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Last updated: 5 June 2024

How Much Do Solar Panels in the UK Cost? 2024 Prices

Solar Panel Costs
  • A typical 4kW solar panel system, including installation, costs £9,000-£10,000. Added together, the total cost of solar panels and a battery in the UK is £14,000-£20,000.
  • You can save between £440 - £1,005 per year on electricity costs, breaking even in 12 - 17 years.
  • Through the Smart Export Guarantee, you can save up to £1,060 per year.
  • The main factors affecting solar panel costs in the UK include system size, type of solar panels, installation process, additional system components, and location and labour costs.
  • Adding a solar battery could help reduce the average homeowner's electricity bill by as much as 70%.

Solar panels are a great way to produce free electricity for your home, but how much do they cost in the UK and what factors determine their final price? Before making a final decision, in this article, we’ll guide you through the different aspects that you should take into account before purchasing. 

In the past few years, significant advancements have been made in solar energy technology, making it more accessible. And schemes, such as 0% VAT, have been introduced by the UK government, helping to lower the cost of solar panels and solar batteries in the UK. If you are considering joining thousands of other owners who have switched to an environmentally friendly source of energy while also taking advantage of government schemes such as the Smart Export Guarantee, then we can help you get started.

GreenMatch’s network of reliable solar panel manufacturers can provide up to 4 solar panel quotes for you to compare and choose all completely for free and without obligation. This saves you all the countless hours of internet research that it would usually take if you were to go it alone. 

Let us help you make an informed decision about switching to solar energy and find the best installation deal possible. Click the button below to get your free quotes and choose the best one now.

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How much does a solar panel installation cost in the UK?

As of April 2024, the cost of solar panels in the UK typically range from £5,000 to £13,000, including supply and installation, depending on the size of the system along with other factors. 

One of the most common domestic sizes is a 4kW solar panel system, which costs around £9,000 –£10,000 (incl. supply and installation) and will cover around 16 square metres of your roof. If you opt for solar panels with a larger than average kW size, for example 12kW, costs can go up to £17,000.

And roof integrated solar panels in the UK cost around the same yet they are way less efficient, reaching only 6-17% of the efficiency rate.

Cheap solar panels, however, cost around £7,000—£12,000, yet they’re often less efficient since polycrystalline solar panels are used in their manufacturing. 

The system you require may vary based on your energy consumption which is why we’ve broken down the estimated costs for each household size in the table below. Typically, smaller homes consume an average of 1,800kWh, while medium homes consume approximately 2,700kWh, and large homes usually 4,100kWh or more.

Cost of solar panels in the UK (supply + installation)
House sizeSystem SizeNumber of panels (350W)Number of panels (450W)Estimated Costs
1-2 bedroom house3kW panel system86£7,000 – £8,000
2-3 bedroom house4kW panel system108£9,000 – £10,000
2-3 bedroom house5kW panel system1310£11,000 – £12,000
4-5 bedroom house6kW panel system1613£12,000 – £13,000

Are the costs of solar panels increasing or decreasing?

So now your question to “how much are solar panels?” has been answered, you’re maybe wondering how this has changed over the years and if the price of solar panels in the UK is predicted to go up in the future or not.

While global solar panel costs have significantly decreased over the past decade, the trajectory in the UK has been less consistent. Despite fluctuations, UK government data indicates an overall increase in solar panel prices from 2013 to 2023.

solar panel system prices UK
Are the costs of solar panels increasing or decreasing?

Some of the reasons for this fluctuation include:

  • Technology advancing and solar panels becoming more readily available.
  • Limited availability of raw materials, such as silicon, silver, and aluminium.
  • Volatile net profitability of the sector and trade restrictions in some countries.
  • Disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic which led to delays in sourcing panels.

Furthermore, the prices we’ve listed in this article are estimates based on industry standards. They offer you a good indication so that you know what to expect. However, if you’re looking for more accurate and specific pricing for your unique home situation, then we recommend comparing quotes from trusted installers.

Use our free service and get the most competitively priced quotes from up to 4 trusted solar panel installers today. Don’t waste hours of your life researching and vetting local installers, simply complete our 30-second form instead. The best part is that any quotes you receive are free and come with no obligation to accept. Click the button below to begin.

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How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?

In the UK, the typical break-even time for solar panels is 11 to 15 years. However, this depends on the size of your solar panel system, your installation costs, the export tariff, your energy consumption and electricity prices at the moment. You can see some examples in the graph below:

Solar Panel Costs - Break Even Point
Solar panel system break even points
System sizeSystem costAnnual savingsBreak even point
3kW£7,000 – £8,000£44017 years
4kW£9,000 – £10,000£66014 years
6kW£12,000 – £13,000£1,00512 years
*The figures in the graph and table above are calculated based on the national average household energy consumption (February, 2024), the example SEG tariff rate (5.5p/kWh), and the current price of electricity (February, 2024). This is a broad estimate and figures may vary according to the size, type, and quality of the solar panel system, as well as export tariffs.

Additionally, larger systems are more expensive, but they can generate more electricity and, therefore, can bring you more savings in the long run. A 6kW solar panel system can break even after 12 years, while a 3kW system can take up to 17 years depending on your electricity consumption.

You can cut down on your electricity bills with the use of solar panels. The electricity that you use when your panels are active is entirely free, and it can result in annual savings of £440 - £1,005, as of April 2024. Of course, the specifications of every household are necessary to be precise in the estimation. You can see some examples of what you could save in the graph below:

Solar Panel Costs - Savings
*The figures in this graph are calculated based on the national average household energy consumption (February, 2024), the example SEG tariff rate (5.5p/kWh), and the current price of electricity (February, 2024). The graph 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.
Summary of our findings

3kW system | £7,000–£8,000

Average energy consumption: 1,800kWh

Savings in 1 year: £440
Savings in 25 years: £11,000
Break even point: 17 years

4kW system | £9,000–£10,000

Average energy consumption: 2,700kWh

Savings in 1 year: £660
Savings in 25 years: £16,500
Break even point: 14 years

6kW system | £12,000–£13,000

Average energy consumption: 4,100kWh

Savings in 1 year: £1,005
Savings in 25 years: £27,500
Break even point: 12 years

Generally, the more electricity your system can generate, the higher the initial installation cost will be. However, the savings will also be higher in the long run. As of April 2022, you can also save VAT on solar panels as the VAT on energy efficient measures was scrapped temporarily by the UK Government.

In addition, solar panel efficiency will also play a part in how much you can save. Monocrystalline panels, or black solar panels, are more efficient but also more costly. While polycrystalline panels are less efficient but cheaper. The more efficient your system is, the more electricity it can generate in a given time.

To protect the lifespan of your panels, ensure you always adhere to solar panel maintenance and cleaning tips.

To maximise savings from solar panel installations, it's important to optimise your electricity usage during peak generation periods. Using appliances and devices during daylight hours when solar panels are actively producing electricity can significantly reduce reliance on the grid and enhance overall savings. 

Additionally, investing in battery storage allows you to store excess energy for later use, particularly during periods of low sunlight or high energy demand.

Solar panel installation cost in the UK detailed

Solar panel installation costs in the UK will also include labour costs. There are two common ways of calculating the labour costs for solar panel installations in the UK: calculate approximately per person or charge per watt.

Solar panel system labour costs
Length of timeNumber of installersLabour costs
1 day2£600 - £1,000
2 days 2£1,200 - £2,000
3 days 2£1,800 - £3,000
Solar panel labour cost

One way is to calculate approximately £300 – £500 per person, per day. As it usually requires two people to install the system, a final installation fee is normally £600 – £1,000. If you are installing a larger system, it may take more than one day and the costs will naturally rise.

Another way to calculate the labour costs of a solar panel installation is to charge 20 pence per watt. So, for a 4kW system, you would be paying 20 pence for 4000 watts, resulting in £800.

Solar panel system installation costs
System sizePrice per WattInstallation cost
Solar panel installation cost UK

While it is possible to avoid labour costs by installing a DIY solar system, there are downsides to this. Namely, you may not qualify for the Smart Export Guarantee earning without an MCS-accredited installer. Aside from that, it is also a difficult and potentially dangerous undertaking.

Are there hidden costs of installing solar panels?

As we've already seen, solar panels in the UK cost quite a bit of money upfront. So you're probably wondering now if this is finally it or if there are any other hidden costs – how much is a solar panel in the UK really? There are two other potential costs you should consider before installing solar panels: maintenance and repair costs.

For general maintenance and check-ups, you can always ask your installer or another certified professional for an annual service which will usually cost between £100 and £200 (on average, it's £9.50 per panel). However, this price can vary depending on factors such as the type of panels you have and how old your system is.

Paying this is unlikely to be an annual requirement, but many solar installers recommend a yearly check-up just to make sure you are on top of any changes in condition.

One of the main reasons why solar panels are such low maintenance is because they have no moving parts. This also means you are unlikely to need to repair or replace any parts of your solar system. The only component that will definitely need to be replaced during your solar panel's lifetime is your inverter, as they typically only last 10-15 years. You should budget between £500 and £1,500 for this.

Furthermore, most top solar manufacturers will offer warranty periods of 20–25 years, so if anything were to happen to your panels, you'll likely be covered anyway. However, with this being said, it's crucial to check the terms and conditions of your warranty beforehand so that you are prepared.

Solar panel installation process

Before deciding to move forward with the installation process, you’ll want to know what it entails. A solar panel installation in the UK occurs in the following steps:

  1. Step 1: First, the solar panel installers set up scaffolding around the house for safe access to your roof. 
  2. Step 2: Roof anchors and an aluminium frame that will hold the solar panels in place are attached to the surface of the roof. 
  3. Step 3: The panels are placed on the mounting structure at the optimal direction and angle for a residential solar panel installation, namely south-facing at a tilt of 30° to 40°. 
  4. Step 4: The solar panels are wired and connected to the solar inverter, so that the energy they produce can be used in your home. 
  5. Step 5: If you’re also adding a solar battery to your solar panel installation, this is when the inverter and the battery are connected to each other, allowing for energy storage. 
  6. Step 6: The inverter is then connected to a generation metre, which measures how much energy your solar panels produce.
  7. Step 7: The installers carry out final checks and tests to ensure that your solar panels function properly. Once this is done, your solar system installation is complete!

Reduce solar panel costs with SEG payments

In the UK, you can reduce your solar panel costs even more by making use of solar panel grants, like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Through the SEG, you can earn money for exporting surplus solar power that your panels have generated back to the national grid. 

The ultimate savings from solar panels comes in the long term when you save money through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Your savings after 25 years including SEG can range from £13,900 to £30,750, depending on your system and tariff.

Solar panel savings including SEG payments
Household sizePer type of systemElectricity generated per yearAverage energy consumptionIncome earned with SEGTotal annual savings with SEGSavings after 25 years with SEG
1-2 bedrooms3kW2,550kWh1,800kWh£41.25£480£12,000
2-3 bedrooms4kW3,400kWh2,700kWh£38.50£700£17,500
2-3 bedrooms5kW4,250kWh2,700kWh£85£745£18,625
4-5 bedrooms6kW5,100kWh4,100kWh£55£1,060£26,500

Based on example SEG tariff rate of 5.5p/kWh. Average energy consumption figures taken from Ofgem (February 2024). 

SEG Export Tariff

The tariffs for exported solar energy can vary from supplier to supplier, but a good rate is 4-6p/kWh. You are able to choose any supplier for your SEG tariff. It doesn’t have to be the supplier that provides you with electricity, however, sometimes you can get better rates if it is your electricity supplier.

There are currently at least 12 companies licensed to offer SEG tariff rates, either on a mandatory or voluntary basis. Depending on how much you export back to the grid, these tariff rates can make a significant difference in how much you earn.

SEG export tariff rates
SEG tariff SupplierRate per kWh (p/kWh)Fixed/variable
Solar & Battery Install SEGOVO Energy20pVariable
Next Export Exclusive
E.ON (own customers)16.5pFixed (12 months)
Export and Earn PlusBritish Gas (own customers)15pVariable
Outgoing FixedOctopus Energy (own customers)15pFixed (no fixed end date)
Scottish Power (own customers)15pVariable
SmartGenScottish Power12pVariable
So Export FlexSo Energy
7.5pFixed or Variable
Export and Earn FlexBritish Gas6.4pVariable
SEG Tariff Snail Rebel Energy6pFixed (12 months)
EDF Export Variable Value TariffEDF (own customers)5.6pVariable
UW Smart Export Guarantee - BundleThe Utility Warehouse (own customers) 5.6pVariable
SEG tariffPozitive Energy5.6pVariable
Octopus SEG TariffOctopus Energy4.1pFixed (no fixed end date)
OVO SEG Tariff (AET20)OVO Energy4pFixed (12 months)
SEG V1.1 tariffShell Energy3.5pVariable
Next Export
E.ON3pFixed (12 months)
Export Variable TariffEDF3pVariable
UW Smart Export Guarantee - StandardThe Utility Warehouse
SEG TariffE (Gas & Electricity)

SEG generators that are seeking further guidance, you can read this guide on Ofgem’s website.

Watch our video below to understand what funding options are currently available for homes looking to install the best solar panels in the UK:

Solar Panel Funding - What options are there?

Factors affecting solar panel prices in the UK

The estimated costs of solar panels mentioned in the table are typically what you can expect based on the system you choose. However, the cost of installing solar panels for your specific home will depend on the following factors:

1. System size

Solar panels come in various sizes and the right solar panel size would depend on the size of the home and individual electricity consumption requirements. Simply put, the larger the solar panel system is, the higher is the installation cost. An average system size of 4kW will cost around £9,000–£10,000 to install. It’s also important to note that generally, the price per kW decreases the larger your system size is.

2. Type of panels

The three most common types of solar panels used for domestic purposes are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels. Monocrystalline panels are most efficient solar panels, but they also come at a higher cost. If you’re looking to go with affordability, then polycrystalline may be the right type for you. The more efficient monocrystalline solar panels cost £1 to £1.50 per watt, whereas a polycrystalline panel costs £0.90 to £1 per watt.

3. Installation process

Another factor that affects the cost of solar panels is the ease of installation. It is possible to either install the solar panels yourself or to hire a solar panel professional. When installing it yourself, you have to take into account the number of panels, the angling of the panels (the best angle for solar panels in the UK is between 30° and 40°) and the strength of the roof.

However, despite being able to do the installation yourself, you would still need to hire a professional to certify your solar panel system if you would like to benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee to earn money when you send energy back to the grid.

4. Additional components to the system

If you’re looking to install additional components while installing the solar panels, this will increase your cost of equipment but can decrease the installation costs. Whether you’re planning to install solar batteries or additional features like pigeon-proofing your panels, it is best to club them with installing the panels, so that you can decrease the installation cost.

5. Location and labour costs

The price of installing solar panels will usually include labour costs, however, this will change based on the location and the per hour rate of labour in that area. Typically it costs between £300 - £500 for a person per day and this can be higher or lower based on your location in the UK.

Cost of solar panels & battery in the UK

The price of a solar panel system and battery ranges from £12,000 - £19,500 for the average UK home. This is because the average home would require a 3kW to 4kW system and a matching battery size (10kW to 20kW lithium-ion battery or twice that for lead).

Cost of solar panels & battery in the UK
System size Battery type Recommended battery size Solar panel system with battery cost
3kW Lead-acid 20kWh £12,000–£16,000
Lithium-ion 10.5kWh £12,000–£16,000
4kW Lead-acid 21kWh – 39kWh £17,000–£19,500
Lithium-ion 11kWh - 21kWh £17,000–£19,500

Adding a solar battery storage system will inevitably increase the overall costs of your solar panel investment, but it can also mean that you get even more out of your solar panels by using stored electricity when the sun has gone down. The size solar battery you need in the UK can vary based on your home energy consumption.

Solar battery storage prices can range between £1,200 and £14,000, depending on the battery type, lifespan, and quality. The best solar batteries tend to start around £6,000 upwards. So, if you want to include a storage solution be prepared to pay more up-front. However, once installed, a solar battery could help reduce your electricity bill by as much as 70%, according to the Energy Savings Trust.

Is it worth it to buy solar panels? 

Determining whether it's worth it to buy solar panels, several factors come into play, including the initial cost, potential savings, and break-even point. 

As of April 2024, solar panel systems in the UK typically range from £5,000 to £13,000, with various sizes offering different annual savings and break-even periods.

For example, a 3kW system costing £7,000 to £8,000 could yield annual savings of around £660, with a break-even point of approximately 14 years. On the other hand, a 6kW system costing £12,000 to £13,000 could generate annual savings of about £1,005, with a break-even point of around 11 years.

Any savings gained after these points are a nice return on your investment. You can also capitalise on the Smart Export Guarantee, and potentially gain up to another £85 per year, based on an example tariff of 5.5p/kWh.

Additionally, it's worth considering the potential increase in home value that solar panels can bring. According to research from Admiral Money, solar panels can increase your property’s value by as much as 25%. The added appeal of reduced energy bills and environmental sustainability will likely contribute positively to the perceived value of a property to prospective buyers. 

If you’re interested in investing in solar panels with solar batteries, GreenMatch can help you get up to 4 quotes from reliable suppliers. A solar PV system with a battery is a great option for your home because it not only saves you money but also helps you do your part for the environment.

When you get quotes through GreenMatch, you get the opportunity to choose the best quote that suits your budget and preferences. All you need to do is fill in our 30-second contact form. This will save you hours of researching, finding and vetting all of the solar installers in your area. Click below to get started.

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