Do solar panels save you money? Average UK savings
Put simply, solar panels will save you money. They’re an excellent way of reducing the cost of your electricity bills every month. By installing solar panels, not only can homeowners significantly cut their energy costs but they’re also helping the environment.
Solar panel systems are a long-term investment, so the initial cost is usually recovered over time in the form of savings on monthly electricity bills – let’s explore average savings in the UK.
How much you can save with solar panels across the UK
The amount you could potentially save depends largely on where you live – that’s because of the regional variations in factors like sunlight hours and how much local installers charge, for example. To give you an idea of how much you could save with solar panels every year, we’ve compiled regional averages across the UK:
|Estimated annual savings in the first year|
|Area||Without a battery||With a battery|
These regional savings achieved with solar panels reveal the potential for homeowners living in the same areas. But there’s also the exact details of your home to consider. Firstly, the number of panels you can have installed will depend on the space you have available and its suitability for capturing sunlight.
It’s recommended solar panels are installed with a south-facing orientation to capture the most sun. But this can be replicated, in homes that allow it, by installing panels to both east and west, largely producing the same amount of energy as a south orientation.
The amount you could save is also dependent on your household energy consumption. People using a lot of energy during the day could benefit even more from solar power. For example, if you work from home, you’ll be using energy during daylight hours.
To gain the most from solar energy, though, a battery can be added to your solar array. This increases how much you can save – because you can store energy to use at a later time, typically after the sun has gone down. Using an average of the regional examples above, a battery can increase your annual savings in the first year by £465 in the UK.
To work out the estimated annual savings in locations across the UK, we used:
- 2% inflation
- An annual electricity use without solar panels of 3,650 kWh
- Annual self-consumption with solar panels of 50% without a battery and 80% with a battery
- A price of 0.41 p/kWh when buying electricity from the grid and 0.04 p/kWh when selling to the grid
Where the savings come from
Solar panels save you money because you’re able to capture and use power from the sun – an infinite source of renewable energy, which doesn’t cost you anything once you have the necessary technology. So while there is an upfront cost, solar panels are a long-term investment. They offer a return on your investment after around seven years in the UK.
That’s because every month you’ll be using your own source of energy – without paying for it. Although many households will still need to rely on the grid, the amount they do will decrease dramatically with solar panels, especially with the addition of a battery. If we take the average annual savings of the locations above (£947), households will save around £79 a month on their bills without a battery, although this will vary month-to-month due to changes in sunlight hours across the year. Take the monthly energy production of a solar panel installation in Kent, for example:
The impact of a battery
How much money you can save depends on how and when you use the solar-powered electricity. That’s why having a battery with your installation has such a big impact, because you can get the most from your initial investment by having stored power available to you after the sun has gone down. Once again using the regional savings of solar panels above, installations with a battery could save up to 49% more every year. On average, they could save £118 a month on electricity bills.Start saving today with solar
Are they worth it?
It’s up to you to figure out whether the savings are worth it for you. But remember if energy prices increase, households will only save more too. The benefits of greater energy independence means you’re less vulnerable to changes in market prices – and for years to come. Modern solar panels typically last for over 30 years, so you can be sure that you’ll be reaping the benefits of your purchase for a long time to come.
And while we’ve focused on the savings which can be achieved with solar panels, there’s the environmental benefits too. Utilising solar means you can be part of the transition towards a greater use of renewable energy in the UK, powering your home and running your devices off truly clean power when you generate energy.
How much do solar panels reduce bills by?
According to an average of our regional savings in the first year, households could save £79 each month without a battery and £118 a month with one. But these savings are likely to be higher during the summer and lower in winter, due to the seasonal differences in sunlight hours. The average annual savings for solar panel installations with and without a battery are £947 and £1,412 respectively.
How many solar panels will I need?
The number of solar panels you need depends on various factors, such as the size and suitability of your roof and your average energy consumption. We recommend you work with our expert installers to figure out the best solar solution for your home.