How many solar panels does it take to power a house in the UK? | egg energy (2023)

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How many solar panels does it take to power a house in the UK? | egg energy (1)


10. January 2022 | Aimee Tweedale

So you read all about itSolar panels and how they work, and you're thinking about which ones to install. What is the next?

Buying solar panels for your home can be overwhelming. There are many different options and sizes, and you may not be sure how much power you really need to generate.

That's why we've put together this guide to help you determine if it's possible to provide sunlight for your entire home and exactly how many panels you need. Time to get the calculator!

Can I run my entire house on solar energy?

Whether or not you can power your entire house with solar energy depends on several factors. Here are the 3 most important questions you need to answer first:

  • How muchelectricityyou usually use
  • How muchSun lightpick up your house?
  • How muchSpaceDo you have solar panels on your roof?

The first question tells you how much electricity you need to run your home. The answer to the second question tells you how much solar energy you are likely to generate. And the final answer will help you determine if you can fit enough roof panels to power the entire house.

Do you already know how much electricity your house needs in watts? In this case you can usethis useful solar energy calculator from Solar Center UKto calculate how many panels you expect to need for your home.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

Everyone will answer this question differently. How much electricity you typically use can depend on many things, such as:

(Video) How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

  • how big is the house
  • How many people live there
  • If you use gas or electricity only
  • If youto work at home
  • Sewell insulatedyour house is

To find out how much electricity your home uses, check your last 12 monthselectricity bill. Keep in mind that you are likely to use a lot more energy in the winter months than in the summer months. So check as many accounts as possible to get a complete picture of your average consumption.

The best way to know exactly how much energy you use at home isInstall a smart meter. These smart meters tell you exactly how much energy you're usingyour home screen, so you never have to guess. They also ensure that the amount shown on your invoices is always correct.

Learn how to install a smart meter at home for free

How much electricity does the average UK household use?

Looking for some quick numbers to help you determine if solar is right for you?

The average UK household uses around 3,731 kWh of electricity a year.This number is from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. If you live in an apartment, your energy consumption is likely to be lower. If you live in a single-family home, it's probably similar in that it's taller.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, also publishes Typical Household Consumption Values ​​(or TDCV) every 2 years. The TDCVs reflect average household energy consumption in the UK based on current trends. Energy companies use TDCV to create quotes for new customers, so you can see similar comparisons when you search.

According to TDCV, an “average” home consumes 2,900 kWh of electricity per year. For those in Power Profile Class 2 (meaning you have an Economy 7 fare), it's 4,200 a year.Learn more about TDCVs for different sized homes.

Want to know what the hell is a kWh?See our complete guide to kWs and kWhs

How many solar panels does it take to power a house in the UK? | egg energy (2)

Do I have enough sun for solar energy?

Contrary to what you might think when looking at our gray skies, here in the UK we have enough sunlight for solar power!

The Met Office calculated these averages to give you an idea of ​​how much sunlight we get in the UK throughout the year.1.

MesAverage hours of sunlight per day
January2 hours
February3 hours
march4 hours
April6 hours
He can6 hours
June7 hours
Julius7 hours
August6 hours
September5 hours
October4 hours
November3 hours
December2 hours

For more specific weather averages for your area, visit the Met Office website

If you want to know exactly how much sun your house is getting, you can buy a solar radiation meter. Sometimes called radiation meters, they can help you decide if solar energy is right for you.For more specific weather averages for your area, visit the Met Office website.

(Video) How many Solar Panels do I need to power my house? How much power/energy does a Solar Panel Produce?

Do solar panels need direct sunlight to work?

Not necessarily! Solar panels can produce electricity even on cloudy days. Even when it snows or hails, your solar panels can generate electricity as long as there is some light!

That said, it's true that your solar panels will reach their peak efficiency during peak sun hours.

There are ways to make your solar panels even more effective. You should install them on a south facing ceiling where they will catch more rays. (We don't recommend installing solar panels on a north-facing roof.) It's also best to install them at a 30- to 40-degree angle.

Read everything you need to know about installing a photovoltaic system at home

So how many solar panels do I need to power my home?

So now you know how much electricity it needs and how much sun it's likely to get. The last question remains: how many panels do you need to power your home? do you have room for her

To answer that, we need to see how much electricity solar panels can generate. Most home panels can generate between 250 and 400 watt hours.

According to the Center for Renewable Energy, Home solar panel systems typically have a size of around 1kW to 5kW. Allowing for a few cloudy days and a little wasted energy, a 5kW system can typically generate around 4,500kWh per year.

As we saw above, the average UK household uses around 3,731 kWh a year. So probably a 5kW system or possibly a 4kW system would suffice.

A 3.5kW system typically requires around 12 panels2, and a 4kW system might need 14 or 15. You'll need to measure your ceiling (south facing!) to see if you can fit 14-15 panels up there.

To make the most of solar energy when the sun isn't shining, it's also worth thinking about installing an energy storage system in your home. This preserves the electricity generated during the hours of sunshine, allowing you to live off the grid all year round.

Learn about batteries and other home energy storage solutions

How many solar panels does it take to power a house in the UK? | egg energy (4)

Solar energy usage: How much solar energy is needed to...

boil kettle?

Boiling a kettle for your cup uses a little more energy than you might think. In fact, it's estimated that kettles use around 6% of the UK's electricity.3!

(Video) How much can solar panels save you in the UK? Case Study Update With Allen Hart

Each time you press "cook" probably uses about 0.15 kWh of electricity4. If you have a 1kW solar panel on your roof, you can provide your cup of tea with about 10 minutes of sunlight.

Discover how you can save energy in the kitchen

Did we watch a movie?

Let's say you want to watch a 3-hour movie (One Day Titanic?) on a 200 W TV, you'll need about 0.6 kWh of electricity.

Its 1kW photovoltaic array could generate this in about 36 minutes.

Has your fridge been running for a month?

This is important because your fridge-freezer is one of the few appliances you need to keep running at all times. But how much sunlight would you need to keep it running?

Let's assume that your fridge-freezer is an efficient model with energy efficiency class A+++. Probably consumes about 17.2 kWh per month5. Its 1 kW solar PV system would need just over 17 hours of direct sunlight to power it.

If you have a category A refrigerator-freezer, it may need more than 34 hours of sunlight.

In April or May this would require 3 to 7 days of sunlight for a month of electricity. Not bad for a small system!

Obviously if you upgrade to a 4kW system it will take less time. You would only need about 5 hours of sunlight to keep your A+++ cooler cool all month long.

Find out more about energy efficient fridge freezers in our guide

Choose OVO to power your sustainable home

Want to make a real difference to your home's carbon footprint?

Here at OVO, we power all of our members with 100% renewable electricity.6, and we'll plant a tree for every year you're with us7.


Find out more about how we're bringing renewable energy into homes across the UKand get a quote in under 2 minutes to see how much you can save by switching to OVO.

Sources and references:






6 The renewable electricity we sell is backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee Certificates of Origin (REGOs). See here forDetails about REGO certificates and how they work.

7 Every year, OVO plants in partnership with 1 tree for each memberforest background. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so planting them helps slow climate change.

See more of these categories



How many solar panels are needed to power a house UK? ›

What Is the Average Number of Solar Panels In A UK Home? A 6kW solar panel system is recommended for a home with over five people, while a 5kW solar system is typical for a home with four people. A 4kW solar system is one of the most common sizes for domestic solar systems, as it suits homes with 3 to 4 people.

How many solar panels would it take to power the whole UK? ›

The Eco Experts calculate that in order to produce that much electricity, the UK would need 102,458,062 well-positioned 4kWp solar arrays – an incredible 409GW of capacity. The installations would take up roughly 2,635 km2; the UK is 244,820km2.

Can solar panels fully power a house UK? ›

Solar panels can power a house up to a certain point but most solar panel systems are still connected to the grid and work in a complementary manner. It's very uncommon to come across off-grid solar systems. With the help of solar power, however, you can become less reliant on the grid and save money.

How many solar panels are needed to power a typical house? ›

How many solar panels do I need? If you want to know how many solar panels you need to power your home, the answer will depend on a few important factors. It's estimated that the average one-bedroom house needs six solar panels, while a typical three-bedroom house requires 10 panels.

Can a house run 100% on solar? ›

With a modern solar energy system, including power storage, you can definitely run a whole house completely on solar power. Today's high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries make it cheaper than ever before to power an entire home exclusively using solar energy.

Can a house run entirely on solar power? ›

Can a House Run Completely on Solar Power? The short answer: Yes, you can use solar energy to power your entire house. In fact, some people have used expansive solar panel systems to go off the grid completely, turning their homes into self-sustaining ecosystems (at least as far as energy is concerned).

What would happen if every house in the UK had solar panels? ›

2822kWh generation x 22,260,856 = 62,820,135,632kWh = 62.82 TWh of generation. Total UK domestic electricity consumption = 103.8 TWh. Installing solar panels on every house in the UK would provide 60.52% of our total domestic electricity consumption.

How many solar panels do you need to live off the grid UK? ›

As an average, a three bedroom home run completely off-grid would require around 4.4kw of solar panel output. A smaller energy efficient building may only require 2.2kw. Much depends on those conditions above.

How efficient is solar panel UK? ›

The majority of solar panels on domestic systems in the UK are around 10-20% efficient although some types of solar panels can reach an efficiency level of up to 25%.

Does solar power work in winter UK? ›

The good news is that they absolutely do. Solar panels draw energy from the sun, but that doesn't mean solar panels only work on sunny afternoons or long summer days. They can benefit from the sun's natural energy in every month of the year — even on cloudy mornings and short winter days.

Can you go off-grid with solar in the UK? ›

Absolutely! There's nothing stopping you and your family from living life off the grid – except the small matter of money. Typical solar panel costs are around £5,420 – but if you have a large family, you'll want to install even more panels, which could mount up to £8,000.

Do solar panels give you free electricity UK? ›

The cost of an average solar power system including installation is around £6,000 and of course, once installed, you'll be generating your own electricity for free.

Do solar panels work in winter? ›

Even in below-freezing weather, solar panels turn sunlight into electricity. That's because solar panels absorb energy from our sun's abundant light, not the sun's heat. In fact, cold climates are actually optimal for solar panel efficiency. So long as sunlight is hitting a solar panel, it will generate electricity.

Is it worth getting a battery with solar panels UK? ›

Is a solar battery worth it in the UK? Financially, solar batteries are not currently worth getting if you want to either break even quickly or make a profit. They tend to cost around £4,500, which on top of the solar panel costs, can be a barrier for many.

What is the average cost of solar panels UK? ›

In general, solar panels cost £1,549 per kWp, on average. A household with one or two bedrooms will generally need a 2.1 kWp system, which costs around £3,300. And if you live in a four or five-bedroom household, you can expect to pay £7,600 for a 4.9 kWp system, according to data sourced from the Energy Saving Trust.

What is the solar 120% rule? ›

The NEC, 120% rule states that solar PV systems should be installed in electrical boxes up to 120% of the busbar's label rating. For example, if the home's electrical meter rating is 175 amps, the rule allows an additional 20%, an equivalent of 35 amps from the solar system.

How long do solar batteries last? ›

Home solar battery units last anywhere between 5 and 15 years. If you decide to install a solar battery today, it's almost certain you'll need a replacement in the future to match the 20- to 30-year lifespan of your solar power system.

Do solar batteries work in a blackout? ›

Is your solar battery blackout-proof? Forget candles. Solar batteries can keep the power running during a blackout.

Can you live off-grid with just solar panels? ›

If there is a power outage, a home battery will provide instant backup power to your home. When paired with solar panels, you can survive “off grid” until the utility grid is fixed, with the solar panels providing power and charging your battery during the day, and your battery providing power at night.

Can solar panels blown off roof? ›

This phenomenon is capable of tearing panels from their mounts, or the mounts from the roof or ground. In the most extreme cases, solar panels may stay anchored down, but uplift from strong winds can tear sections of your roof off.

What happens to solar electricity that a house does not use? ›

The answer is simple. Solar power will not serve as a backup generator. Solar energy will go out just like other forms of energy do during a severe storm. Keep in mind, however, that this does not make solar energy any less of a valuable investment for your home.

How long until solar panels pay for themselves UK? ›

A domestic solar panel system can now pay for itself in as little as 4.1 years, with the soaring price of electricity in the UK. Compare this to the average payback period for solar panels just over a year ago, and it was 15 years or more! That's a big difference and saving.

What if every home in the US had solar panels? ›

Cover that in solar panels, and you would produce about 1,400 terawatt hours of electricity each year—about two-thirds of which would come from small residential buildings. The total production is equal to nearly 40 percent of the total electricity currently sold by utilities in the US.

Is it hard to sell house with solar panels UK? ›

Buyers Are Unable to Secure a Mortgage

Many mortgage companies will be reluctant to lend a potential buyer the money they need to buy if the roof has been leased to a solar-power company. So, unless you find a cash house buyer, selling could take considerable time.

Are batteries with solar panels worth it? ›

They're a good investment if you're trying to move off the grid entirely. If your solar battery has enough storage capacity and generates enough power, you should be able to power your household entirely on your renewable energy.

How many solar panels and batteries do I need to run a house? ›

The average one-bedroom house needs six solar panels, a typical three-bedroom house requires 10 panels, and a five-bedroom house will usually need 14 panels. In each case, the panels will produce enough electricity to cover 46% of an average household's annual usage – or more, if you don't leave the house very often.

How many solar panels do I need for a 2000 sq ft home? ›

To make the average amount of energy used by a home in America, a 2,000 sq. ft. home would need between 16 and 21 solar panels. That's assuming the home has a good south-facing roof that gets a full amount of sunlight every day.

How many hours of daylight do solar panels provide UK? ›

In the UK, a region with an average of four hours of sunlight per day, each square metre of solar panels can generate 0.6kWh to 0.8kWh. And this equals to 2.4 to 3.2kWh energy output for a four kW system per day.

How many hours of sunlight do solar panels need UK? ›

4-5 peak sun hours in Summer reducing to 1 hour in Winter. 1 sq metre of PV module ~ 115Wp 1 kWp of well sited PV array in the UK will produce 700-800 kWh of electricity per year.

Do solar panels work in rain? ›

Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt.

Does snow melt off solar panels? ›

Researchers at the test centers have shown that solar can still successfully generate electricity in snowy areas and other harsh environments. A dusting of snow has little impact on solar panels because the wind can easily blow it off.

Can solar lights stay out in winter UK? ›

All Solar lights work in winter as long as the Solar panel receives enough daylight to power up the batteries to a point that the light can function assuming no faults.

Is the UK self-sufficient in electricity? ›

Although historically relatively self-sufficient in covering domestic energy demand, the United Kingdom's dependency on imports has increased in the past few decades.

How can I make my home self-sufficient energy UK? ›

Make Your Home More Self-Sufficient in 7 Practical Steps
  1. Cultivate a vegetable garden.
  2. Reduce your energy consumption.
  3. Collect rainwater.
  4. Make use of solar power.
  5. Consider a wood-burning stove.
  6. Build an outdoor composting box.
  7. Make use of recycled material.
Mar 18, 2019

Is Off Grid Living legal in UK? ›

Off grid living in the UK is completely legal. There are no laws against people living off grid in the UK. Because of this, as long as you have permission to live off the land you are staying on, then there is nothing to stop you.

Do solar panels stop electricity bills? ›

The biggest benefit of having solar panels installed is that you will save on electricity costs. If your solar panels are large enough, you may be able to produce enough electricity for your whole home. The Energy Saving Trust's solar energy calculator will give you an estimate on how much you could save.

What happens to solar power when batteries are full? ›

Should the battery bank become full, it will stop absorbing power from the solar system. The solar panels will continue to generate voltage, but that voltage will not be used or stored until there is available energy demand, or battery space.

How long do solar panels last on the roof? ›

The Lifespan of Solar Panels

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity.

At what temperature do solar panels stop working? ›

Most solar panels perform optimally in the laboratory at the Standard Test Condition (STC) temperature of 77°F. Their efficiency degrades significantly once they reach 149°F.

Do solar panels throw off heat? ›

While the black surfaces of solar panels absorb most of the sunlight that reaches them, only a fraction (around 15 percent) of that incoming energy gets converted to electricity. The rest is returned to the environment as heat.

Are solar panels stop heat to reach roof in winter? ›

Solar panels keep your building cool by providing a physical cover and reducing the heat energy absorbed by your roof. People think solar panels generate heat when converting sunlight into electricity. However, this is not the case. In fact, the solar panels absorb heat that would be otherwise passed on to your roof.

How many solar panels do I need to run a house UK? ›

What Is the Average Number of Solar Panels In A UK Home? A 6kW solar panel system is recommended for a home with over five people, while a 5kW solar system is typical for a home with four people. A 4kW solar system is one of the most common sizes for domestic solar systems, as it suits homes with 3 to 4 people.

How long do solar batteries last UK? ›

What Is the Lifespan of a Solar Battery? The average lifespan of a solar battery storage system is around 5 to 7.5 years for lead-acid and 11-15 years for lithium-ion batteries. However, all batteries are vulnerable if they are over-discharged or exposed to extreme weather.

How much does a Tesla Powerwall cost in UK? ›

The unit cost for a Powerwall battery is £5,400 with a £400 deposit upfront.
How much does a Tesla Powerwall cost?
Tesla Powerwall 2 Price
Supporting Hardware£500
Installation£800 – £2,000
Total Cost (before installation)£5,900
Total Cost (with installation)£6,700 – £8,700
1 more row

Is it worth getting solar panels on my house UK? ›

When electricity costs 24p per kWh, solar panels could cut your electricity bill by £274 between October 2022 and April 2023 alone (The Eco Experts). They reckon the average UK household with a new set of solar panels will now break even in 9.9 years.

Can solar panels run a house UK? ›

So yes, solar panels really can power your home, even during the winter if you can generate enough excess energy in the summer to pay for the shortfall in the winter.

How many solar panels do I need for a 1500 square foot house? ›

Solar Panels For a 1500 Square Foot House

The average home in the United States is roughly 1500 square feet. With a home of this size, the typical electric bill comes in around $100 month. In order to cover the electricity for this home, you would need an estimated 15-18 solar panels.

How many solar panels and batteries does it take to power a house? ›

How many solar panels does it take to power a house? Based on average electricity consumption and peak sun hours, it takes around 17 400-Watt solar panels to power a home. However, this number will vary between 13-19 based on how much sun the panels get and how much electricity the home uses.

Can AC run on solar panels? ›

Yes, you can run an air conditioner with solar power.

It is conceivable because of powerful solar panels and a converter system. Be that as it may, you may be connected to the grid or be completely off-grid. Both of the systems will allow you to power an AC with solar energy. It will reduce electricity costs rapidly.

How often do you have to replace batteries in a solar system? ›

Home solar battery units last anywhere between 5 and 15 years. If you decide to install a solar battery today, it's almost certain you'll need a replacement in the future to match the 20- to 30-year lifespan of your solar power system.

How long do solar panels last? ›

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity. Not only are solar panels remarkably reliable, solar panel longevity has increased dramatically over the last 20 years.

How many solar panels do I need to run a 2500 square foot house? ›

On average, it takes between 28 to 32 solar panels to power a house. This will cover 100% of the energy costs for a 2,500 sq ft home. The exact number of panels you'll need will vary based on the home's size, placement of the panels, geographic locations, and panel efficiency.

How many solar panels does it take to charge a Tesla? ›

It takes roughly eight to 10 solar panels to charge a Tesla. This is only an estimate though; in reality, the number of panels depends on several factors, such as the solar panel's efficiency, the model Tesla being charged, and what the power output of the connection being used.

How many solar panels are needed for a 3000 sq ft home? ›

Home square footage compared to the number of solar panels needed
Home sizeEstimated annual electricity neededNumber of solar panels needed
1,000 sq. feet4,710 kWh8
2,000 sq. feet9,420 kWh15
2,500 sq. feet11,775 kWh19
3,000 sq. feet14,130 kWh23
Feb 27, 2023

What do solar panels do when batteries are full? ›

When your solar batteries are fully charged, your excess energy is then sent back to the grid. You will only ever draw electricity from the National Grid when your battery is completely empty. The higher your battery's capacity, the more solar energy it can store.

Can I heat my house with solar panels? ›

Larger solar hot water arrays can also be arranged to provide some contribution to heating your home. However, the amount of heat provided is generally very small (less than 10% of the home's heating requirement), so it is not usually considered worthwhile.

How many batteries does it take to run a house off-grid? ›

If you want to keep the power on when the grid is down, you'll usually just need one solar battery. If you want to go off-grid completely, you'll need far more storage capacity, more along the lines of 8-12 batteries.

How efficient are solar panels in rain? ›

Solar panels are designed to work in most conditions. However, one question that comes to mind most often, is—do solar panels work in the rain? The answer is yes, it does. However, protecting your solar panels and making them run effectively even when it rains can be a bit challenging.


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