There’s an old myth flying around that having solar panels fitted to your home is a hugely expensive endeavor.

The upfront cost of solar panel systems has always been a big sticking point for a lot of people – after all, why would you want to spend thousands of pounds on something that might not even work?

However, the truth is that solar panels have come down in price considerably over the past few years, and there are now some very affordable options available.

In fact, having solar panels fitted is the cheapest way to produce electricity at home, and can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bills in the long run.

Let’s break down the basics and work up…

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost per kW System?

A solar panel system costs between £350 and £500, although this varies based on the size and sort of system.

A 4kW solar panel system, for example, costs about £6,000 and will cover approximately 29 square meters of your roof.

Over the previous several years, the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically.

The table below provides an overview of typical prices for solar panels, as well as the necessary roof area they take up, the average savings on your electricity bills, and the savings you can anticipate after 20 years.

Solar panels cost per m2

Now, just bear in mind that these prices will vary dramatically depending on the type of solar panels you choose.

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells are the most common choices.

In terms of roof coverage, expect to pay between £250 and £315 per square meter, with a system size ranging from 1kW to 5kW.

How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost?

Just remember, whenever you are given a quote for a solar panel system, the cost for installation and labor are normally included in the price. If you're not sure, just double-check with the solar panel company.

If you want to work out what the installation costs are from your quote if it hasn't been listed separately is work it out from the average installation costs in the industry.

For example, It will cost about £300-£500 per person, per day for each team. Because it generally needs two people to install the system, a final installation charge of £600-£1,000 is usual. If you're putting in a more complicated system, it may cost a bit more.

Another way to work out the labor charge is to charge 20 pence per watt, which equals £800 for a 4 kW system.

Factors Affecting Solar Panel Costs in the UK

Of, by now you should have a fairly good idea of how much each panel costs and a rough idea of how much the installation charge will be.

Now let's have a look at the many different factors that can affect the cost of a solar panel system.

System size

As you can appreciate, solar panels come in lots of different shapes and sizes. The amount of electricity your house uses will vary from house to house.

The larger the solar panel system is, the more expensive it is to install. The typical system size of 4kW will set you back approximately £6,000 to put in place.

It's also worth noting that as your system size grows, so will return the return on your investment because of improved efficiency.

Type of panels

The three most common types of solar panels in residential applications are Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels.

Monocrystalline panels are recognized to be the most efficient, although they aren't necessarily the most cost-effective.

Polycrystalline cells may be a good choice if you're looking for low cost and high efficiency (between 13 and 16 percent).

Installation Process

The cost of solar panels is also influenced by the ease of installation. Even though installation may be done yourself, getting it correct might be difficult, thus it's best to leave it to the professionals.

The number of panels, their inclination, and roof strength must all be considered.

The more energy it takes to install the panels, the more expensive they are. This can only be determined by a professional installer and your solar panel manufacturer.

Additional Components to the System

When you're adding extra components while putting the solar panels in place, your equipment cost will go up, but installation costs may go down.

It's better to combine them with the panel's installation so that you can save money on labor.

Location and labor costs

Bear in mind, that the cost of labor will vary from area to area. For example, the prices for labor in London compared to what you would pay in Liverpool vary by a lot.

It costs anything from £300 to £500 per person per day in the UK, depending on your location.

How Much Do You Save with Solar Panels?

Solar panels will typically save you 15-25% on your power bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. However, installing solar panels may be costly, which is why many people are put off.

You may use your solar panels alongside a regular energy tariff, and there's no need to inform your power company.

You'll simply use less electricity from the Grid, resulting in lower charges.

If you choose to purchase a battery storage unit with your solar panels, you could save even more money.

Solar batteries can help you to use more of the electricity your solar panels generate.

Also, with intelligent systems like the Tesla Powerwall, it will intelligently feed the energy you have stored back into the grid at the most expensive time of day, allowing you to make even more savings.

Solar batteries are still a new technology, and their price has come down rapidly in recent years. The average cost of a solar battery is £1,200-£6,000 including installation.

Feed-in Tariffs (FITs)

The UK Government's Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme was introduced in 2010 to encourage homeowners to install renewable energy generation systems such as Solar PV.

The FIT gives payments to eligible homeowners or businesses for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of renewable electricity they generate.

Government Grants are Available

The Green Deal

The Green Deal can help you make energy-saving improvements to your home and choose the most cost-effective method of paying for them.

The changes that will save you the most money depend on your property, but some examples include:

  • insulation, such as a solid wall, cavity wall, or loft insulation
  • heating
  • draught-proofing
  • double glazing
  • renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps

You can find out more about the Green Deal here.

Can you get solar panel grants or free solar?

There are no current solar PV grants available, but you may receive a grant for solar thermal panels through the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Do Solar Batteries Affect the Installation Costs?

Adding a solar battery to your solar panel system will increase the overall costs.

That being said, a battery storage system will assist you in becoming even more independent from the grid while also ensuring that you get the most out of your solar panels.

You'll be able to store your solar energy and Grid energy, respectively, during off-peak hours and nighttime with a battery storage system.

Batteries are a significant investment, and the cost of installation may seem expensive initially. However, the average price for batteries is between £1,200 and £6,000, depending on type, capacity, and brand.

So if you want to incorporate a storage system into your installation, be prepared to spend more up front but save money in the long run.

Solar Panel Prices in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Solar panel prices in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all very similar.

The main difference is that the Scottish Government generally offers a higher feed-in tariff (FIT) rate than the UK Government.

This means that you could earn more money for each unit of electricity that you generate if you live in Scotland.

Solar panel prices will also vary depending on whether you choose to buy or lease your system. Solar leases are more common in the US, but they are starting to become more popular in the UK as well.

Solar PV systems typically last for around 25 years, so it's important to consider all of the options before making a decision.

Solar Panel Maintenance Cost

Thankfully, the maintenance of solar panels is relatively low.

You will need to keep an eye on the panels to make sure that they are clean and free of debris, but this is a simple task that can be done yourself.

Most window cleaners now use a pure water system that can reach up to 6m, making it easy to clean your solar panels from the ground. This means the water used will leave no streaks or spots.

If you have a solar panel system with a battery, you will also need to regularly check the battery to make sure that it is working properly.

You should also have your system checked by a professional every few years to ensure that everything is in good working order.


Can you get solar power for a detached garage?

Yes, solar can be installed on a detached garage. If your garage already has an electricity cable connected, that's even better.
If there is a power line running between the garage and the main house, installing it on the garage roof will be pretty straightforward.

How much does it cost to remove solar panels?

The cost to remove an old solar panel system will vary depending on the size of the system and how easy it is to access.
The same companies that install a solar panel system for you will be the same ones that will be able to remove the system.
So if you're not sure how much it will cost, we recommend getting a quote from a few different companies.

How much does a commercial solar panel cost?

The most common systems for businesses have a 5-9 kW output, but a commercial operation with vast areas of land may require a system with an output of 25kW to 200kW or higher.

What is the PV in solar?

The PV in solar stands for "photovoltaic," which is the process that converts sunlight into electricity. Solar PV panels are made up of many small solar cells that work together to create a large amount of power.

What roof types can have solar panels installed?

Nearly any type of roof can have solar panels installed on it. The most common types are asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs, and tile roofs. However, there are also solar systems designed specifically for flat roofs.

Do I need to live in a sunny place to get solar panels?

No, you don't need to live in a sunny place to get solar panels. In fact, solar panels work just as well in cloudy or overcast conditions.
The only time that solar panels don't work as well as when there is snow or ice covering them.

Is it worth getting solar panels?

Yes, solar panels are definitely worth it! Not only will they save you money on your energy bills, but they will also help to protect the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
Plus, with the government's renewable energy incentives, you could earn money by generating your own electricity and also supplying it back to the grid.

What is the Tesla Powerwall?

A Tesla Powerwall is a battery that acts as a backup power source and monitors the electricity grid. It keeps your lights on and your phones charged without requiring maintenance, fuel, or noise, unlike generators. To keep your appliances going for days, combine with solar energy and charge via sunshine.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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