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Last updated: 05 August 2022

Solar Panels for Detached Garage UK: Complete Guide

Solar panels for detached garage

Solar panels have become a common sight on many UK roofs. That’s no surprise - these sun-powered powerhouses can provide electricity all year round, increase the market value of your property and help you reduce your carbon footprint.

While most homeowners think of home-related benefits whenever they hear the words ‘solar panels’, these nifty devices can be used in far more locations. That raises an important question: can I use solar panels for a detached garage? And if so, how would one go about it?

In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about using solar power for a detached garage in the UK.

Can I Put Solar Panels On My Detached Garage?

Short answer: yes! You can put solar panels on your detached garage, which can be a great alternative to running electricity to your garage. Keep in mind that, like with any solar panel, your detached garage does need to receive sufficient sunlight. Furthermore, your detached garage roof must be big enough for the solar panels to generate enough electricity.

With the proper setup, solar panels on your detached garage could even make your garage’s power independent from your home.

If you’re interested in getting started with your solar-powered detached garage, let us offer you a free and simple helping hand with getting the most competitive price for your solar panels. By filling in our form, we will put you in contact with up to 4 professional installers, thus saving you tonnes of research time. The service is completely free and non-binding.

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Pros and Cons of Solar Power for a Detached Garage in the UK

If you’re considering using solar power for your detached garage, it’s certainly worth looking into the pros and cons of installing solar panels on your outbuilding. Let’s look at them in detail.

Pros of using solar power for a detached garage in the UK

  • Solar panels save you money on a yearly basis. Energy generated by the sun doesn’t appear on your energy bill at the end of the month. In the long run, the panels will pay for themselves. 
  • Easy way to power a detached garage. Under the right circumstances, placing solar panels on your detached garage could even make it power-independent from your home. 
  • You’re contributing to a greener planet. Solar energy does not emit any pollutants into the atmosphere, whether it is produced or consumed. Thus, by placing solar panels on your detached garage, you’re helping the environment. 

Cons of using solar power for a detached garage in the UK

  • Not every detached garage roof is optimal for solar panels. Garage roofs that don’t get a lot of sunlight or have too little free space on them won’t be able to benefit optimally from solar energy.
  • Relatively high initial costs. A solar panel system can be quite an investment at first, potentially coming in at thousands of pounds. However, the savings outweigh the costs in the long run.

How Much Does it Cost to Add Solar Panels to a Detached Garage?

The financial requirements of using solar energy to power your detached garage differ from case to case. Some important factors are:

  • The electricity the solar panels will produce
  • The space on your detached garage’s roof
  • The number of panels you’d like to have installed
  • The fees your solar panel installer will charge you

Sometimes, a small solar system can suffice. The initial financial impact of installing such a system is minor. On the other hand, a complex solar panel system could take approximately 9.5 years to pay for itself due to its high initial cost.

For more information about what you’re likely to end up paying, please consult our blog post on the cost of solar panels in the UK.

Can You Install Solar Panels on a Detached Garage Without Planning Permission?

Since 2008, planning permission for solar panels has been no longer necessary in most cases. As long as the solar panels are placed on a building and that building is not a listed building nor situated within a conservation area, you can install solar panels on your detached garage without planning permission. 

There are still some rules that homeowners in the UK have to follow to be permitted to place solar panels on their detached garage’s roofs. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Solar panels shouldn’t project more than 20cm from the edge of the roof
  • Solar panels that are no longer used for generating electricity should be removed from the roof
  • Solar panels have to be fitted in a way that minimises the changes to the appearance of the building and the area
  • A solar array (a string of solar panels that are wired together) should not exceed the highest point of the roof. This excludes the chimney.

Can I Put Solar Panels on a Flat Garage Roof?

Yes, you can put solar panels on a flat roof, including those of a detached garage. In fact, this comes with several advantages, such as easier maintenance and less exposure from the street. Furthermore, solar panels on a flat garage roof are easy to install, use less material per square foot and are more cost-effective.

There’s one important thing to keep in mind, though, and that’s the drainage on the detached garage roof. Standing water can be a threat to your solar system. Therefore, it's necessary to work with a seasoned technician to make sure you won’t face any issues.

Solar Panels for Garage Lights and Other Usages

Once you have installed solar panels on your garage roof, you can utilise these nifty devices for all sorts of helpful purposes. Just think about it. You can use your solar panels for the garage lights, to draw power for tools, to charge your electronic devices and more.

To get started, you’re best off comparing offers from qualified installers near you and choosing the most competitive offer. GreenMatch can help you with this completely free of charge and without any obligation. By filling in our quotes form, you can ​​get up to 4 quotes from our partner suppliers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you power a detached garage?
There are several ways to power a detached garage. The most obvious method is to simply let an electrician run electricity to your garage. A far more eco-friendly way, however, is to let solar panels do all the hard work. You can learn more about using solar panels for your detached garage’s power here.
There’s often water on my flat detached garage roof. Is it worth installing solar panels?
Standing water can be a threat to solar panels and can destroy your fixtures sooner. Still, solar panels can offer multiple advantages and are often worth it. To prevent future issues and still be able to install solar panels on your roof, adequate draining should be used. Learn more about the pros and cons of using flat garage roofs for green energy here.
My garage doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. Should I invest in solar panels?
If your garage doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight, it will take longer for the solar panels to pay for themselves. In some cases, you may not even break even. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using solar panels for your detached garage here.