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How much do solar panels cost?

Solar panels being installed on a roof

Solar panels capture the sun’s energy and convert it into renewable, low-carbon electricity to use in your home. But how much do they cost to install and what should you consider before buying them? We’re here to guide you through everything you need to know.

Over the years the number of people investing in solar panels has grown massively. Not only have there been significant advancements in the technology they use, but thanks to new government schemes in the UK, it’s much easier for people to invest in making their homes more sustainable. Let’s break down the costs…

Table of contents

  1. How much do solar panels cost in the UK?
  2. How much is solar battery storage?
  3. What makes up the cost of solar panel installation?
  4. What factors affect solar panel prices?
  5. Government grants for solar panels
  6. Common questions about solar panel costs

How much do solar panels cost in the UK?

According to BCIS Research carried out in September 2023, the typical cost to install solar panels in the UK ranged from around £6,425 to £13,365.

The price you pay depends on many factors, such as the size of the system your home needs and labour costs – we’ll cover this in more detail later on. But generally, the more electricity your system can generate, the higher the installation cost will be.

In the table below, you’ll find the estimated cost for different house types. For reference, each year, smaller homes consume an average of 1,800kWh, medium homes around 2,700kWh and large homes approximately 4,100kWh.

Home size Average system costs  Annual savings
1-2 bedrooms £5500 £523
3 bedrooms £6800 £963
4+ bedrooms  £8000 £1051

Are the cost of solar panels increasing or decreasing?

Now you’ve got an idea of how much solar panels are to install, you might want to compare this with what they would have cost previously and whether the price is likely to increase in the future.

Findings from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggest that solar panel prices fell by up to 93% between 2010 and 2020.

But it’s important to note that costs will continue to fluctuate. This is due to factors, such as advanced technology making solar panels more readily available, delays in sourcing panels following COVID-19 disruptions, and the limited availability of raw materials, including silicon and aluminium.

For a more accurate price, your best bet is to contact a few trusted installers and compare quotes based on your property.

How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, as it can depend on several things, including the size of the system you choose and how much energy you use.

However, in the UK it can typically take between 11 and 15 years for solar panels to start paying back. Just take a look at the table below…

Size System cost Break even point
3kW system £7500 14 years
4kW system £9500 12 years
6kW system £12500 14 years

How much is solar battery storage?

First of all, you might be wondering what solar battery storage is.

Well, it essentially allows you to store any excess energy for use later on, for example when there’s low sunlight, or if the demand for energy in your home increases. The Energy Savings Trust says installing solar battery storage could help reduce your electricity bill by up to 70%.

Of course, adding this to your installation will increase your overall cost. Prices start from around £1,200 and go up to £14,000, with many of the better models starting around £6,000, but this varies depending on the size and type of battery you choose and its lifespan, so always consider your options.

What makes up the cost of solar panel installation?

When it comes to solar panel installation there’s a lot to think about. So, we’ve broken down all the costs that will make up your final quote, factors you need to consider and most commonly asked questions right here…

Material costs

  • Scaffolding: You need this for safety reasons whilst your panels are being installed.
  • Solar panel mounts: These are fitted to your roof first so the panels can sit securely on top.
  • Solar panels: There are a couple of different types of solar panels to choose from. There’s monocrystalline, which is the most expensive yet most efficient costing £1 to £1.50 per watt. Or, the more affordable option is polycrystalline, which comes in at 90p to £1 per watt.
  • Wiring: Your solar panels will be wired to your home using MC4 connectors.
  • Solar inverter: This is connected to the system (often located in a cool place like your garage or utility room) and converts the electricity generated by the solar panel into electricity you can use.
  • Solar battery: This is optional and as explained above, it will cost you extra, but it’s a great way to store energy for when it’s not sunny or you have a higher energy demand.
  • Generation meter: This is installed to monitor the electricity production in your home.

Labour costs

It usually takes two installers one day to complete the work. The typical cost is £300 to £500 a day per person, although this will vary depending on…

  • Where you live in the UK
  • The size of the system you’ve chosen (bigger panels will take longer to install)
  • The number of people working on your installation
  • The hourly rate charged in your area

For ease, your labour costs will be included in your total price, so you don’t have to worry about paying for this separately.

What factors affect solar panel prices?

1. The size of the system

Solar panels come in lots of different sizes, so you can choose one that fits the size of your home and your energy consumption. The bigger the system, the more money you’ll pay, but to give you an idea, an average-sized 4kW system will set you back between £9,000 and £10,000.

2. The type of panels

As we mentioned previously there are two types of solar panels used for domestic purposes. You can choose from monocrystalline – this is the most expensive and most energy efficient of the two, as it produces electricity on a smaller scale. Or there’s polycrystalline. This one, whilst cheaper, is less energy efficient and not as aesthetically pleasing.

3. The installation process

The size of your system will ultimately affect how easy the installation process is. Most people will call on a solar panel professional who will take into account the number of panels you need installing, how they need to be angled and make sure your roof is suitable to hold them.

It might be possible for you to install the panels yourself if you feel confident enough to do it. But bear in mind you’d still need to get an expert to certify the work if you wanted to earn money for sending energy back to the grid.

Government grants for solar panels

The government has several grants available to help homeowners reduce the amount of money they’re spending on solar panels. Here are just a few for you to consider:


This government-funded programme offers grants to domestic residents claiming benefits, who are looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.

How much you can claim depends on your personal circumstances and there are certain criteria that you need to meet, for example:

  • Your home must have an EPC rating of D, E, F or G
  • You’ll be on benefits, such as Pension Credit or Income Support, or
  • Your annual income falls below a certain threshold.
  • The scheme is due to run until March 2026 – full details can be found here.

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG)

We’re now in phase 2 of the HUG, which is expected to run until 2025. This grant provides energy efficiency upgrades and low-carbon heating through local authority funding to low-income households in England.

The scheme targets homes that are off the gas grid, or have an energy rating of D, E, F or G to help tackle fuel poverty. Find your council and check if your local authority is part of the programme.

Other grants you may have heard of include the Green Homes Grant, but unfortunately, this is no longer available.

Common questions about solar panel costs

We know you’ve probably still got some questions, so we’ve answered a couple of the most popular ones for you.

How much money can you save with solar panels?

If you have a 4kW system installed, you could save up to £600 a year on your energy bills, but of course, this will differ depending on the type of system you have and the amount of energy you use.

And don’t forget to sign up to the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). You’ll be able to earn money for sending any spare energy that your solar panels generate, back into the national grid.

Will solar panels increase the value of my house?

Solar panels can not only help increase the value of your property, but they’ll also help you stand out in a crowded market. Prospective buyers will be attracted to the added appeal of low energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

We hope this article helps you decide if solar panels are the right choice for you. For more information on other ways to become more energy efficient, check out our 12 energy-saving tips for your home.

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