacity. Indeed, the system size will be determining the final electricity bill you will be saving on. For example, if you install a 4kWp system, the average savings will be £270 annually.
With solar panels, you can save money on your prolonged electricity bill and earn recognition in your community! Are you ready to install solar panels after knowing how much do solar panels cost?