Cost of Installing Solar Panels – Details about Installation and Services
Every day our planet’s fossil fuel resources are depleting while our carbon footprint is increasing. As our dependence on electronics increases, we are all harming our planet in many innumerable ways. Global warming is no longer a threat to the future but a reality of our times. It is time for each and every human being on this planet to step up and make small changes that would help prevent an apocalypse.
Is it an impossible dream? No, it isn't. Mankind has always made innovations beyond the ordinary and there are many resources out there that will prevent us from using the already depleting natural resources of the earth. Solar energy is one such renewable energy that will not go out of stock till the time the sun shines over us. The efficacy and efficiency of solar panels have been known for decades now but their widespread use has until now been limited. The main reason is the cost of installation.
We often think that solar panel installation can get expensive and this isn't for households. Until very recently the general perception has been that solar panels are meant for factories and industries. But with evolving innovations, today installing solar panels in the UK is not a big deal. In fact, it is encouraged that households reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and increase solar energy consumption.
How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost?
Before you think about installing solar panels in your house, the first thing you should know is the solar panel installation cost. Depending on the size of the panel and the type of system, the average solar panel cost of installation of a single panel is about £350-500 according to official data from the government. If we talk about the energy requirement of a typical small household of three members. On average such a family requires about 3.6 to 4kW solar energy which can be met by installing 12 to 13 panels on a roof space of 20m². Thus, the cost of installing these many panels usually amounts to about £5000.
Factors to Consider While Determining the Cost of Installation
Though we have mentioned the average cost of installing solar panels in households, there are other factors that determine their ultimate cost. It is important to mention here that if you want more electricity generation, you will need a more powerful and efficient system installed. Needless to say that the installation charge will increase if you want more power generation.
Thus, if you are installing a 3kW system, the initial cost will be less but the output will also be much less. This will eventually mean that you will have to depend on other sources of electricity to meet your yearly consumption requirement. On the other hand, installing a 6kW may initially seem expensive but over a span of 25 years, you will have saved a lot more. So, if you are looking for a greater return on investments, it is better to go for heavy-duty solar panels that last long and produce more energy.
The next question that you have to ponder upon is how much electricity do you need in your household and how much can solar panels produce? For that, you will need to know how much energy is produced by solar panels. A single solar panel can usually create 250 watts. Thus to create 1 kilowatt of energy, you will need four panels. For a 2 kW peak system, you will need eight panels, 12 panels will be required to create a 3 kWp system, and so on. Depending upon your requirement you should install the solar panels. As we have already mentioned above, the cost of installing each panel is about £350-£500.
Another important consideration is the roof space required for solar panel installation in the UK. Naturally, if you want more panels, you will need more roof space. So how much space is enough? For a 1 kWp Solar PV system, you will need 8m² roof space. This requirement will increase to 14m² for a 2 kWp solar PV system. Furthermore, you will need at least 21m² if you want to generate 3 kW power at home and at least 28m² for generating 4 kWp.
Solar panels UK cost will depend on yet another factor – the annual electricity output. The cost of installing solar panels in the UK will increase with the size of the PV system which will subsequently determine the electricity output. If your requirement is at least 850 kWh, you will need a minimum of 1 kWh system installed. The electricity output requirement will determine the size of your solar panels which will then determine the cost. A 1700kWh output needs a 2 kWp solar panel system while for a 2550 kWh you will need a 3 kW system and so on.
If you are a single adult in the house, a 1 kWp solar panel is enough. As the number of people in the house increases, the electricity consumption also increases which also puts an increased load on the solar PV system size.
What Is The Average Household Requirement?
While estimating the cost of solar panel installation, it is also important to understand your requirement. The good thing about solar panels in the UK is that the installation can be completely customizable. You can install only as many panels as you need.
A family of three will need at a minimum of 3-4 kWp panel system which will meet their 3000 kWh annual electricity requirement. To sum up, you will need at least 12-16 panels and roof space of 28 square meters. This electricity output is enough to power a three-bedroom home.
If you are living in a one or two-bedroom property, your yearly power requirement will be around 1700 kWh. For this, you will need a 1 or 2 kWp solar panel system which will consist of 4 to 8 panels requiring a minimum of 14 square meters of roof space.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panel Price?
Now that we have understood the pricing range of solar panels, it is also necessary to highlight the factors that influence their price. In order to buy the right panel, you should know about their type, efficiency, and the number of panels you need to install.
- Panel Type – Primarily solar panels are made from silicon, but of two forms – monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The former has smaller cells and is considered to be more durable and efficient. They are also priced higher than polycrystalline.
- Panel Efficiency – The efficiency is determined by the amount of electricity it can generate with the sunlight. This is represented in percentage. Thus if a solar panel is believed to be 20% efficient it means that it can convert that much amount of received sunlight into energy. The average efficiency you can expect from solar panels is between 15 to 18%.
- Number of Panels – We have already discussed this before. For a larger solar PV system, you will need to install more panels. Fortunately with advancing technology, today there are several high-efficiency solar PV systems that can generate more energy using lesser panels. If you want a cost-effective solution, you could opt for these.
Additional Expenses on Solar Panel Installation
When considering solar installation services, apart from the main installation there are other added services that are often offered. Depending on your location and threat to external objects, it may be necessary to consider the following additional expenses.
- Bird Protection – If there are too many birds in your neighborhood, it may be advisable to use bird protection mesh for the solar panels. The cost for these mesh protection is usually around £400. However, the cost may vary depending on the size of your panels.
- Inverters – If some panels are in partial shade and don't add to the expected electricity generation, then it is advisable to get an inverter that will optimize and maximize electricity generation in those panels. The cost escalation will be around 10 to 15%.
- Power Diverter – It is a device that transfers any excess solar power to the hot water tank instead of the grid thereby optimizing use. A power diverter will add another £450.
- Battery Storage – It is an important addition to the entire setup as a battery allows you to save up the generated power so that you can use it later at night. A battery also has other features such as power cut protection and off-peak charging. Though the cost may shoot up by £8-10k, it is a worthy investment in the whole scheme of things.
Are you looking for solar installation services in the UK? There are many such service providers who not only install the PV systems but also explain to you the pros and cons of the different types of panels available. Before you install any, educate yourself and learn about the various factors that determine the solar panel installation cost. Do not buy any less efficient solar panels as they will not help you meet your yearly electricity requirement.
Summary: In this write-up, we discuss solar panel installation cost and solar installation services and why you must know about the varying determining factors.