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Last updated: 17 April 2024

Solar Panels in Scotland: A Comprehensive 2024 Guide

Solar panels in Scotland
  • Installing a solar system can save between {solar-span-savings-small} and £1,005 annually.
  • Grants such as Warmer Homes or the ECO4 scheme can help pay for solar panels (and even fully finance them).
  • The break-even point of solar panels is usually between 12 to 17 years.

Using solar panels in Scotland can greatly cut down your electricity bills and build a sustainable energy system. Despite the northern climate, they can still be an effective solution with the right system. Solar panels in Scotland cost an average of £5,000 to £13,000 depending on the size of the system you get. Let’s look over the various cost factors, how much you can save, and whether you might be eligible for free solar panels in Scotland.

That said, the best way to get an exact solar panel price is to consult a professional installer. Finding one you can trust can be a laborious process that takes days of research and price comparisons if undertaken on your own. That’s why we recommend using our service to quickly and easily obtain the best prices in your area.

All you need to do is fill out a 30-second form and we’ll provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding solar quotes from thoroughly vetted installers. Click the button below to get started.

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Cost of solar panels in Scotland

In Scotland, solar panels cost between £5,000 to £11,000 depending on your energy needs. The most typical system sizes are between 3kW and 6kW, which can support home sizes from 1 bedroom to 5+ bedroom houses. And even larger households can benefit from the 12kW solar panels which usually cost £13,000-£15,000.

Solar Panel Costs Per System Size
Household SizeSystem SizeNumber of panels (350W)Estimated Costs
Small; 1-2 bedrooms2 - 3kW5 - 8£5,000 - £8,000
Medium; 2-3 bedrooms4 - 5kW10 - 13£9,000 – £10,000
Large; 4-5 bedrooms6kW16£12,000 – £13,000

The prices presented above are estimates and can vary based on the types of solar panels you need, where you plan to install them, and how complex the installation will be. For solar panels, Scotland prices are very similar to those in the UK, however, the benefits and grants that help reduce prices can vary.

How much can you save with solar panels in Scotland?

The average savings homeowners can receive using a 3kW system are about £486 off their energy bills. More powerful systems can save more money annually, with each kW adding between £230 to £260 per year.

Solar Panel Savings
Household SizeSystem SizeElectricity consumption per year Annual electricity bill savings
Small; 1-2 bedrooms2 - 3kW1,800kWh{solar-span-savings-small}
Medium; 2-3 bedrooms4 - 5kW2,700kWh{solar-span-savings-med}
Large; 4-5 bedrooms6kW4,100kWh£1,005

The savings from solar power in Scotland can go up to £1,107 but this applies to homes with ideal sunlight contact (unobstructed by buildings or shade) and a southward-facing roof.

Are there solar panel grants in Scotland?

Numerous solar panel grants can help you offset solar panel costs in Scotland. Let’s look over the main ones:

Solar panel grants Scotland

Obtaining a solar panel grant in Scotland can get you free solar panels if you meet the right requirements. Every grant has different criteria but they often help those who need them most.

The Warmer Homes Scotland programme offers funding in the area of £10,000 or even more for homeowners. It covers a range of energy-saving home improvements like heating and insulation. These can include wall insulation, loft insulation, draught-proofing, central heating (inc. new gas boilers or air source heat pumps), and renewable energy upgrades.

This applies to homes with a low energy rating. It specifically aids households that have no central heating and have residents over 75, a person who receives a DS1500 or BASRiS certificate completed by a medical professional. It also applies to people who receive at least one of the passport benefits at any level or rate at which the benefit is paid.

The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan is another program that provides loans for many homes. This can be an alternative to the Warmer Homes scheme since it can cover many homes that are ineligible for it, as it has wider eligibility criteria. The rural uplift is also available to households in remote rural and island areas, offering a grant amount of £7,500, or £9,000 maximum.

The ECO4 scheme is available all over the UK (excluding Northern Ireland). This grant depends on a home’s energy performance rating and will provide funding to improve it. It can apply to solar panels, heat pumps, and certain types of boilers.

The Smart Export Guarantee enables residents to earn export tariffs for a variety of small-scale low-carbon technologies that generate energy. Depending on your energy supplier, you can earn up to 20p per kWh by exporting energy back into the electricity grid with solar panels and/or other renewable technologies.

Aside from grants, another way to reduce the cost of solar panel installation is to find reliable installers and compare multiple prices. Finding one on your own can take days of strenuous research, which is why we recommend using our service to receive quotes quickly and easily.

Click the button below to receive up to 4 free, non-binding quotes from trusted installers in your area. We’ve vetted them for you so you can be sure you’re getting the best service possible. Click the button below to get started.

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How efficient are solar panels in Scotland?

Making use of solar energy in Scotland through solar panels can potentially reduce dependence on the energy grid by 50%. Solar panel efficiency can vary based on region. Despite the northern climate in Scotland, solar panels can still be an effective energy source, with the region providing enough sunlight hours to offset energy use with an adequately powerful system.

Another way to make the most of your solar panels is to get a decent solar battery for proper storage. A typical solar battery cost can range between £2,500 to £10,000. It's best to opt for solar panels and solar battery storage in Scotland, since you may not always be able to make use of the electricity while the sun is out and will need to store it for later.

Do you need planning permission for solar panels in Scotland?

Generally, there is no need for planning permission for solar panels in Scotland as long as they are below a specific size. The exact size where you might need planning permission can vary based on the region so it’s best to consult your local planning authority.

If you live in an apartment, your home may have specific guidelines on what permission you need that are specific to your home. Similarly, if you live in a conservation area, the rules can differ.

How many solar panels do you need in Scotland?

The average household size in Scotland is between 2 to 3 people, which would ordinarily require a 4kW to 5kW solar system to power. This would roughly need between 10 to 13 panels at 350W capacity. These numbers are based on the average energy consumption in the UK so they may apply to most households.

However, the best way to know the exact amount of solar panels you will need is to find a reliable installer and have them assess your energy needs. Finding one you can rely on can be a tough task, requiring days of research and price comparisons. If you, like many people, don’t have time for that, our service is a far faster alternative.

Fill out a 30-second form and we can provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding quotes from reputable installers in your area. Click the button below to get started.

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Are solar panels worth it in Scotland?

How much solar panels cost in Scotland should be weighed against their benefits. The earnings can offset a lot of the costs of electricity and allow you to live sustainably. Thanks to programs like the Smart Export Guarantee, you may even be able to earn back some money.

Solar panel payback period

While panels can take a while to earn back their worth, they start saving on your energy bills almost immediately. Applying for a solar panel grant in Scotland can reduce the payback period even further.

To optimise your use of solar panels, you will need a southward-facing roof and an area with unobstructed sunlight, as this is the best angle for solar panels in the region. If your home matches these criteria, solar panels are definitely worth it.

If you’d like to make use of solar power as part of your central heating system, then you can install solar water heating system for domestic hot water.

Find the best solar panel installers for your household in Scotland

If you’re interested in getting some solar panels, you’ll need the help of a professional installer. Getting multiple quotes from solar panel installation companies can give you a good grasp of your ideal price. However, making sure you’ve got a reliable installer can be difficult, requiring days of research. Luckily, our service can speed this process up and get you the best prices.

All you have to do is fill out a 30-second form and we’ll provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding quotes from installers in our network. We’ve thoroughly vetted them so you don’t have to. Click the button below to get started.

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