How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels In The Uk
In 2021 solar panels cost around £6,000 £7,000 for the average sized residential home, this is over 60% cheaper compared to what they were in 2010. It means solar panels are now more affordable than ever. And thats great news for homeowners!
Even though theres never been a better time to invest in solar energy, solar panels are a considered purchase. Its not like nipping out to the shop to buy a new pair of shoes. Although prices have dropped a lot, systems still cost several thousands of pounds. So its important to do your home work around not only which are the best solar panels, but also how long it could take to recoup your investment through energy savings and government payback. Use our solar PV calculator to find out how much payback you can expect.
To get the best solar panel deal you should compare multiple solar PV quotes from MCS certified solar installers to ensure you get the best possible price and the right number of solar panels to meet your requirements.
To put these prices into context, the cost of solar panels for a 3 bedroom house will be around £5520 £6040 as they’ll need to install a 3-4kW system to meet the higher electricity demands.
As we mentioned earlier, the price of solar panels has dropped pretty significantly. In fact, solar panel prices are 70% cheaper than in 2010. We’ve included a chart below to illustrate just how much prices have dropped for a typical 4kW system in the UK.
How Does Sunlight Amount Affect Solar Panels
Different areas of the United States receive more or less sunlight compared to other areas. The amount of sunlight you receive directly correlates with how many solar panels you will need.
Typically, southern states get more sun than northern states. But southern states with higher altitudes and less cloud coverthink of Arizona and New Mexicoget more energy from the sun than states such as Florida or Georgia. So, for the same size house, you would generally need more solar panels in Georgia than you would in Arizona.
Remember, the sun may be shining, but if it is behind a cloud, youre not getting the same amount of solar energy absorbed by your solar PV system. This means that a solar panel in San Diego will produce more energy in a year than the same exact solar panel located in Seattle.
The image below will help you determine the solar energy, known as solar insolation, in your area. Exploring your sun number score should also be helpful. If your roof does not get a good amount of sunlight and you live on a good size amount of land, you may have other options for mounting solar panels elsewhere with better sunlight.
How Much Will Solar Panels Save Me
The question that almost certainly follows, how much do solar panels cost is how much will solar panels save me? Installing solar panels will help you to reduce the amount of electricity you use, using the suns energy to power your home instead. This can equate to £50-80 a month or £500-£800 annually in savings, depending on the amount of electricity consumed from household to household.
How much solar panels could save you will largely depend on the solar panels you have installed and how efficient they are, as well as your average household consumption. Youll also want to consider whether you can take advantage of the Smart Export Guarantee that came into force on January 1 2020.
Can you make money from having solar panels fitted?
SEG requires energy providers to pay an export tariff to solar PV homeowners for the energy they put back into the grid. An average home will get paid £100 annually for the excess energy they put back into the grid.
Adding a battery storage solution with a solar panel solution such as theTesla Powerwallprovides round-the-clock clean energy usage. This minimises the need to rely on the grid for electricity when the sun goes down i.e. cooking in the evening, switching the lights on. The Tesla tariff from Octopus Energy also offers customers with a Tesla vehicle, solar panels and a Powerwall 75% in annual energy savings and 100% green energy.
How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?
Benefits beyond finances
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Can I Sell Back My Solar Energy
Even though you might have heard of schemes like solar buy-back or feed-in tariffs and are possibly thinking about all of the extra money that you might be able to make from them by harnessing and selling excess solar energy back to utility companies just through having a solar system installed, sadly, it usually does not quite work like that.
Consider the following facts.
- Your excess solar energy will likely go back into the grid to feed into other homes in your area.
- Even though your excess energy will get used elsewhere, ultimately, it will still come back to you.
- Your excess energy is usually stored as something called solar credits, which allow all of the excess energy produced by your system to be credited to your account.
- As solar systems may not be able to generate as much energy as normal all of the time, these credits can ensure that your energy remains constantly free.
If you were expecting lots of excess income from selling your energy back to the utility company, then disappointingly, this is not likely to be the case. It is very rare now to find companies that are actually willing to reward you with financial incentives for your excess solar energy.
However, solar credits are a vital part of ensuring that your energy remains free. From time to time, solar systems are not going to be able to work quite in the way that you expect them to.
This can be due to a wide variety of reasons.
Average Solar Bills In Qld
Households with solar in Queensland pay an average of $260 for electricity per quarter, our survey found. Queensland residents are more content than most with their feed-in tariff, with 68% reporting they are happy with the rate they receive. This has led to almost all Queensland survey respondents agreeing that installing solar has been a good financial decision. For context, Queenslanders on average paid $6,358 for their solar system.
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Additional Components To The System
If youre looking to install additional components while installing the solar panels, this will increase your cost of equipment but can decrease the installation costs. Whether youre planning to install a solar battery storage system 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.
Bill Frequency For Solar Households
It may be news to some that many households will receive a choice in how they pay their power bill. In Australia, almost three quarters of solar households pay their bills quarterly. 19% said that they are receiving monthly bills. In Victoria, where households are required to have a smart meter, the proportion of the population to receive monthly bills jumps to 38%.
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Putting It All Together
With those variables in mind, we can roughly estimate the number of solar panels for home that you’ll need. In this example, we’ll use the average annual energy consumption, solar panel wattage and hours of sunlight that we mentioned earlier.
Let’s say that your property receives four hours of sunshine each day, and you’re purchasing 325-watt solar panels. In that case, each panel can generate 1,300 watt-hours per day . Assuming that your energy usage is in line with the average of 29 kWh per day, you’d need 23 325-watt panels to create enough electricity for your home.
Solar Panels Are Generally Low Maintenance
The Energy Saving Trust says little maintenance is required on a properly installed, well-designed solar PV system, though you’ll likely need to replace the inverter a gadget which is a key part of the mechanism within about 25 years .
Of course, though, things can go wrong. If so, check the installer warranty you get it can cover you for up to 20 yeas. If the panels are damaged by something unexpected, like a storm, you may also be covered by buildings insurance check with your insurer before you have them installed.
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Incentives Increase Your Rewards
Today is a good day to go solar. There are many state and local incentives that sweeten the pot for investing in a home solar system. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for comprehensive information on solar financial incentives.
Incentives reduce your overall solar installation, and accelerate the rate of return on your investment. The federal solar tax credit gives you a dollar-for-dollar reduction against your federal income tax. Currently, the residential federal solar tax credit gives you a dollar-for-dollar reduction against your federal income tax equal to 26% of the final cost of solar energy systems you install on your home. This benefit exists through December 31, 2022. In 2023 the residential tax credit will step down step down to 22%. In 2024, the tax credit for residential solar ends.
These reduced initial costs available now, plus your lower electric bills from a home solar installation, make going solar today a wise decision.
How Much Does It Cost To Remove Solar Panels
Although your main concern is how much money do solar panels save, you will have to factor in some potential losses to get a true reflection of your savings over time too. If you need to remove your solar panels in the future due to selling your house, then remember that this is going to have a negative impact on your lifetime solar panel savings as follows.
It is important to factor these figures into your overall savings calculations.
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Calculating Solar Power Costs
Once the above costs and benefits are determined, a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs , and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
Rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour – the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25-40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
Additional Solar Panel System Costs
There are a few things youll want to add to your solar energy systems total cost to get the most accurate price estimate. Here are a few additional factors that will impact how much your solar panels will cost:
- Labor costs Local labor costs for solar installation will change depending on your area and the average costs solar installers charge in your area.
- Installing solar mounts The costs to install the racks that hold your residential solar panels will effect cost as well. There are a few options for solar mounting.
- Installing solar inverters A solar inverter will need to be installed to transform direct current power from the panels into the alternating current you can use in your home
- Other costs: There may also be costs for any local permit fees, inspection fees, and taxes on the solar panels.
With the fall in solar panel prices, these soft solar panel costs now constitute the bulk of what you pay when you install solar for your home.
Fortunately, as more people adopt solar power, soft costs have fallen as a resulta trend thats very likely to continue in the future. An analysis by the federal governments National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovered that installed prices have fallen at an average annual rate of 13% to 18%.
Always make sure to speak with a local solar professional to get a more accurate estimate of what your installation will cost.
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Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels For Your Home
Like most things, solar power has its benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, some economic costs may be defrayed by the social benefits to the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, which exceeds pure monetary evaluation.
Green energy that lowers your carbon footprint
Net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced
You may be eligible for certain tax breaks
Installation and maintenance costs still high
Solar only works when the sun is out
Parts of the system need to be replaced every few years
Some tax breaks may have expired or will be expiring
How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save
|State and city|
Once inflation has been factored in, if you are in a location like San Diego, California, then it is pretty clear that you are going to be loving life if you bank all of your savings over the 25-year usage period of your system.
Even if you are in a different location, the profits look pretty fantastic across the board. Except for those living in Seattle, Washington, where sadly, going solar is not a viable option unless it is for ethical reasons.
In a worst-case scenario, should inflation rates steeply decline well below the 2.8% annual figure, the initial sting of paying the upfront costs for a solar system in some states and cities absolutely would not be worth it unless your primary interest in having a solar system is to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet.
Examples include the aforementioned Seattle and even locations like Portland and Tulsa where the savings over the lifetime of the system do not really justify the upfront spending. Inflation rates for utilities tend to be pretty predictable, meaning that any decline would be very gradual if there were one at all. This means that the above figures are likely to remain accurate for a considerable amount of time.
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Return On Investment For A 4 Kw Solar Panel Installation
If you have the roof space and finance for a large 4 kW installation, then you may benefit from even greater returns. The array will cost around £4,500 7,000 and will produce a Feed in Tariff return of approximately £79 a year. Combine this with energy savings of nearly £170 a year plus your export tariff, then you are looking at income and savings that equate to nearly £300. That means you may well pay off the cost of installment within fifteen years.
With all installations, once you have paid off the initial investment then you head into a period of pure profit. With most installations lasting a minimum of 20 to 25 years, you will have around five to ten years where your solar panels are working just for you.
How Much Co2 Do Residential Solar Panels Save In Connecticut
Connecticut has witnessed impressive growth in solar power adoption over the past few years. Besides the financial benefits, the most important reason for Connecticut homeowners to go solar is environmental responsibility. They seek to reduce their carbon footprint and save the planet from worsening climate changes caused by excessive greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuels.
Naturally, every homeowner who is interested in solar power to meet their energy needs wants to know how much greenhouse gas emissions they can save each year.
And, we can help you find it out.
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How To Understand All The Numbers And Symbols
Figuring out how much power youre going to get from your solar panel is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
Solar panels measure the power they collect from the sun in Watts . Typically, domestic solar panels produce a power output of between 250 and 400 Watts. Kilowatt is just another name for 1,000 Watts. We measure the energy a solar panel produces in Kilowatt Hours . So if you have a 250 W solar panel that gets the equivalent of four hours of direct sunlight a day, it produces 1 kWh of energy .
And then if you multiply your average daily power output by 365 , then you have your annual solar power output. In the example I used above, the yearly energy production would be 365 kWh.
Heres that calculation again:
Solar Panel Power in Kilowatts x Average Sunlight Hours Per Day x 365 = Annual Power in Kilowatt Hours
And thats it for the math.
The problem I have with all of this is that these numbers dont mean much to me until I translate them into actual energy usage. Why dont we take a look at what these Kilowatt Hours of energy mean to you and your electricity bill?
How Do I Read This Bill
Clean energy and a reliably comfortable home starts by controlling your energy costs with solar. Most electric bills cover a few standard components. With a home solar system, these components are generally up front and center:
A home solar system wont remove standard service fees. Service fees are the electric companys charges for connecting your home to the grid. Generally, its a flat monthly cost not based on how much electricity you use.
Benjamin Franklin said nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes. Yet, a solar installation sure makes living in your home a lot more fun and financially secure.
Taxes from electric companies are typically based on the amount of grid power used. So, the more electricity generated by your home solar system, the less you pay the tax man.
Here, the financial benefits of using a storage battery are readily evident to reduce your draw from the electric grid.
After the bottom line on your energy bill, electricity use is the component we look at. The electric company charges based on a volume rate .
However, with a home solar system, your electric bill only includes the number of kilowatt hours youve used from the grid. They dont add in any electricity used from your solar panels.
In fact, they dont even see how much solar energy youve used. So, if you only used power generated by your solar panels, the amount of electricity use on your bill would be zero.
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