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How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?

Installing solar panels can save you money on your fuel bills as well as cut your carbon footprint; you can even earn money by fitting panels under government incentive schemes –find out how much solar panels cost here.

Solar Panel Costs – How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?

There are two types of solar panels to choose from, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels which produce electricity, and solar thermal panels which heat domestic hot water. The price of solar panels will vary depending on the type and amount of panels you install, as well as who you hire and where you live. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST):

  • The average cost of a typical domestic solar PV system (including solar PV installation costs) is £10,000
  • The average cost of a domestic solar thermal panel system for a home is £4,800

Solar Panel Savings

One of the benefits of installing solar panels is that they produce free energy and can therefore reduce your fuel bills by the following amounts, says the EST, depending on the size of your panels:

  • A typical solar PV system will save you between £90 and £180 per year off your electricity bills
  • A typical solar thermal panel system will save you between £55 and £80 per year

A solar PV system will also reduce your household carbon emissions by up to one tonne per year, whereas installing solar thermal panels will save around 510kg of CO2 per year, says the EST.

Earn Money by Installing Solar Panels

You may be able to earn money when you install solar panels through one of these government schemes:

  • The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) – this scheme provides cash-back for every Kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity produced by solar PV panels. Solar panelYou can make additional cash through the FIT scheme by selling excess energy back to the national grid. Current tariff levels mean that you can earn up to £555 per year, for 20 years through the FIT scheme.
  • The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – this is similar to the FIT scheme but is for solar thermal panels and it has yet to be launched for domestic installations. It’s expected that you could make up to £400 per year through the RHI scheme when it eventually does launch.

To be eligible for these schemes your solar panels must have been installed by a registered member of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and your home must have an Energy Performance Certificate rated D or above. Find out more about what to look for in a solar panel installer.

Free Solar Panel Installation

You could get solar panels installed for free through a private ‘rent a roof’ scheme, whereby companies offer to install panels for free in exchange for reaping FIT earnings. The benefits of joining a scheme like this are that you get some free electricity and the panels may boost the value of your property. You could also be eligible for a £300 grant towards the cost of solar thermal panels through government Renewable Heat Premium Payments.

Solar Panel Maintenance Cost

Solar panels are often referred to as a ‘fit and forget’ technology because they require very little maintenance and generally last at least 25 years. Make sure your solar panels are MCS certified and come with a good warranty.

Sources: Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Related Tips & Advice:What to look for in a Solar Panel Installer, Planning Permission for Solar Panel

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