SAVE hundreds per year on your energy bills by installing Solar Panels!
Answer these simple questions and we will find you the BEST prices.
Save hours of research time
Save hours of research time

Get up to 4 quotes by filling in only 1 quick form

Slash your energy bills by installing solar panels
Slash your energy bills by installing solar panels

Compare quotes and find yourself the best deal

Future proof your home
Future proof your home

Increase the value of your home by installing solar panels

Mentioned in
Last updated: 4 April 2024

Solar Roof Tiles in the UK: Costs and Pros + Cons (2024)

  • Solar roof tiles are a type of solar panel that replicates the look of a roof more closely, replacing the roof material with photovoltaic tiles rather than bolted panels.
  • Solar tiles can cost between £10,000 to £16,000 for a 2-3 bedroom house which will require a 3kW to 4kW system.
  • They integrate well with most styles of roofs and can be more visually appealing for many homeowners.

Solar panels come in various configurations but one of the most interesting forms is solar tiles. Solar roof tiles can be an aesthetically pleasing alternative to a standard on-roof system but they also have their drawbacks, such as high prices and lower efficiencies. Let’s explore whether solar-powered roof tiles are right for your home.

However, if you’re looking for solar panels, it’s best to consult a reliable installer. Finding a reliable one can be a hassle that takes days out of your busy schedule as you scour the web for prices and call up companies. Luckily, we can offer a way to streamline the search and guarantee excellent service.

All you have to do is fill out a 30-second form and we’ll provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding solar quotes. We’ve vetted the installers in our network so you can relax and pick the best prices available. Click the button below to get started.

Get your best deal
Quickly compare 4 FREE quotes
  • Quotes from local installers
  • Payment by finance available
  • Save up to £1005 per year
GET QUOTES NOW

It only takes 30 seconds

Call us to get quotes
We will get you the best deal

What are solar roof tiles?

solar roof tile diagram

Solar roof tiles are also known as solar tiles, solar shingles, and solar slates. As the name suggests, they are solar panels that look like roof tiles. The tiles or solar slates can replace roofing materials or shingles, allowing a roof to turn into a sustainable energy-saving mechanism. Tempered glass tile solar panels can be as durable as standard roofs, making them feasible for many roofs.

While regular solar panels are bolted onto a roof, solar power roof tiles take their place entirely. They can come in both monocrystalline and thin-film materials. While the latter is easy to manipulate to the style of various roofs, the former is more powerful and efficient.

Installing roof tile solar panels can decrease your energy expenses but standard solar panels have higher efficiency. Tiles do have some things going for them: aside from their look they also can be less likely to fall prey to building regulations (like the ones in conservation areas). They are less intrusive and blend better with the architecture of a given area, so they can be preferable in these cases.

What is the cost of solar roof tiles?

On average, solar roof tiles cost between £13,000 to £16,200. In contrast, the usual cost of solar panels would be £7,000 to £10,000 for the same size. Overall, solar roof panels in the UK can cost between £5,500 and £16,000, ranging from 1kW to 4kW systems. A 1kW solar tile setup can start at £5,500 but the labour costs push it up to £8,050. Every subsequent additional kilowatt (kW) adds between £2,000 and £3,000.

While savings depend on many factors, let’s look at some basic numbers. The average household in the UK consumes 2,700kWh and, at 24.5p/kWh, it can amount to £661.5 for electricity annually, based on Ofgem numbers as of April 2024. Thus, a 3kW to 4kW system is ideal to power the average home (2 to 3 bedrooms).

Here is a breakdown of the costs of solar tiles for the average 3 bedroom house and how long it would take to break even:

Cost of Solar Tiles
System sizeSolar roof tile pricesLabour costTotal average costBreak-even timeAnnual savings
1kW£5,500 – £7,000£1,800£8,05031 years£260
2kW£7,000 – £9,000£1,900£9,90020 years£416
3kW£10,000 – £12,000£2,000£13,00021 years£625
4kW£12,000 – £16,000£2,000£16,20016 years£833

Most solar panel roof tiles in the UK cost 30% more per kW than standard solar panels but the prices can vary depending on the manufacturer or the quality of the panels.

Solar tiles vs solar panel prices

That said, if you want to get an accurate reading of what solar roof tiles cost in the UK, our service can be a great resource for you. Getting in touch with an installer is the best way to figure out what you’ll be paying but finding a reliable one can take days of strenuous research. If that sounds like too much work, we can streamline the search with a simple, 30-second form.

With some basic information about your house, we can provide you with quotes from up to 4 reputable installers in your area. We’ve vetted them thoroughly and, with multiple free and non-binding quotes, you can pick the one that fits your needs best. Click the button below to get started.

Get your best deal
Quickly compare 4 FREE quotes
  • Quotes from local installers
  • Payment by finance available
  • Save up to £1005 per year
GET QUOTES NOW

It only takes 30 seconds

Call us to get quotes
We will get you the best deal

Most popular types of solar tiles

There are many varieties of photovoltaic roof tiles but the most popular ones are slate shingles, smooth glass tiles, and textured glass tiles.

Types of solar roof tiles
  • Slate shingles: Solar panel shingles can be far more discrete than panels, which makes them attractive for many homeowners. Companies such as GB-Sol and Solecco Solar both produce solar shingles in the UK.
  • Tuscan tiles: Made with a more elegant design and often coloured in the way clay tiles are. They mimic wavy European tiles in terms of aesthetics and hue so they can be adaptable to more classical homes without disrupting their look.
  • Smooth glass tiles: With a more modern texture, these tiles are often dark in colour and fit with a futuristic house design. They are simple in design but look great on a wide variety of homes.
  • Textured glass tiles: The textured tiles are similar in structure to the smooth glass ones but they are even more covert in appearance. From the street view, it can be difficult to even tell whether they’re solar panels. Ideal for discrete designs that don’t need to look like solar tiles.

Solar panel tile manufacturers

Solar panel tile manufacturers

Here are manufacturers of some of the best solar roof tiles in the UK:

  • GB-Sol: One of the most popular manufacturers of tiles and solar roof shingles in the UK. Their slates integrate seamlessly with roofs. The company also offers a 25 year warranty on their roof tiles.
  • XO Edge: A manufacturer from Leeds, UK that touts their easy installation process. They utilise recycled plastic and make especially lightweight tiles.
  • Marley: Made for user-friendly installation, the Marley tiles are a low-maintenance solution. The company offers a 25-year efficiency guarantee with their tiles.
  • Tesla: Tesla produces full solar roofs, which include tiles as part of their photovoltaic roof system. While popular they can be expensive compared to the level of power they provide. Tesla roof tiles come with a pretty good warranty of about 25 years.

How efficient are solar tiles in the UK?

Most solar tiles are between 10% to 20% efficient, compared to 18% to 25% for standard PV systems. For solar roof tiles, UK prices can be roughly 30% higher than panels, so they are more expensive and take more space for the same kW output. This is one of the major drawbacks of photovoltaic tiles over panels.

Modern solar panel roof tiles are more efficient than they were a while ago but still pale in comparison to bolted-on panels. There are also mitigating factors that can decide whether your roof will get the most out of your tiles or solar shingle roof. A southward facing roof with a pitch between 30° to 50° will have the optimum angle for solar panels.

While we do our best to advise you, nothing beats getting a professional to assess your roof and judge how efficiently solar panels will work on it. There are many factors to consider and a reliable installer can provide the best advice and help you determine which solar panel is best. We understand that finding one can be a hassle that takes days of research and calling up companies, but it doesn’t have to, especially with our handy service.

We can provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding quotes from trusted installers and all you need to do is fill out a 30-second form. We’ve vetted them personally, so you don’t have to go through all those daunting hours of searching. Click the button below to get started.

Get your best deal
Quickly compare 4 FREE quotes
  • Quotes from local installers
  • Payment by finance available
  • Save up to £1005 per year
GET QUOTES NOW

It only takes 30 seconds

Call us to get quotes
We will get you the best deal

Advantages of solar roof tiles

Advantages of solar roof tiles

A solar roof can have many benefits despite the lower efficiency. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Great aesthetics: One of the main reasons people often opt for solar tiles is due to the look. They integrate with a roof far better and don’t disrupt a home’s design. Different tiles can even have varying shapes to accommodate homes.
  • Available with grants and loans: Grants like ECO4 can allow you to save on all kinds of solar panels, including solar tiles. In some cases, you can obtain free solar panels through grants.
  • Allow for savings: Using a solar roof tile system, you can save between 40% and 70% on electricity bills.
  • Boost property value: An aesthetically pleasing look and the current high demand for green energy combined will increase the value of your property.
  • Better-suited for conservation areas: Regular on-roof solar panels may not be allowed on certain homes in conservation areas. However, with many designs and a less intrusive look, solar tiles are often more acceptable.
  • Higher resistance and durability: Although bolt-on solar panels and solar roof tiles are both long-lasting, solar tiles are more durable than the roof itself. They can even resist hurricanes, allowing solar slates to protect the roof section they are installed on.

Disadvantages of solar roof tiles

Disadvantages of solar roof tiles
  • Price: Installing solar tiles for roof systems can be far more expensive than solar panels. Often, Solar tiles in the UK cost twice the price of a standard solar panel system with a similar output.
  • Lower efficiency than standard panels: The efficiency of most solar tiles is between 10%-20% while modern solar panels are usually around 19% to 22% (up to 27% in rare cases) and are far cheaper overall.
  • Retrofits are difficult: Replacing a roof can be very expensive and difficult for installers. This is why retrofitting tiles can be difficult to do and installation is more suitable for newly-built properties.
  • Not suitable for every roof: Solar tiles lose efficiency when not facing the sun directly, which becomes an issue since their direction and orientation will be fixed to one spot. This is less of an issue with solar arrays or other panels that can be adjusted for angles. For a solar roof in the UK, your tiles or panels need to face south.

When it comes to solar tiles, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The average household will require a 3kW to 4kW roof tile system to power their home.
  • This can cost between £10,000 to £16,000.
  • Savings can range anywhere from £625 to £833.
  • It can take 16 to 21 years to break even on solar tile installation costs.

So, is it worth getting solar panels or solar tiles for your home? Generally, on-roof solar panels are the right choice due to their power and considering how much solar tiles cost in comparison. Solar tiles have a great aesthetic and blend well with roofs, so if the price and lower efficiency don’t bother you, they’ll do fine.

For solar tiles, you will ideally need a home that allows your panels to face southward and have a proper tilt towards the sun to maximise your investment. You will also need to be able to afford a system of an appropriate size or get grants for it. Then, you need to decide whether your roof is more suitable for tiles or panels since not all roofs can be replaced with tiling.

Solar tiles are better for conservation areas but panels are less expensive and intrusive. Some homes may not allow for panels but will allow for tiles, depending on the rules in your area. Check with your local authorities to see which might apply.

PV roof tiles can be more of an investment than standard solar panels but if you are highly concerned about the aesthetic quality of your installation. Then you may want to opt for them instead. They can be less powerful so they will take up more roof space for the same kW output than the average monocrystalline solar panels.

Installing solar panel tiles in the UK can be a hassle, not just because of the cost, but also because installers can be difficult to find. Getting a trustworthy one takes days of diligent research and calling up companies, and who has the time for that? This is why our service is a far better alternative.

By filling out a 30-second form with basic information about your needs, you can receive the best prices from reliable installers. You’ll get up to 4 free quotes with no obligations attached, so you can pick the best offers and rest easy. Click the button below to get started.

FAQ

It's That Easy
1
Answer a few simple questions
Describe your requirements by answering some super quick and easy questions
2
Talk to installers
Up to 4 installers will get in touch with you directly
3
Receive up to 4 quotes
Compare quotes and select the best option for you