To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Solar panels cost UK: How much do solar PV panels and installation cost in 2023?

Thinking of switching to solar electricity for your home? Here's our guide to the cost of solar panels and installation in the UK

The prices of solar panels are coming down, while the price of traditional grid electricity has shot up. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), a typical 3.5kWp solar panel system in 2023 costs £5,500, which is much cheaper than 10 years ago – and could provide you with free electricity for more than 25 years.

The cost of a solar PV system for your home will mainly be determined by the size of your household. The latest data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), the regulatory body for renewable energy, provides a more specific idea than the EST figures. MCS estimates that a two-bedroom terraced house with annual electricity usage of 1,800kWh will require a six-panel solar array, costing £4,716. For a three-bedroom house, the estimate is £7,860.

To find out more about the cost of solar panels and what you get for your money, read on.

Get a free quote for solar panels today

Use our comparison tool below to get a quote tailored to your home and your electricity needs.

How much does a solar panel system cost in the UK?

Renewable energy experts The Eco Experts used data from MCS and energy regulator Ofgem to create this 2023 guide to solar PV system prices for households of different sizes. Prices include VAT and installation:

Property sizeAnnual electricity usageNumber of solar panelsAverage cost
1-bed house900 kWh3£2,358
2-bed house1,800 kWh6£4,716
3-bed house2,900 kWh10£7,860
4-bed house4,300 kWh14£11,005

Based on MCS cost data (March 2023) and Ofgem’s latest typical domestic consumption values (2021)

However, the size of your house is only one factor among many. Other things that influence the price you’ll pay for your solar PV system include:

1. Your electricity usage. This is influenced by the size and habits of your family (do all the adults work from home, for example?) and the type of appliances you use (air conditioners, fan heaters and tumble driers push up your usage). According to energy regulator Ofgem, any size of home using a “medium” amount of electricity gets through around 2,900kWh per year, while a “high” user uses around 4,300kWh per year.

Your smart meter can provide information on how much electricity you used in total last year (and last month, week and day). Alternatively, get in touch with your energy provider for your average and historical usage figures.

2. Panel types. The prices we’ve quoted from the EST and MCS are for standard polycrystalline panels, which are cost-effective and have an excellent lifespan. If your roof space is limited, you could opt for higher-efficiency monocrystalline panels, but these cost around 20% more than polycrystalline.

More expensive still are solar roof tiles, which may be necessary on some properties and in some areas for planning reasons. Tiles typically cost twice as much as polycrystalline panels covering the same area.

3. Quality of components such as the inverter and monitoring system. If you opt to include a battery with your solar PV system, so that you can save your daytime-generated electricity to use later, or for powering an electric vehicle, expect it to add around £2,000 to the overall cost.

4. Your roof or other surface upon which the panels will be installed. If your roof is fragile, extremely steep or otherwise difficult to access, your installer will need to take extra steps to guard their own safety, as well as ensuring the integrity of your roof and the quality of the installation.

5. The installer. Get at least three quotes before deciding which company to sign with, so that you can make an informed decision on price and service.

READ NEXT: Best solar batteries UK

How much does a single solar panel cost?

You can buy a single domestic solar panel for anything between around £50 and £700, depending on the panel’s size, power, design and other factors. For example, a 100W Renology solar panel for off-grid (separate from the mains) uses such as a caravan or houseboat costs just £80 from Amazon.

But unless you’re buying for a DIY project, the price you pay for solar panels will cover more than just the panels. Around 10% will be for professional installation and scaffolding.

However, it’s worth looking at individual solar panels to get an idea of what’s available. Our article on the best solar panels provides information on your options. Professional installers can advise on the type of panels that will best suit your home, and then source them at trade prices.

READ NEXT: DIY solar panels, explained

What does the price of solar panels include?

Every quote you get should be a whole-system cost, and include:

  • Solar panels
  • Panel mounting system
  • Inverter
  • Generation meter
  • Scaffolding
  • Cost of labour (this will be more if your roof is tricky to access)
  • Cost of connecting and registering your panels

Some UK energy providers offer solar panel installations. If you’re already with one of these providers, it’s probably your best option.

Our favourite energy supplier Octopus Energy offers Solar Battery Installation packages; use the online wizard to get a personalised quote. Octopus’s solar installations win awards, and offer extra cashback from excess energy under the Outgoing Octopus Export Tariff. This is more generous than the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which rewards you for any excess energy that your panels generate but you don’t use.

Ovo Energy, another above-average supplier, has just launched its own solar panel packages. Like Octopus, it has a better-than-SEG reward deal that lets you earn a consistent 20p/kWh when exporting excess solar energy back to the grid. Again, use the online wizard to get your quote.

E.ON may not earn as warm a review from us as Octopus and Ovo, but it does at least publish a few prices up front. Prices for its six-panel (2.34kWp) Energise solar panel system start at £5,995. If your roof has some shading, go for the Optimise package, from £7,661.

EDF’s solar panel installation prices start from £6,050 (was £6,450 in early 2023), and battery installations start from £4,995.

Alternatively, go to an independent solar installer such as Project Solar UK, which claims its systems can save you more than £20,000 in reduced bills over their lifetime. Its Evolution Ultramax 345MB-66 solar panels are considered some of the best you can buy. Prices vary based on the size of your roof and location, but all solar panels come with lifetime warranties. You can even get £7,500 cashback for referrals.

Can I get a grant to pay for solar panels?

If your home is poorly insulated and your household income is less than £31,000, you may qualify for help to pay for solar panels under the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, which applies in England and Wales. To apply, contact a participating energy supplier (it doesn’t have to be your own provider), such as Octopus Energy, Ovo Energy or E.On.

Scotland is a little more generous. Home Energy Scotland offers domestic renewables funding of up to £1,250 that you don’t have to pay back, plus an interest-free loan up to a maximum £5,000.

The SEG provides an additional financial incentive to install solar panels. If you generate more energy than you use, the excess is exported to the National Grid and you get a small reduction in your bills. Find out more in our article on solar panels grants.

Read more