Spring Sale - £1500 Off Solar & Battery Storage

The Complete Guide to Solar Panels For Your Home 2024

Expert Solar Panel Installers in Worthing- William Dexter-Managing Director

Written by

William Dexter

Updated on

March 9, 2024

solar panel installation - energize solar - worthing

The Complete Guide To Solar Panels For Your Home 2024

Table of Contents

Discover the Power of Solar Panels for Your Home

Solar panels offer a powerful solution to reduce your electricity bills, shrink your carbon footprint, and lessen reliance on the National Grid.

What’s more, the cost of solar panels continues to decline over time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about installing solar panels on your property. From understanding what they are to assessing if they’re the right fit for your home, we’ll cover the essential aspects, including associated costs and potential savings in different regions of the country.

With a staggering 17,000 solar panel installations occurring every month, there’s no better time to explore the benefits of solar energy. If you’re ready to take the next step and compare solar panel prices, simply provide a few quick details, and our team of expert installers will reach out with free quotes for you to compare.

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity, providing a renewable energy source for powering homes. These panels consist of cells made from semiconducting materials, predominantly silicon, which absorb sunlight and generate an electric charge. This charge is then converted into direct current (DC) electricity. Since most homes use alternating current (AC) electricity, inverters are installed alongside solar panels to convert DC to AC, making it compatible with household electrical systems.

Despite the initial cost, solar panels offer substantial benefits. They continue to generate electricity even on cloudy or snowy days, although they are most efficient under direct sunlight. Excess energy produced on sunny days can be stored in solar batteries for later use or sold back to the grid through programs like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Moreover, solar panels typically have a lifespan of at least 25 years, with some models even offering a lifetime guarantee.

In the UK, solar panels perform well, even in regions with less sunlight. On average, a three-bedroom household equipped with 10 solar panels can reduce its electricity bills by 70%, breaking even on the investment in just 14.6 years. The efficiency of solar panels has been increasing rapidly, requiring less sunlight to generate sufficient energy for homes, which is advantageous given the UK’s climate. Additionally, the risk of panels overheating is minimal in the UK, ensuring consistent efficiency.

While solar panels produce more electricity in countries with greater sun exposure, such as those to the south of the UK, they remain highly profitable in the UK. This highlights the advancements in solar technology over the years, making solar energy a viable and sustainable option for homeowners across the country.

solar panel output - energize solar - worthing

Determining whether solar panels are a suitable addition to your home entails considering several factors. Firstly, assess your roof’s space and orientation. Ideally, your roof should have ample space and face south for optimal sunlight exposure. However, east or west-facing roofs can also suffice. Additionally, the angle of your roof plays a crucial role, with angles between 35° and 45° generally regarded as ideal.

To ensure optimal performance, it’s essential to install the correct number of solar panels based on your household’s energy needs and available roof space. While solar panels require an initial investment, they typically yield substantial long-term savings. Our latest calculations indicate that the average household recoups its investment in solar panels after 14.6 years. Therefore, committing to solar panels is most advantageous for homeowners planning to reside in their current property for an extended period.

Moreover, investing in solar panels can enhance the value of your home. According to our recent National Home Energy Survey, 69% of individuals express a preference for properties equipped with solar panels. Additionally, numerous studies have demonstrated that solar panels positively impact property values. Thus, incorporating solar panels into your home can be both financially rewarding and enhance its desirability in the housing market.

Determining the optimal number of solar panels for your home is crucial for maximizing cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency. Typically, a one or two-bedroom house will require six solar panels to establish an efficient system, while a standard three-bedroom house would benefit from the installation of 10 panels. Larger residences, such as four or five-bedroom homes, usually necessitate 14 panels to meet their energy needs adequately.

In these scenarios, the solar panels installed can generate enough electricity to cover approximately 46% of an average household’s annual usage. However, actual usage may vary depending on factors like daily energy consumption habits and lifestyle.

Regarding the integration of a solar battery into your system, it’s a prudent choice only if your electricity consumption significantly exceeds the average. While adding a battery can yield an additional £132 in annual electricity bill savings for the average household with solar panels, it’s essential to consider the upfront costs. Solar batteries typically range between £2,500 and £5,500, making it challenging to break even unless your energy consumption is notably high compared to typical households.

When considering the investment in residential solar panels, it’s crucial to understand the associated costs. On average, each residential solar panel costs £786. For a standard three-bedroom household, a 3.5 kilowatt-peak (kWp*) solar panel system, comprising 10 panels, is usually the optimal choice. This system typically costs around £7,860. However, the total cost may vary depending on the number of panels required, ranging from £4,700 to £11,000 for households requiring between six and 14 panels.

According to data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), the average cost per kWp of solar panels is £2,246. Understanding these costs and considerations is essential for making informed decisions regarding residential solar panel installations.

Aspect

Details

Number of solar panels needed

- One or two-bedroom house: 6 panels

- Three-bedroom house: 10 panels

- Four or five-bedroom house: 14 panels

Electricity coverage provided

Approximately 46% of annual household usage

Integration of solar battery

Recommended only for households with significantly above-average electricity consumption

Additional annual bill savings with battery

£132 (on average)

Cost per residential solar panel

£786 (on average)

Cost of a 3.5 kWp solar panel system (10 panels)

£7,860 (on average)

Total cost range for households

£4,700 - £11,000 (for 6 to 14 panels)

Average cost per kWp

£2,246

Sonal Panels Requirement - energize solar - worthing

Are there funding opportunities available for solar panels?

Indeed, the government’s £630 million Home Upgrade Grant allocates resources to local authorities nationwide, albeit exclusively for residences not connected to the gas grid.

Between April 2023 and March 2025, 45 local authorities, listed below, are empowered to offer grants of up to £10,000 to eligible homeowners within their jurisdiction, aiming to facilitate various enhancements, including the installation of solar panels.

Notably, 27% of the grants disbursed under this scheme, which encompasses insulation, heat pumps, double glazing, solar thermal, and heating controls, have been allocated for solar panel projects.

On average, local authorities cover 87% of the total panel costs, with many cases seeing complete coverage.

To qualify, households must demonstrate a gross annual income below £30,000 and hold an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F, or G.

Additionally, the government extends solar panel provisions through the ECO4 scheme, although exclusively to homes with electric heating, a segment constituting a minority in the UK.

Here’s a table including all the councils listed:

Local Authority

Basildon Council

Blackpool Council

Bristol City Council

Broadland District Council

Calderdale Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Cheshire East Council

City of York Council

Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly

Darlington Borough Council

Dartford Borough Council

Devon County Council

Dorset Council

Durham County Council

Eden District Council

Greater London Authority

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Leeds City Council

Leicester City Council

Lewes District Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Newcastle City Council

North Tyneside Council

Northumberland County Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Plymouth City Council

Portsmouth City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

Sedgemoor District Council

Sevenoaks District Council

Shropshire County Council

Stroud District Council

Suffolk County Council

Surrey County Council

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Wakefield Council

Walsall Council

Wealden District Council

West Devon Borough Council

Wiltshire Council

Discover Your Solar Savings Potential

Unlock the financial benefits of solar panels for your home! A typical three-bedroom household stands to save a substantial £537 annually by harnessing solar power. If you reside in a smaller one or two-bedroom house, anticipate pocketing £322 in savings yearly, while larger abodes with four or five bedrooms can expect to trim down their expenses by a hefty £752 annually.

These figures reflect an impressive 70% reduction in average electricity costs, meticulously calculated based on January 2024 electricity rates, the most favorable Smart Export Guarantee rate, and comprehensive data sourced from the European Commission and Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

Picture this: in just 14.6 years, your initial investment in solar panels will pay off, setting the stage for continued savings over the panels’ lifespan, typically exceeding 25 years. By the end of this journey, you’re looking at a handsome total net saving of £5,571, inclusive of the initial solar panel costs.

solar break even point - energize solar - worthing

Sources: Energy Saving Trust, Ofgem

Regional Solar Savings Analysis:

London and South England:

In the vibrant city of London, solar panels offer a promising annual saving of £561 for the average three-bedroom household. For smaller residences, such as one or two-bedroom homes, expect a respectable £337 in yearly savings, while larger dwellings with four or five bedrooms can anticipate an impressive £785 saved annually. Heading further south unveils even greater solar potential, with a three-bedroom home in the region typically saving £609 per year. Smaller homes can expect savings around £366 annually, while larger residences may enjoy up to £853 in yearly savings.

North England:

In the northern reaches of England, solar panels still provide substantial savings, with an average three-bedroom household saving £527 annually. For smaller homes, including one or two-bedroom properties, expect around £316 in yearly savings, while larger residences with four or five bedrooms may see savings of up to £738 per year.

Scotland:

Scotland showcases varied solar savings across its regions. In North Scotland, a typical three-bedroom household can save £451 annually, with smaller homes saving around £271 and larger households saving up to £632 per year. Moving southwards, the rest of Scotland sees increased savings, with a three-bedroom home typically saving £496 per year, one or two-bedroom homes saving £298 annually, and larger properties saving up to £695 yearly.

Wales:

From North to South Wales, solar panels offer consistent savings. A typical three-bedroom household in North Wales can expect to save £532 annually, while South Wales sees even greater savings, with £614 saved annually for three-bedroom homes. Smaller homes in both regions can expect savings around £319 per year, while larger homes may enjoy savings up to £860 yearly.

Northern Ireland:

In Northern Ireland, solar panels provide significant annual savings, with the average three-bedroom household saving £584. Smaller homes can expect savings around £351 per year, while larger properties may enjoy up to £818 in yearly savings.

Solar Panel Installation Process:

Installing solar panels involves a meticulous seven-step process. Initially, scaffolding is set up to ensure safe access to the roof. Roof anchors are then attached to secure the solar panel mounts, providing stability during extreme weather conditions. Solar panel mounts are subsequently affixed to support the panels optimally for sunlight exposure. Finally, the inverter is connected to the solar panels and consumer unit, followed by thorough testing to ensure seamless functionality of the entire system.

1. Install Solar Panels:

Installation of solar panels involves meticulous attention to detail. Your installer will adeptly position the solar panels onto the mounting system, ensuring optimal alignment and securely fastening all bolts and nuts across the system to ensure stability and longevity.

2. Connect the Inverter to Your Solar Panels:

The inverter, a crucial component of the solar panel system, is seamlessly connected to the solar panels by your installer. This pivotal device efficiently converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels into alternating current (AC), compatible with your home’s electrical grid. This step, which typically takes 4-6 hours, demands professional expertise to prevent system failure or potential hazards like house fires.

3. Connect the Inverter to Your Consumer Unit:

Following the inverter connection, your installer proceeds to link the inverter to a circuit-breaker within your consumer unit, also known as a fuse board. This essential connection enables your home to harness solar-generated electricity, contributing to energy efficiency and cost savings. Additionally, if your inverter lacks a built-in generation meter, your installer may integrate one during this stage to monitor electricity production accurately.

4. Test the Solar Panel System:

Completion of the installation is marked by a comprehensive testing phase conducted by your installer. This meticulous testing ensures the seamless functionality of every component within the solar panel system. From switching the power back on to monitoring each part of the network, thorough testing guarantees optimal performance and peace of mind for homeowners.

For further insights and detailed guidance on solar panel installation, refer to our comprehensive Step by Step Guide to Solar Panel Installation.

Do Solar Panels Increase the Value of Your Home?

Research indicates that solar panels can significantly enhance a property’s value, typically adding 4.1% to its overall worth. This translates to substantial financial gains for homeowners, with the average seller potentially earning an additional £12,000 upon selling a property equipped with solar panels. Numerous studies from esteemed institutions such as Solar Energy UK, Cambridge University, and the European Economic Review corroborate the positive impact of solar panels on property value. Moreover, our recent National Home Energy Survey underscores the growing preference for homes with solar panels, with 69% of respondents expressing willingness to purchase such properties.

Pros and Cons of Solar Panels for Your Home:

Pros:

  • Significant savings on energy bills.
  • Opportunity to monetize surplus electricity through the Smart Export Guarantee.
  • Reduction of carbon footprint.
  • Minimal noise pollution.
  • Decreased reliance on the grid.
  • Scalability for future expansion.
  • Low maintenance requirements.
  • Availability of financial support and incentives.

Cons:

  • Initial upfront cost.
  • Performance susceptibility to weather conditions.
  • Suitability limitations based on roof type and orientation.
  • Space occupancy on the roof.
  • Complexity and cost associated with relocation.
  • Time required to break even on investment.

 

For a comprehensive assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of solar panels, consult our detailed breakdown of pros and cons.

How to Look After Your Solar Panels:

Maintaining the optimal performance of your solar panels entails periodic upkeep, including servicing, cleaning, functional checks, and obstruction clearance. While professional servicing every five years is recommended, vigilant monitoring and occasional cleaning can sustain panel efficiency. Pruning nearby trees, monitoring performance indicators, and periodic inspections ensure long-term reliability and performance.

Calculating Solar Panel Requirements:

Determining the required number of solar panels involves assessing your household’s annual electricity consumption and dividing it by the average yearly output per panel. This calculation, typically based on the 350-watt panel’s annual production of 265 kWh, facilitates accurate estimation of panel requirements. Additionally, consider roof suitability and orientation to maximize solar potential. For precise calculations tailored to your needs, utilize our solar panel cost calculator for comprehensive insights.

FAQ's
Questions Answered
Can I Get Free Solar Panels in the UK?

While it’s uncommon to receive completely free solar panels in the UK, there are various government schemes and financing options available to reduce the upfront costs significantly. These include the Home Upgrade Grant, which provides funding for solar panel installations, albeit with specific eligibility criteria. Additionally, some companies may offer financing arrangements or leasing options that alleviate the initial financial burden while still allowing homeowners to benefit from solar energy. It’s advisable to research and explore available incentives and financing solutions to make solar panels more accessible and affordable.

Several factors influence the cost of solar panels, including the size of the system, the quality and efficiency of the panels, installation expenses, and any additional components such as inverters and mounting systems. Additionally, geographic location and local regulations may impact pricing due to varying incentives, rebates, and permitting requirements. It’s essential to obtain quotes from reputable solar installers and conduct thorough research to understand the total cost and potential savings associated with installing solar panels on your property.

Yes, there are several financing options available to assist homeowners in covering the upfront costs of solar panel installation. These include loans, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and government-backed incentive programs. Loans allow homeowners to borrow funds for solar panel installation and repay them over time, while leases and PPAs involve renting solar panels and paying for the electricity they generate. Additionally, government programs such as the Green Homes Grant and Home Upgrade Grant provide financial assistance for eligible homeowners to install solar panels and improve energy efficiency.

The duration of solar panel installation varies depending on various factors, including the size of the system, the complexity of the installation, and the availability of materials and labor. Typically, the installation process can take anywhere from one to three days for residential projects, with larger or more intricate installations potentially requiring additional time. It’s advisable to consult with your chosen solar installer to obtain a precise timeline and schedule for the installation of solar panels on your property.

Solar panels generally require minimal maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Routine tasks include periodic cleaning to remove dirt, dust, and debris that may accumulate on the panels’ surface, as well as inspecting for any signs of damage or malfunction. Additionally, homeowners should monitor the system’s performance regularly and address any issues promptly to prevent efficiency losses. While professional servicing may be recommended every few years, most maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners with basic tools and equipment.

To maximize the benefits of solar panels, homeowners should focus on optimizing energy efficiency and maximizing solar energy production. This includes implementing energy-saving measures such as improving insulation, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, and adopting smart energy management practices. Additionally, homeowners can consider investing in energy storage solutions such as solar batteries to store excess energy for later use, further reducing reliance on the grid and maximizing savings. Regular monitoring and maintenance of the solar panel system are also essential to ensure continued performance and efficiency over time.

Share:

Recent Posts