Solar Panel Costs UK in 2024

Rising electricity and fuel costs continue to increase the cost of living for over 61% of households in the UK, making it an excellent time to consider taking advantage of the free, renewable energy solar panels provide.

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills, give you independence from the National Grid, reduce your carbon emissions, and even earn you money by selling the excess electricity you produce.

But how much will installing solar panels in the UK cost in 2024, and what factors determine the final price?

If you’re considering joining the millions of UK households already harnessing the power of the sun and need to figure out the cost, we’ve got you covered.

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about solar panel costs in the UK, including how much you can expect to pay, factors contributing to the cost, and how to reduce the cost.

Key Takeaways on Solar Panel Costs UK:

  • Solar panel costs in the UK can range from £7,000 to £10,000
  • Factors like system size, panel type, labour, and additional components can impact solar panel costs
  • Solar panel costs are increasing due to inflation and a surge in demand
  • You can reduce solar panel costs through government grants and incentives like SEG

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the UK?

The cost of a 3.5kW solar panel system can range from £7,000 to £10,000 and is suitable for meeting the energy demands of a three-bedroom house.

The Energy Saving Trust averages the cost of a domestic 3.5kW solar panel system at around £7,000. The system would require around ten solar panels and a single panel costs around £150 to £300.

Different factors, like installation complexity, solar panel type, and location, can influence the amount you pay.

Factors like the efficiency of the solar panel usually increase the price of solar panels, so higher-quality panels will attract a higher price.

Costs can also vary between installers and products, so ensure you shop around and get quotes from different installers.

Check out our review of the best solar panels in the UK:

What Factors Impact Solar Panel Costs in the UK?

Factors that impact the total amount you’ll pay for solar panels include:

The Size of the System

You can find solar panel systems of different sizes. The appropriate size for you will depend on your home’s size and your household’s electricity needs. Larger homes generally need bigger systems, leading to higher costs.

Choosing the right size for your home is crucial to ensure you’re not overpaying for a system more powerful than you need.

Solar Panel Type

Solar panel types used for domestic installations are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.

Monocrystalline panels feature the highest efficiency and generate the most electricity but have the highest price point of around £1 to £1.50 per watt.

Polycrystalline panels are more affordable and cost around £0.90 per watt. They can still achieve a good power output and are the most installed panels in the UK.

Thin-film panels are the cheapest option, but you should be wary of them since they feature the lowest efficiencies.

Labour and Installation

You’ll need to hire an installer accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to install the solar panels.

This ensures the installation is suitably certified to qualify for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, which allows you to sell extra electricity back to the grid.

Installing solar panels is usually a two-person job, and you can expect labour costs to range from £600 to £1,000 per day.

Your location can influence the rates you get. Costs can also increase if the installation is complex, requiring more work, time, or specialist hardware.

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Additional System Components

Additional components that impact the cost include:

  • Solar Inverters – Solar inverters change the direct current from the solar panels to AC, the type of electricity you use in your home. Inverters usually cost around £800, depending on the brand and system size, and you’ll need to replace them after around 12 years.
  • Solar Battery Storage –  With solar battery storage, you can store excess energy from the panels to use later or sell to the grid. A new solar battery can cost from £3,000 to £9,000 on average, depending on type, size, and brand.

Are Solar Panel Costs in the UK Increasing or Decreasing?

Solar panel costs in the UK have been increasing despite decreases in global costs. According to the government’s solar panel data, the cost of installing solar panels has increased over the past few years.

The cost of installing small-scale or domestic solar panels of up to 4kW increased by 26% in the 2022/23 financial year, exceeding a previous record high in 2014/15 by 14%.

The median cost per kilowatt for a small solar panel installation exceeded £2,000 for the first time, an increase of 36% since 2021/22.

Factors like inflation contributed to the rise in costs in the last two financial years by driving up the cost of materials and labour.

The costs have also increased due to a surge in demand for solar installations as more people in the UK adopt solar power.

Related solar guides:

How Can You Reduce Solar Panel Costs UK?

Various incentives and grants are available in the UK to help you reduce the initial costs of installing solar panels. These include:

The ECO4 Scheme

The ECO4 scheme is a government initiative that allows you to apply for grants that can give you access to fully funded solar panels.

The scheme is open to all UK homeowners regardless of whether you own or rent your property. Eligible and qualified applicants can get free or discounted solar panels.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

The SEG scheme provides a way to save money on installing a solar panel system by paying you for the excess energy you produce.

Through SEG, you’ll get reimbursed for your investment as you continue to save on energy bills, allowing you to recover the upfront costs of installing solar panels.  

Final Thoughts on Solar Panel Costs UK

Average solar panel costs in the UK can range from £7,000 to £10,000, including supply and installation in your home.

Various factors can influence how much you spend, but it’s a worthwhile investment that can offer significant savings on energy bills and allow you to recover your initial upfront cost.

Sources and References