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Last updated: 16 May 2024

Solar Panels on Pergola UK: The Complete Guide

solar panels for pergola

With UK Summers seemingly getting sunnier every year, the idea of installing solar pv panels on a pergola has become increasingly attractive. If you were to have these solar-powered devices mounted on your pergola, your outbuilding won’t just offer you delightful shade, but also sufficient electricity to power your house on a sunny day.

And even if the sun doesn’t always shine throughout the year, going solar is often worth the effort. Not only does it power your house and reduce your carbon footprint, but it also lets you save £270 on your electrical bill annually. Most homeowners will have solar panels paying for themselves after about 20 years.

Let’s take a deep dive into using solar panels for your pergola in the UK.

If you’re ready to add solar panels to your home’s pergola, GreenMatch can help you compare offers from several certified installers near you. By getting free comparison quotes you save both time and money because we eliminate your need to call several installers for quotes specific to your home and energy needs.

Just click the button below to fill in our form to receive up to 3 free quotes that are tailored to your needs. The service is completely free and non-binding.

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Can You Put Solar Panels on a Pergola?

To answer the most essential question straight away: yes, you can put solar panels on a pergola. While a single solar panel can weigh in at 30 to 50 pounds a piece, most pergolas can easily carry 10 solar panels depending on the pergola size.

Furthermore, the panels can withstand all types of weather conditions making them suitable for most houses. If you’re unsure if your pergola’s roof will be able to carry the solar panels, we recommend you call an expert.

So, if there’s sufficient space under the outbuilding, and your pergola is strong, then you can put solar panels on a pergola. Another possibility is also opting for garden solar panels. However, let’s take a look at all the advantages a solar pergola roof can offer you.

Why Install Solar Panels on a Pergola?

There are several good reasons for having solar panels on a pergola. Of course, there’s the generated electricity. You can use the power your pergola solar panels generate to power your pool, a single room, or your whole house. On average, just one solar panel produces somewhere between 250 and 400 watts an hour. That’s enough to power your laptop, light and ceiling fan at the same time.

Of course, that’s far from it. Let’s take a look at more advantages of installing solar panels on your pergola.

  • Solar energy can be stored with batteries, so your sunny pergola can provide electricity for the night.
  • Save money on your annual electricity bills by using a free renewable energy source.
  • The roof of your pergola has a lot of free space that will otherwise go unused.
  • The panels require very little maintenance once installed.
  • You will eventually earn enough money back to pay for the panels.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Pergola?

While some people choose to have just one solar panel installed on their pergola, others fill their roofs with them. Most people generally settle for three panels on top of their pergola. How many solar panels you need depends on how much of your electricity demands you want to power with solar.

However, you are entirely free to choose the number of panels yourself. If you have the space for more solar panels on your pergola, it can’t hurt to install additional panels – especially because excess energy doesn’t go to waste.

And if you produce an excess amount of solar energy, British homeowners can sell the energy they do not need back to their supplier with the Smart Export Guarantee.

Of course, you should always keep the size of your pergola roof in mind before choosing the appropriate number of solar panels. Even just one solar panel can make a difference.

How Much Does Mounting Solar Panels on a Pergola Cost?

The cost of solar panels differs depending on the output size of the panels, the type of system and the fees of the solar installer. Generally, the more electricity your system can generate, the higher the initial financial requirements for the installation and the more you save in the long term.

In the end, you can expect to pergola solar panel cost to be approximately £350-£500 per panel. The installation itself will most likely set you back £300-600 depending on your pergola roof space and how many solar panels you’re installing.

Thankfully, once you have your solar panels installed, they require very little maintenance and cost you little. It is recommended that you have your panels cleaned once every year to maximise the efficiency of your panels. If you can find a ladder and some water, you can easily DIY clean the panels yourself. If you’re not looking to get your hands dirty, you’ll most likely end up paying roughly £5 – £15 per panel.

Are Transparent Solar Panels for a Pergola Possible?

While it sounds like something out of a fairy tale, fully transparent solar panels are very much in development. There have been some recent breakthroughs, but the efficiency of the fully see-through panels is currently about 1% with an estimated potential of 5%.

When you compare this to the average efficiency of 15% for conventional solar panels, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go before these see-through solar panels become reality and can be used for a pergola.

Therefore, if you’d like to install solar panels, you’ll have to settle for a regular system – at least for the foreseeable future.

How Much Power Can a Pergola With Solar Panels Get Me?

Since every solar-powered pergola roof design is different, the amount of power it can provide also varies. How much power you get will ultimately depend on how much usable space you have on top of your pergola and how much of your home you want to power.

For instance, you would need 22m2 to be able to fit a 3kW solar panel system consisting of 12 solar panels. This would be ideal for medium-sized homes with 2 to 3 people. You can also just power part of your home instead of the whole house. Then you wouldn’t need as much roof space nor solar panels.

If you are unsure how much power you can generate from solar panels on your pergola in the UK, you can consult a solar panel expert to give advice and install your new solar panels. When consulting solar panel experts it’s important you find one that is properly certified. They can advise you on system output size, the number of solar panels you need, and give you a quote.

Instead of contacting installers individually, you can save time by getting up to 3 quotes from GreenMatch’s large network of certified and vetted solar panel installers. Just click the button below to get up to 3 free quotes that you can compare.

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Nils Hoogervorst
Written by Nils Hoogervorst, SEO & Content

Nils is a content writer for GreenMatch with a background in SEO and blogging. Nils plays a major part in getting content ideas up and running. He also sometimes takes the pen in hand to write informational articles about renewable energy, sustainability and green technologies.

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