Solar panels can cut your electricity bills by as much as half. Here, we look at the cost of solar panels and the options available.
Just like most innovations, the cost of solar panels has reduced over time as the technology gets better. When looking at the cost of solar panels, it is important not to forget financial benefits, such as how much they can cut your electricity bills by, what your return on the Feed-in Tariff might be and whether you could be eligible for free solar panels.
In this guide, we break down the finances of domestic solar panels and evaluate solar panel costs.
Solar panels cost - should you buy solar panels?
The average cost of solar panels and installation is between £6,000 and £9,000.
Wondering where you can find solar panels for sale? A number of websites and shops sell solar panels. Swedish furniture giant Ikea, for example, sells relatively cheap solar panels, with prices starting at £5,700.
Energy prices are likely to go up over time, so the amount your solar panels save you will go up too. In fact, a recent survey found eight in 10 of those with solar panels installed them to protect themselves against future energy price rises.
Do companies still offer free solar panels?
In April 2010, the government introduced the Feed-in Tariff as part of a drive to reduce carbon emissions in the UK. With the Feed-in Tariff you could get paid for generating your own renewable energy.
Some companies would offer free solar panels and take the money earned from the Feed-in Tariff to recoup its investment.
However, the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants on 31 March 2019 and these offers are no longer available.
Can solar panels add value to my property?
Yes, they could. A YouGov survey from 2009 found that home buyers ranked energy efficiency as the third-most important reason to buy a property, just behind outdoor space and a garage. In addition, uSwitch research showed that solar panels were the fourth-most important consideration for potential homeowners.
Does my mortgage company need to know?
Solar panels may be viewed as a modification by mortgage lenders - just like an extension or dormer window - so it's best to let them know.
Will the quality of my electricity suffer?
No. You won't notice any difference. If your solar panels aren't producing much electricity, for instance at night, you'll just use electricity from the Grid instead.