So long as your house is suitable for a solar array (i.e. you have a south-facing, 30-40o tilted roof that isn’t in the shade), you should see a return on your investment given time. However, there isn’t a single super panel that’s perfect for everyone, so you’ll have to establish your specifications to know which model is best suited for your home. These include:

  • How much you’re willing to spend
  • How much space is available on your roof
  • Your electricity demands.

The table below should indicate which size solar installation you’ll need, how much it would cost and how much you’d be earning and saving each year.

Size of Solar Installation

Approximate cost Approximate annual output (KWh) Annual system benefit (savings and FiTs)

2kW

£3400 1,700kWh

£167.03

2.5kW

£4250 2,125kWh

£199.33

3kW

£5100 2,550kWh

£239.20

3.5kW

£5950 2,975kWh

£292.30

4kW £6800 3,400kWh

£334.05

These figures are based on typical values and averages from the time this article was written (Oct 2017) – they should not be taken as true savings.

Which criteria should I look out for?

It’s important not to get hung up on power rating (measured in Watts) of a solar panel. The power rating shows the maximum electric output under best-case conditions, so it doesn’t reflect how much electricity will be generated in typically British ‘grey and cloudy’ conditions.

Efficiency is one of the best indicators of a good quality solar panel. The only issue with high-efficiency solar panels is that they come with a greater cost, so be sure to weigh up the initial payment with the return over time.

Homes with limited roof space may want to go for more expensive, higher efficiency solar panels: their higher output-to-surface area will make up for the solar array’s small size.
Homes with a larger roof can opt for cheaper, lower efficiency solar panels – the initial cost will be lower, and the large surface area will counteract the solar panels’ poor efficiency.

How much does the installation cost?

Providing your installer is MCS-certified (you can double-check by searching for your installer on the MCS website), the proposal will give a breakdown of the costs, including labour and materials. Naturally, the installation cost will depend on how labour intensive the operation is: how many solar panels you’re installing and which type of inverter you choose. Micro-inverters may cost more to install, but they could potentially increase the electric output by up to 20%, so they’re more profitable in the long run.

With so many options available on the market today, choosing the right solar panel can get quite overwhelming. Your installer is a good source of practical knowledge if you’re uncertain. Alternatively, our consultancy team has years of experience in the field should you need a second opinion.

Would you like a quote?

If you’d like a detailed quote for your own solar panel installation, we’re here to help. As renewable technology specialists, we can provide you with a detailed proposal complete with performance estimates and a quote within a matter of days.

Simply send us an email to [email protected] with a brief description of your intended project and a daytime telephone number. One of our Technical Account Managers will soon be in touch for a quick chat about the solar install, before providing you with a quote.

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