Solar Panel Prices
Average cost = £1,695
Best / cheapest price = £240 / £810 (cheapest/best value for money)
Related Guides: Solar Panel Costs
Solar panel technology has never been more popular than in the last ten years – especially since the government introduced the Energy Act 2008, which encourages homeowners to install solar panel systems by offering cash incentives.
There are two types of solar panel systems; one that produces hot water (also known as solar thermal panels, or solar water heating panels), and another which produces electricity – commonly referred to as a Photovoltaic (or PV) systems. Costs will vary according to the number of panels you want installed, as well as the quality of your chosen model. For PV systems, prices will more specifically vary according to the amount of electricity that can be produced per hour.
We looked into the current prices of three major solar panel manufacturers, and the following quotes reflect the typical costs of their solar PV panel systems – each of which is graded according to the speed of electricity generated (latest costs sourced from OutdoorBits.com)
|Brand||PV: 80-90w/ph||PV: 100-120w/ph||PV: 140+w/ph|
For a solar thermal panel system, prices will vary according to how much water you need produced – and therefore by the size of your home and/or how many people you live with. Different systems are measured by the number of ‘standard evacuated tubes’ your property will require (that is, the amount of pipes that absorb solar energy you need to have installed). A one-person system needs about twenty of these tubes on average. The following table, sourced from theecoexperts.co.uk, carefully outlines some estimated costs for these thermal systems:
Size/No. of evacuating tubes
As you can see, the more you spend on your investment, the sooner you are likely to recoup your initial costs. The average three-bedroom home can typically sustain a 500-750 watt system, so you also need to remember to choose a model that will best suit your home. Additionally you are also required to include your new solar panel system on your existing home insurance policy (which can increase costs). Ultimately, however, fitting these eco-friendly panels is good for the environment, and you will really start to see the financial benefits within as little as five to eight years – not bad for a major home renovation job!
*Source: OutdoorBits.com, theecoexperts.co.uk, Energy Saving Trust. All information is accurate as of January 2012