How to save money using solar power

6 Oct 2022
3 min read
Solar panels on a domestic roof

Energy bills have risen dramatically over the past 12 months, leading many people to explore how they can save money as well as make greener choices when it comes to using gas and electricity at home.

Kitting out your roof with solar panels will not only lower your bills, but it also means you’re using daylight to power your home, instead of burning fossil fuels.

3,000 solar installations are being carried out every week

Solar Energy UK

Using solar power at home saves you money in two ways. Firstly, you generate your own renewable electricity, meaning you won’t need to pay for as much from your energy company.

Secondly, you receive a small payment for energy your solar panels generate that you don’t use which is fed back into your local network.

So it’s no surprise that thousands of people are making the move to solar power. According to trade association Solar Energy UK, 3,000 solar installations are being carried out every week – up from 1,000 a week in 2020.

Ready to join the solar power club and start saving? Read on.

How much does it cost?

The cost of installing solar panels varies depending on the size of your roof and which installer you choose. According to Money Saving Expert the average is around £6,500, while the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors estimates it is between £9,000 and £11,700.

How much could I save?

Due to the money saved on paying energy bills the average household will break even in between 11 to 15 years, based on figures using the £2,500 average energy bill from October 2022.

Solar Energy UK says those with gas heating can expect to save around £300 per year using solar panels, while those with electric heating would save around £900. These figures depend on where in the country you live and how much energy you use.

Is my roof suitable?

Solar power is not about temperature, but daylight hours

You need to make sure you have enough space and your roof is in good condition. The average solar system has about 15 panels, for which you need roughly 25m2. Solar panels work best on an unshaded, south-facing roof – but east and west-facing roofs can also be suitable, although they’ll generate less electricity.

You don’t usually need planning permission, but it’s always a good idea to check with your local council, especially if your home is listed. You have to register your solar power system with your Distribution Network Operator, the company responsible for bringing electricity to your home. Usually, your installer will do this for you.

Does it matter where I live?

Solar power is not about temperature, but daylight hours. Those in London and the South East get the most daylight while those in Scotland get the least, which makes a small difference to the amount of power your panels will generate.

How do I get solar panels installed?

Make sure your installer is registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and ask for recent references. You can find installers on the organisation’s website. Some councils are offering a discount through a solar street initiative, so it’s worth exploring if one exists in your neighbourhood.

Want more information?

The Energy Saving Trust has a comprehensive section on solar power, including more details on tariffs and other considerations.

All information correct at the time of writing in October 2022.


This information is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

Please share this article and comment on social.

Related articles

How do you get your home ready for heat pump installation?

As of April 2022, the UK Government’s new £5k grants for heat pumps are available in England and Wales. Take-up should hopefully be huge. With energy prices soaring, the rush to ditch gas boilers and move to eco-friendly heat pumps is on. To get your home ready, preparation is key.
Angela Terry 4 Apr 2022 2 min read
Domestic radiator