Solar Panel Installation at home

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Solar Panel Installation at home

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy costs and play your part in reducing carbon emissions, installing solar panels at your home could be the perfect solution for you.

Solar panels make use of nature’s most powerful resource, sunlight, and convert it into electricity using semiconductor technology. This can help power your entire home in an efficient and environment-friendly manner.

Although solar panel installation in homes has become a popular choice with nearly 12,000 solar panels installed in the UK each month, there is still a little speculation in terms of whether it is the right solution for homeowners or not.

Read on to find out all about solar panel installation at home and if is worth it in terms of its cost, output, savings, and return length:


Solar panels are growing in popularity with more and more homeowners opting for their installation. They are a great way to generate free energy for your home all the while benefitting the environment as a whole.

Solar power is a renewable, environment-friendly energy source that works by converting sunlight into electrical energy or heat. Different types of solar panels with photovoltaic (PV) cells are installed on the rooftops of homes that harness and convert sunlight into energy that can power the entire property. This includes lighting up the rooms, running the appliances, heating water, and keeping the house nice and cosy on cold days and nights.

The way that solar panels work is quite simple. When the sun’s rays hit the solar panels, the PV cells within the panels absorb the sunlight and ignite electrical charges within the cells to move until the sunlight gets converted into electrical energy.

The electrical energy passes through an inverter that transforms the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into usable alternating current (AC) electricity for powering lights, appliances, and other electrical systems.

Solar panels offer a myriad of benefits to homeowners including energy savings, reduced carbon emissions, as well as increased property value. Despite all of that, there is still a lot of confusion and speculation regarding whether or not installing solar panels at home is worth it.

The main reason for this hesitation is the upfront cost of solar panel installation. Luckily, due to technological advances and increased demand over the years, the price of solar panels has decreased substantially and they are now as cost-effective as ever.


Before we delve into how much solar panels cost, what their typical energy output is, and if they are a wise investment or not, let’s discuss the key benefits of installing solar panels at home:

Cheaper energy

With energy price hikes making consumers worry about bills all year round, you can get cheaper energy by using solar panels in your home. Not only is the electricity produced by solar panels technically free (minus the installation and maintenance cost) but also allows you to store excess energy for later use or to export it back to the grid.

Earn money back

Due to the great benefits of solar panels, the demand for solar-generated electricity is ever-increasing. By generating your own electricity using solar panels, you can not only enjoy great energy savings but also earn money by selling the surplus electricity back to the grid. This allows homeowners to see a return on their investment much quicker than expected.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Since solar energy is a green, renewable source of energy, switching to it from fossil fuels like coal and oil can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. It doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the air and can really make a difference. Considering the climate crisis that our planet is currently under, switching to solar energy seems like the right thing to do.

Independence from the grid

Having solar panels installed in your home gives you complete power independence as you are free to generate your own electricity without having to rely on the grid. This is a great solution for homes that are in remote areas where extending power lines to connect them to the grid can be too expensive. You can also integrate solar batteries with your solar power system to store excess energy and use it throughout the night after the sun sets.

Low maintenance

Solar panels are a long-term investment with an average lifespan of around 25 to 30 years and little to no maintenance. Apart from the initial setup cost and replacing some components such as the inverter every 10 to 15 years, there is nothing else to worry about and you can keep enjoying clean and free energy for years to come.


The cost of solar panel installation at home depends on several factors, but on average, a standard 250W solar panel costs around £400 to £500. Considering that one of the most common sizes of a home solar panel system is 4kW, it would cost approximately £6,400 and cover around 29 square metres of your rooftop.

Compared to earlier price models, the cost of solar panels has seen a significant decrease over the years due to technological advancements. What was considered a luxury a few years back has now become relatively affordable and will continue to be so.

Generally speaking, the bigger the system is and the more electricity it can generate, the higher its initial installation cost will be. However, it is important to keep in mind that while the initial cost will be higher for a bigger system, so will the savings.

For example, although a 3kW system will be relatively cheaper to install, it won’t allow you to save as much as a 6kW system would over the course of 25 years. We will discuss more about savings in the next section.


With the use of solar panels in your home, you can cut down on your electricity bills and enjoy free energy all year round. The electricity generated by solar panels is free and can result in annual savings of up to £1,460+.

While these savings can add up to a considerable amount over the years, the actual savings can be in the form of selling excess energy to the grid, and your total savings in 25 years could amount to more than £40,325+ depending on your system and tariff.

Some factors that contribute to solar panel savings include:

  • Your electricity consumption
  • How and when you use your appliances
  • How efficient your solar panel system is
  • Any income generated from solar panel funding schemes

There are ways in which you can increase savings on your energy consumption when using solar energy. A simple way is to use your high-powered appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher during the day when the sun is out and the solar panels are active.

The type of solar panels you have also plays an important part in how much you can save. Monocrystalline panels, although more costly, are more efficient and result in greater savings. Polycrystalline panels, on the other hand, are a cheaper option but are less efficient.

The bottom line here is that the more efficient your system is, the more electricity it can generate at a given time, and can result in better savings in the long run.

In the UK, you can make further savings by making use of solar panel grants such as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) through which you can earn money by selling your excess solar energy back to the national grid.

If you have a 3kW solar panel system installed in your home, you can earn around £75 per year through the grant. The bigger the system is, the more you can earn with it. With a 4kW system, you can earn around £100 per year, whereas with a 5kW system, your yearly earnings can go up to £120.


Solar panel installation is a long-term investment and it takes a bit of time to see returns on this investment. In the UK, the typical return length for solar panels is around 10 years. However, depending on the size and type of system you have, your energy consumption, and your export tariff, the costs can be paid off in even 7 years.

Also, as mentioned earlier, although bigger solar panel systems are more expensive, they can generate more electricity and result in greater savings in the long run. A 5kW solar panel system may start to show returns on investment after 6 to 7 years, whereas a 3kW system may take much longer than that.


Solar panels are a great solution if what you’re looking for is savings, energy independence, and a reduced carbon footprint. In the UK, solar panels have become more popular than ever and their demand continues to rise over the years.

The output and efficiency of solar panel systems depend on several factors, the most important of which is sunlight. Although these systems need sunlight to work, it need not be direct, and contrary to popular belief, they can produce a substantial amount of electricity even on cloudy days and during the winter months.

The power output of a solar panel system is calculated in watts (W). The higher the wattage of the system, the more electricity it can produce. The power output of the system is also dependent on the number of panels installed, your location, the weather conditions, and the placement of the panels.

A typical solar panel has a power output of 350W and will generate about 0.72 kWh of electricity each day. This, however, is the power output of a singular solar panel. A complete solar panel system with at least 10 panels, which is the usual size of the system for a 3-bedroom property, would generate about 7.2 kWh of electricity each day.

On average, a residential solar panel system with 12 solar panels would generate an average of 3,180 kWh of electricity every year.

Apart from the power output of the system, there are a lot of other things that can affect the efficiency of the system such as the:

  1. Location, angle, and direction of the solar panels
  2. Roof suitability
  3. Size of the solar panel system
  4. Maintenance


Now that you know what solar panels are, how they work, their benefits to homeowners, along with how much they cost and the amount of electricity they generate, here comes the big question: Is solar panel installation at home worth it?

To answer this, let’s take an example of a 4kW solar panel system in a typical UK home. A 4kW solar panel system costs around £6,000 and has an output of 3,400 kWh, while the average consumption of a UK household is around 2,900 kWh per year.

This means that a 4kW residential solar panel system can easily cover the electricity demands of a standard UK home with ease. In fact, the surplus energy can be exported back to the grid for some extra money!

It is important to note that this depends on how much sunshine the panels are getting as well as the household’s energy consumption. You can speak to a solar panel specialist regarding the size of the solar panel system you will need based on your usage.

When deciding on whether or not to have solar panels installed in your home, it is very important to look at both sides of the picture. We have already discussed the many wonderful benefits of a solar panel system, but what about their drawbacks?

The higher initial cost is the biggest drawback for many homeowners considering installing solar panels on their property. It can be an expensive investment for many, but if you look at it solely as a long-term investment that will not only help you save money in the long run but also help save the environment, it all seems worth it.

Plus, by taking full advantage of the system as well as incentives such as the SEG, you can earn money while saving energy costs and break even on your solar panel system between 5 to 8 years! Keeping that in mind, even if there is a significant upfront cost associated with solar panel installation in homes, it can have a great return in the long run.

Another issue with solar panel systems is their dependence on sunlight. Although solar panels do not require direct sunlight to generate electricity, they do lose their efficiency in less sunny weather. Also, they are unable to produce electricity during the night due to the complete absence of sunlight.

That’s a deal breaker, right? Not at all! One solution is to switch to the main grid during the night, but this isn’t the most ideal, especially if you wish to go 100% clean, green, and solar. An alternative and much better solution would be to invest in solar batteries.

Battery storage systems allow you to store electricity for later use by using a chemical process that saves the electrochemical energy generated by a renewable power source. This saved energy that is made during the day can be used later in the night.


Calder Electrical Services provides a wide range of solutions to help you play your part in making the world a more sustainable place.

If you already have solar panels installed on your residential or commercial premises, installing a battery storage system could help maximise the benefits of making your own energy.

We can assess the amount of energy your solar panels produce and install enough battery storage so that you can minimise any wastage of the energy you create. This will help lower your energy bills and make you more independent from the grid.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our battery storage system experts right away!

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