How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

by | Jan 12, 2024 | Guides

Environmental sustainability and renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important as the world looks towards net zero targets and how to become more sustainable. Solar energy is one of the most promising solutions to climate change, as solar energy is the world’s most abundant renewable energy source, and thousands of UK businesses are now utilising this clean, renewable energy.

Installation costs of solar panels vary from business to business and will be affected by things such as your location, your site’s suitability for installation, the complexity of your site, your energy usage and much more.  

So, how much do solar panels cost? Let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence the cost… 

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The solar panel cost depends on the type of solar panels used, your system size, and complexity of the installation. Generally, a 10kW system costs around £11,000 and a 50kW system around £50,000, and smaller systems are roughly £7,000.  

The size that your business would require would depend on your energy consumption and would also be influenced by your available rooftop, land or car park space for installation, your location, your budget and any access issues for installation.

By working with a professional company like Shawton Energy, you’ll be given a bespoke quotation based on your individual business needs and requirements. You can also find out about different funding options to help lower costs and make switching to clean, renewable energy more affordable and sustainable.

There are also other funding options available such as Solar Power Purchase Agreements, which is something we offer at Shawton Energy.

Understanding Solar Panel Installation Costs

In general, solar panels account for around 30% of the overall cost of the system; however, this can depend on the number of panels being installed and the type of panels being used. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive option used here in the UK; however, this has the highest efficiency level of the different panel types readily available on the market right now.  

An inverter is a vital component of a Solar PVY system. This is required to convert the direct current (DC) created by solar panels into alternating current (AC), the standard flow of electricity used in the national grid. A high-quality inverter helps maximise power output and ensures your Solar PV system operates safely, so using a high-quality inverter is essential.  

Installation costs can vary massively depending on your site, accessibility and the type of Solar PV system that’s going to be installed. For example, a rooftop installation on a large warehouse might cost less than a ground-mounted system spread across a complex car park design. Businesses with non-standard roof structures or multiple buildings will face higher costs than businesses with one large premises roof on which a standard installation can be carried out.  

Additional costs that can soon add up are things like a battery energy storage system (BESS) that allows energy generated by a Solar PV system to be stored for usage at a later time. Whilst this can be a costly element if you’re directly funding your Solar PV system, it’s worth it to be able to reduce your reliance on the grid even further and ensure your business has electricity even if there’s a power outage from the grid. You also won’t suffer from unexpected downtime and the financial losses that can accompany this.   

Maintenance and Operational Costs

If your business directly funds its Solar PV system, it will be liable for its ongoing monitoring, maintenance and upkeep, which all adds up. However, if your business opts to have the system funded with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that we offer at Shawton Energy, we will install, monitor, maintain and repair the system for the lifetime of the PPA, which is typically 25 years. This means there’s complete peace of mind for the business and no surprise costs for the duration of the term.  

The lifespan of a Solar PV system will depend on several factors – the type of solar panels used, weather conditions in your location, frequency of upkeep and maintenance and more.

Generally, solar panels have a lifespan of more than 25 years, but this is something you should consider when thinking about costs now and in the future – the savings made on electricity bills should be calculated and offset against the potential costs of replacing them in 25-30 years.  

Commercial Solar Panels: Return on Investment and Savings

The Return on Investment and savings each business could enjoy by installing a Solar PV system will vary depending on many factors, such as energy consumption, local energy prices, type of funding of the system and more.  

For example, we worked with Burnley College to install a Solar PV system at its teaching block and state-of-the-art sports facility via a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement. With the installation of the Solar PV system, Burnley College has cut its annual electricity bill by more than £80,000 based on current energy prices. Total savings over the next ten years could exceed £1.2 million when energy price inflation is considered.  

How Can Businesses Reduce the Cost of Solar Panels?

If your business is interested in solar panel installation but wants to reduce the cost of solar panels, several options are available, including Power Purchase Agreements and Asset Finance.  

Power Purchase Agreements enable businesses to switch to low-cost renewable energy without any upfront costs. Instead of purchasing 100% of your electricity from the grid, you self-generate a percentage of your day-time consumption through a fully installed Solar PV system on your building, land or car park.  

If you want to find out how much solar panels could reduce your business energy bills by, Shawton Energy is here to help. We can help look at your energy needs, create personalised cost assessments based on these, and explore the different funding options available.

To start your journey towards switching to renewable, sustainable energy, call the Shawton team at 01925 794 874 or email, and a member of our team will be in touch soon.  

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