Solar Panels in Berkshire

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✅ There are 25,631 solar panel installations in Surrey

✅ There’s a community-led solar panel group-buying scheme available

✅ Solar panels in Somerset generate 3,023 kilowatt hours per year

The south-east county of Berkshire is increasing its solar panel installations year after year, with an impressive 17,063 households now generating clean, solar-powered electricity (MCS Dashboard, 2024).  That means thousands of Berkshire residents are benefiting from lower energy bills, smaller carbon emissions, and less reliance on the grid for their energy. 

With a solar panel system, you could see reductions on your annual energy bills by up to 70%, or roughly £608. You’ll also cut your carbon emissions by around 0.54 tonnes — or the same emissions as a return flight from London to Spain.

Convinced about switching to solar? We can help you compare prices with our easy-to-understand webform. All you need to do is enter a few details about your home, and we’ll connect you with our trusted installers. They’ll get back to you with obligation-free quotes for you to compare.

Read on to find out more about solar panels in Berkshire.

Are Solar Panels in Berkshire Worth It?

Solar panels in Berkshire are worth it, as are solar panel systems across the whole of the UK — but Berkshire’s position in the sunniest part of the UK gives it an extra advantage (more on that shortly).

With solar panels, you’ll get lower energy bill costs each year, smaller carbon emissions, and you’ll be less reliant on the grid. That means having greater resilience to the threat of rising electricity costs, something we’ve all been familiar with over the past few years. 

Installing a typical 3.5 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar panel system on a home in Berkshire will help you save around £608 a year. This is based on savings on your energy costs, and profit from excess electricity sold back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). 

You’ll also be helping make the planet a greener place to live, by reducing your carbon emissions by 0.54 tonnes. 

Something that isn’t possible with a solar panel system alone, is going completely off-grid. Solar panels are great at protecting you against things like energy price spikes, but to go completely off-grid you’ll need a more robust network of renewable energy sources (and battery storage).

Can You Actually Use Solar Panels in Berkshire?

Yes, definitely — in fact, solar panels in Berkshire benefit from having some of the highest hours of bright sunshine in the UK. The sun shines on Berkshire for roughly 1,830 hours each year, according to data from the Met Office (2023). 

That’s 27% more bright sunshine hours than the UK average of 1,435, so solar panels in Berkshire make a lot of sense. 

It’s maybe surprising then that solar panels cover just 4.6% of households across all of Berkshire. You’d think with all that extra sunshine that residents would be jumping at the opportunity! 

Solar panel owners in Berkshire will generate 2.977 kWh (kilowatt hours) on average each year. This is with a typical 3,5 kWp solar panel system powering a three-bedroom home. Considering most UK homes consume around 2,7000 kWh per year, it’s clear a solar panel system will make a sizable impact.

Keep in mind the fact that you’ll only use around 50% of the electricity your solar panels generate however, because most people aren’t at home all day. Because of this, a lot of people choose to export their excess electricity to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee. 

It’ll only amount to roughly £160 a year, but that’s still money you’re saving on your energy bills.

One option to increase the amount of solar energy you can use is to get a solar battery, which’ll allow you to use around 80% of the electricity your panels generate. The downside is the increased cost — solar batteries will set you back £4,500 on average. 

Plus, you’ll need to purchase two solar batteries within the lifespan of your solar panels. Solat batteries typically last 12.5 years, and solar panels 25 (although many modern panels can last upwards of 30 years). 

Getting a battery then, means increasing your break-even point on a solar system from around 13 years, to closer to 19 years. 

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Berkshire?

It costs an average of £700 per 350-watt solar panel in Berkshire, so a three-bedroom home looking for a typical 10-panel solar system will spend roughly £7,000.

Households can spend substantially less if they qualify for the government’s ECO4 scheme, which is an initiative set up to help fuel-poor, low-income homes benefit from better energy efficiency. 

For more information on what you might spend on a solar panel system, our article on how much solar panels cost has everything you’ll need to know.

Can I Get a Grant for Solar Panels in Berkshire?

Homeowners in Berkshire can get access to the Home Upgrade Grant if their property is eligible. The scheme helps provide funding towards energy-saving improvements, which could include solar panels. 

To be eligible for the Home Upgrade Grant, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be in a home not heated by mains gas (including oil, coal, LPG, or electric heating)

  • Have a combined household income of less than £31,000 or receiving certain income-related, means-test benefits (Universal Credit)

  • Live in a hard to heat property, which is determined by your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

There’s also the UK government’s ECO4 scheme, which helps homes that qualify gain funding towards home improvements (again including solar panels). 

You could look into Solar Together as well, the group-buying scheme that helps homes benefit from lower upfront costs for solar panel systems. There isn’t an active scheme in Berkshire right now, but it often returns and it’s still worth registering your interest

Solar Panels Throughout Berkshire

There are over 17,000 solar panel installations across Berkshire. Let’s take a closer look at some of the cities, towns, and districts with the most solar panel installations, and what it might cost to buy a solar system there. 

Solar Panels in Reading

Expect to pay around £700 to buy and install a 350W solar panel in Reading, meaning a 10-panel system for a three-bedroom home will cost roughly £7,000.  There are 2,743 homes with solar panels in Reading, according to the latest data from the MCS Dashboard. This is just 4.05% of households in the city, so it’s pretty clear that Reading has a long way to go to improve this. 

Residents of Reading looking to get solar panels could consider registering for Solar Together, which doesn’t have any active schemes in the area at the moment, but is likely to come back.  Alternatively, the government’s ECO4 scheme is available for eligible households and can be a great way to get significant funding towards a solar system. 

Solar Panels in Windsor and Maidenhead

Buying a 3.5 kWp solar panel system in Windsor will cost around £7,000, based on the typical £700 cost of a 350W solar panel.

The latest figures from the MCS Dashboard state that 2,593 homes in Windsor have solar panels, or approximately 4.26% of all households within the royal borough. Considering the commitment of King Charles to the environment, it’s surprising there aren’t more homes generating clean electricity with solar power.

If you want to improve this number but can’t afford the upfront cost of a solar panel system, you might want to look into grants such as the Home Upgrade Grant or the government’s ECO4 scheme. 

Both initiatives provide funding towards home improvements (including solar systems) for homes with poor energy efficiency and low incomes. 

Solar Panels in Bracknell Forest

Solar panels in Bracknell Forest cost around £7,000 for a typical 3.5 kWp system — that’s plenty of power for a three-bedroom home.

There are around 2,639 homes in Bracknell Forest with solar panel installations, which amounts to 5.26% of all households. Like much of Berkshire, this is a little on the low side. People living in Bracknell Forest looking to get solar panels could consider a grant, such as the Home Upgrade Grant, or the ECO4 scheme. 

Do I Need Planning Permission for Solar Panels in Berkshire?

Solar panels installed on domestic buildings and land in Berkshire are classed as permitted development. So you don’t need planning permission to install a solar panel system – in most cases that is. 

Where you might need permission is for solar installations on listed or historical buildings. Solar panels can be seen as altering a listed/historical building’s appearance too radically, but there is the option of solar tiles to mitigate this. 

Solar tiles are roof tiles that generate electricity like solar panels do, while seamlessly blending into a roof’s aesthetic. Be aware that solar tiles are considerably more expensive than ordinary solar panels, and are generally less efficient. 

Conclusion

People with solar panels in Berkshire are playing a huge part in helping the UK go green and reduce emissions. Not only that, but they’re getting cheaper energy bills and reducing their reliance on the grid.  Sounds great right? If you’re ready to join the 17,000+ homes with solar panels in Berkshire, we can help you compare prices. Fill in a few details about your home and we’ll connect you with our trusted suppliers. They’ll contact you with obligation-free quotes for you to compare. 

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar?

Save up to 90% on your electricity bill
Sell excess energy back to the grid
Increase the value of your home

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