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Average Supply-only solar electricity cost

The average cost of Supply-only solar electricity is £3250. Costs alter based on the materials and the company chosen. The upper price range can be as high as £4875. The material costs are mainly about £3200

Average price per Supply-only solar electricity job in 2021

Avg. price low

Avg. price low
£2,600

Avg. price

Avg. price
£3,250

Avg. price high

Avg. price high
£4,875

£5000

£3750

£2500

£1250

£0

Prices based on actual Supply-only solar electricity costs, as reported by local Quotatis members.

Supply-only solar electricity installation cost in 2021

Material cost £3,200
Waste removal £50
Time frame: 1-3 days

Supply-only solar electricity Manufacturers

Supply-only solar electricity FAQs

Do solar panels work in winter?

Yes – solar panels do work in winter. Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can still work under daylight, even if it's not hot. Of course, they won’t generate as much electricity as they would during the summer months, as the days are shorter, but they will still generate electricity during those daylight hours.

Once you know how solar panels work, it’s easy to understand why solar panels work in the winter. Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are units usually made out of silicon. These cells contain electrons that create energy when light hits them. The cell can then convert this energy into usable electric current and into your system to be used around the home.

Although it might seem strange, solar PV cells can actually work better when it’s cold. Too much heat around the cell can cause it to be inefficient, due to the difference in energy between the energy from the sunlight and the electrons in the solar cell. During cold weather, the difference between them is higher, so more

The higher the energy difference between the two sets of energy sources, the more power that the cell can produce when it’s struck by light. Of course, the downside is that there are fewer daylight hours in the winter, so you’ll still see a drop in energy production – but at least you know that your solar panels are still working efficiently. The other thing to bear in mind is that obstructions like snow and lots of cloud cover will impact the amount of electricity your solar panels will produce. Luckily the UK doesn’t get too much heavy snow, so any snow that does settle on the panels will melt quickly. As for cloud cover, even on exceptionally cloudy days your panels will still generate some electricity – just not as much as they would on a clear day.

How much do solar panels cost?
The cost of solar panels has reduced significantly over the years. While a system may have cost you up to £20,000 in the early days, that’s not the case anymore. So how much do solar panels cost today? The cost of an average 4kW system on an average home will set you back between £4,500-6,500. But pair that with the savings on your electricity bills and payments that you can receive from the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), the net cost could be much less. The SEG is a payment from your energy supplier for any electricity that you don’t use and send back to the grid. Each energy supplier can set their own rate, but it must be above zero at all times. This replaces the Feed-in Tariff Scheme (FITs) which used to pay solar panel owners per kW of electricity they generated as well as that which they sent back to the grid. This was a much more lucrative scheme which saw homeowners earn back the cost of their system within a few years, but it ended in March 2019. Now, with the SEG and your savings on your electricity bills, you could save up to £330 a year – meaning you could break even within 14 years. Solar panel systems are likely to last up to 25 years, so they’re still well worth investing in. Combine that with the saving of 1.29 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, and you’ve done your bit for the environment.
Can I fit solar panels myself?

In theory, you can fit solar panels yourself. In practice, it’s worth leaving it up to the professionals.

If you get DIY solar panels and install them on your roof yourself, you won’t be able to apply for the government-backed Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The SEG pays you for every unit of electricity you generate and send back to the grid, so it’s a scheme well worth signing up for. However, you must have your solar panels installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)-registered engineer or company, so you’ll miss out if you install the solar panels by yourself.

The other thing to consider about installing solar panels yourself is that you’re dealing with electricity. Electricity is extremely dangerous if handled incorrectly, so if you don’t have any qualifications in working with electricity you could be putting yourself and your family at risk. Connecting DIY solar panels yourself and doing it incorrectly could mean that you give yourself an electric shock or cause a fire. If your home is damaged due to a fire caused by solar panels you’ve installed yourself, it’s unlikely that your home insurance company would pay out.

Before having a go at installing your own solar panels, do some quick sums to see how much money it could really save you. A 3.5kW DIY solar panel kit will cost around £4,000-5,000. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a home in the South East of England where most occupants are out all day until 6pm would save around £100 a year on their electricity bills. That means that you wouldn’t break even until 40 years, but solar panels last around 25 years on average. However, if you have your solar panels installed by an MCS-registered installer and they cost £4,500, you could save £220 a year including your SEG payments. That brings the payback time to around 20 years.

So although the initial outlay is slightly less when you install solar panels yourself, it’s much better to have them installed by an MCS-registered engineer so you can take advantage of the SEG payments.

How do I connect solar panels to a battery?

If you want to connect solar panels to a battery, it’s likely that it’s because you want to make sure that you don’t waste any electricity when your solar panels are generating energy but you’re not around to use it. Batteries are particularly useful for homeowners that have solar panels but are out during daylight hours; with a solar battery system, your solar panels will feed the electricity they generate into the battery for you to use when you get home.

If you want to connect your solar panels to a battery, the best thing to do is to get in touch with an MCS-registered company who can talk you through your options. There are different size batteries and the size that’s suitable for you will depend on how much electricity you plan to store and how large your solar panel system is. Some of the top brands of battery storage system include Tesla, SunPower and SolarEdge. If you want to be able to take advantage of selling electricity back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), it’s worth getting an MCS-registered company to install your battery for you, as you may not be eligible for payments if you connect your solar panels to a battery yourself.

You should also consider whether your solar panel system is a ‘storage ready’ solar system. Today, most systems will be, since battery storage is becoming much more common. This means that your solar panel system will have an inverter that can easily integrate a battery. If this is the case, you should be able to purchase the battery you want and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install it.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that electricity is extremely dangerous when handled incorrectly. If something goes wrong, you could electrocute yourself or cause a fire. If your solar panels and battery cause a fire, it’s unlikely that your home insurance company would pay out if you connect the battery yourself. That's why it’s best to ask a reputable installer with all the correct qualifications to connect your solar panels to a battery for you.

Is it best to get solar panels installed by a professional?
Yes. It will always be best to get solar panels installed by a professional because they have gone through lots of training and have all the relevant qualifications to install solar panels correctly. Whenever you’re dealing with electricity, if something goes wrong it could cause a fire or you could electrocute yourself, so it’s always worth leaving it to the professionals. The other thing to bear in mind is that it’s best to get solar panels installed by a professional, MCS-registered engineer so you’re eligible for Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments. The SEG is a government-backed scheme where your energy supplier pays you for each unit of electricity you send back to the grid. Each supplier can set their own rate, but it must be above zero at all times, even if wholesale electricity prices dip below zero. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you’re at home all day and live in the South East, combine the savings on your electricity bills with your SEG payments and you could save up to £330 a year, meaning the system could pay for itself within 16 years. If you don’t use an MCS-registered company to install your solar panels, you won’t be able to claim the SEG. It’s also unlikely that you’d be able to claim payments for any other schemes that may become available in the future, so it’s always best to leave your solar panel installation to the professionals.
Can solar panels cause fires?
It’s only likely that solar panels will cause fires if they are installed incorrectly. The safest thing to do is ask an MCS-registered engineer to install your panels as they have all the relevant qualifications and training in handling electricity. If you choose a reputable company that can prove they have the right certifications, it’s highly unlikely that your solar panels will cause a fire. It’s important to remember that solar PV panels can’t start a fire themselves. It’s other parts that could become faulty that would then lead to a fire. For example, if the connectors in the system aren’t seamed properly, it could cause arcing and overheating, which could then cause the panels to set alight. Another possibility is that the junction box overheats and starts a fire. The junction box is found on the rear side of the solar panel and enables the electrical connection via a connector. Of course, since solar panels harness electricity, there is always a small fire risk – just like there is with any electrical appliance in your home. But there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk of fire from solar panels:
  • Don’t buy cheap solar panels – while it might seem tempting, make sure you choose MCS-certified solar panels. Any reputable installer will recommend high quality solar panels, which is another reason to have them professionally installed rather than doing it yourself.
  • Ensure that your installer uses non-combustible mounting systems and frames.
  • Check your system regularly for signs of pests gnawing through cables.
  • Keep your solar panel system regularly maintained with proper testing and servicing carried out as recommended by your installer.
  • If something doesn’t look right to you, get in touch with your installer and ask – they should be more than happy to help.
Can I buy solar panels?
Yes, you can buy solar panels without having to have them installed by the same company. There are lots of online companies that will sell you single solar panel modules, but there are also lots of businesses that offer DIY solar panel kits with everything that you need to install solar panels yourself. If you’re looking to buy solar panels without installation, you should expect to spend around £4,000-5000 on a 3.5kW system, which is the average system installed in the UK. When you buy solar panels to install yourself, it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t be eligible for Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments. To receive SEG payments, your solar panels need to be installed by an MCS-registered installer, and if any schemes come about in the future it’s likely that the rules will be the same. It’s also worth doing some sums before you decide to buy solar panels and install them yourself. An average solar panel system installed by an MCS-registered company will cost between £4,500-6,000. While that’s more expensive than a DIY solar panel kit, you can claim SEG payments. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can make your money back on your solar panels within 16 years with the SEG, but without the SEG it could be up to 20 years – and that’s only if you’re at home all day to use the electricity. So before you go ahead and buy solar panels to install yourself, consider whether it would be better to get in touch with some solar companies to get quotes and see if it’s better to pay more upfront.
How do I test my solar panel?

If you want to test your solar panel system to see if it’s working properly or just to see what output it’s giving, you can do this using a multimeter to measure current, or amps, and voltage.

Before you start, you’ll need to find the voltage (v) and current (A) ratings of your panel. You should be able to find them on the back of the panel. You should also make sure that it’s a nice clear, sunny day to get the best readings out of your panel. You should also check that it’s safe to be up on your roof!

To measure open circuit voltage, you’ll need to make sure that your solar panel is completely disconnected from your system’s regulator and battery (if you have one). Angle the panel towards the sun, and ensure that your multimeter is set to measure volts. Measure the voltage between the positive and negative terminals by connecting the negative contact on the voltmeter to the negative on the panel and the positive contact on the voltmeter to the positive on the panel.

Then, you can move on to the short circuit current. Follow the same steps as the open circuit voltage, but ensure that your multimeter is set at 10A to start with.

Only try to test your solar panel if it’s safe to do so. If your roof isn’t accessible without scaffolding or specialist equipment, consider speaking to an MCS-registered solar company about your concerns. They may recommend that they come to service your solar panel system.

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