Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run a house on solar power alone?

You’ll be able to power your home on solar power alone, as long as you don’t exceed your solar panel system’s maximum power output, and you use your appliances during the day. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to go completely off-grid with solar panels alone.  Instead, you’ll need a mix of other renewable energy sources when your solar panels can’t generate electricity (at night), and likely battery storage so you can store electricity (generated by your solar panels or another renewable energy source).

How many solar panels are needed to power an average home in the UK?

A typical three-bedroom home in the UK will need around 10 panels to provide enough power. If each panel is 350W, a 10-panel setup will generate between 2,700–3,000 kWh of clean electricity each year — enough to meet the average energy consumption of roughly 2,700 kWh.

Where is the best place in the UK for solar panels?

The best place for solar panels in the UK is in the South West, where solar panels generate an average of 3,023 kWh of electricity. This is despite having the third-highest sunshine hours — 1,666 annual bright sunshine hours per year. If you live in South East England, you’ll get an impressive 1,830 hours of sunshine and generate 2,977 kWh. Slightly less, but more than enough to power a three-bedroom home comfortably.

How efficient are solar panels in Surrey?

Solar panels are always improving with their ability to convert sunlight into energy increasing from 15% to 20%. They’ve also moved up from being 250W on average to 350W. The same is true for the efficiency of solar panels in Surrey, so that even with cloudy skies you can bring light to your home.

How much do solar panels cost in the UK?

It depends on where you are in the UK and what grants are available for the region. For example in Surrey, the cost of a solar panel is £700 per 350-watt panel, and you’d need around 10 panels for your standard three-bedroom home. The total would be around £7,000 for the county of Surrey. Whereas solar panels outside of south-east England tend to be cheaper. Somerset is £680 per 350-watt panel for instance.

Do solar panels work in Surrey UK?

Yes, solar panels do work in Surrey — better than most areas of the UK in fact as Surrey has some of the highest number of hours of sunlight per year with 1,830 hours. Even in cloudy weather, a solar panel system can keep generating clean electricity, albeit at a reduced rate. A solar panel generates roughly 23% less electricity under light cloud cover, which increases to 66% if cloud cover is heavy.

Do solar panels make it harder to sell a house?

Selling a home with solar panels is easier — after all, who wouldn’t want a home with green credentials, lower energy bills, and less reliance on the grid? Some of the latest research shows that adding a solar panel system to a home can increase the value of a property 4.1%. In resale value, that means potentially adding tens of thousands of pounds to the total cost.

Can I get free solar panels in London?

Your only option for free (or funding towards) solar panels in London is the government’s ECO4 scheme, which will run until March 2026. The scheme includes home upgrades including solar panels, but also helps with funding towards heat pumps and insulation. To be eligible for ECO4 and to qualify for a solar panel grant you will need to be living in a low-income, vulnerable, and fuel poor household.

Do solar panels work in London?

A solar panel system will work very well in London, actually. With solar panels in London, you’ll be able to generate around 2,977 kWh each year — more than the average annual electricity consumption in the UK of 2,700 kWh. Also, don’t think that solar panels need direct sunlight to work, because a solar array will still generate clean electricity even when the sun is hiding behind the clouds. You will lose out on some power — roughly 66% under very heavy cloud cover — but your solar panels will keep working. Overall, you’ll cut your energy bills by around 70% with a solar panel system in London.

Are solar panels worth it in London?

Solar panels are worth it in London, despite the classic London rain! You’ll still break even on a solar panel system within 13 years (longer if you opt for a solar battery however). Plus, you’ll make a healthy profit of £6,300 or so (if you factor in Smart Export Guarantee payments too) after 25 years, which is a great return on your investment.

Where in the UK are solar panels best?

South East England and South Central England are the best places in the UK for solar panels, with 1,830 hours of annual sunshine (Met Office, 2023). Then it’s East Anglia, with 1,807 hours of yearly sunshine, and then South West England and Wales with 1,666 hours of sunshine per year (including Somerset). 

Do solar panels work in Somerset?

Yes, solar panels absolutely work in Somerset — better than most of the UK in fact, as Somerset has the third-highest number of hours of annual sunlight with 1,666 hours per year. Plus, even when it’s cloudy, a solar panel system in Somerset will still generate power, albeit at a reduced rate. It’s roughly 23% less under light cloud cover, going up to 66% when cloud cover is particularly heavy.

Are solar panels worth it in Somerset in 2024?

Solar panels in Somerset are definitely worth the investment. Despite what you might think, your solar panel system will continue generating electricity even in cloudy weather — definitely an important feature in the UK! The average three-bedroom home in Somerset will save around £614 each year on their energy bills with a solar panel system.

How long do solar panels last in the UK?

Most solar panels in the UK last between 25–30 years on average. With homeowners generally breaking even on their solar systems after 14.6 years, that leaves 10 years or more of pure profit. That’s a win for your wallet and the planet!

How many solar panels do I need for a three-bedroom house in the UK?

The average three-bedroom home will need roughly 10 solar panels to meet annual electricity demands. 

Smaller homes (one or two bedrooms) need 6–7 solar panels, and larger homes (four to five bedrooms) will require 14–15 panels.

Is getting solar panels worth it in the UK?

If you’re like many other homeowners, you’ve probably asked yourself: “Is solar power worth it?” The answer is yes, it is worth it, because even in the UK you’ll be able to generate more than enough electricity to meet your needs. 

This is true across the whole country, although the further north you go, the less electricity you’ll generate overall.

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in the UK?

The average cost of a single solar panel is approximately £250 (not including installation). Including installation, it rises to roughly £786, based on our calculations of the average 3.5 kWp solar panel system (10 panels) costing £7,860.

How are solar panels installed?

The installation process usually takes a couple of days and consists of setting up the scaffolding, setting up the solar panel mounting system, installing the solar panels, setting up the solar inverter and connecting the solar battery. Once this has been completed the the final step is to switch the power on and test the newly installed solar panel system.

How much do solar panels cost?

In the UK, the expense for solar panels can vary between £7,000 and £15,000 depending on many different factors. The size of the property, energy consumption and equipment used all play a huge factor when it comes to determining a total price.

Are solar panels worth it?

In the UK, the payback period for a solar panel installation has many varying factors. Location, amount of sunlight, number of panels and quality of the equipment used can drastically influence the payback period.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight into electricity. These panels consist of semiconductor materials that form a photovoltaic cells. When sunlight hits these cells, it excites electrons in the semiconductor material, generating an electric current.

How many solar panels should I get for a full house?

A three-bedroom property will need around eight solar panels to meet the typical annual electricity requirements. We’ve based this off of a 400-watt (w) panel, which is the most widely available wattage of residential solar panels. A more accurate way to calculate the number of solar panels needed for a full house is to take the annual kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity consumed each year, and to divide it by 400 w to get the number of solar panels you’ll need to power your home.

How many solar panels does a home need?

The number of solar panels a home needs depends on how big it is, what the yearly electricity consumption is, and whether the energy use is expected to rise in the future. As a rule of thumb, try to work out what the future energy usage will be and work out how many panels are needed to meet that.

How do I work out how many solar panels I need for my home?

You can calculate how many solar panels your home needs by working out how much electricity your year annually. To do this, simply look at how much electricity you consume each month, and multiply by twelve. 

Once you’ve got this figure, divide it by 400 — the usual wattage of most residential solar panels available on the market.

The number you’ll get is a good estimate of how many solar panels your home requires to meet electricity needs.