How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power My Home?

Solar PV panels offer a sustainable way to power your home, reducing reliance
on traditional energy sources. The number of panels you need depends on
factors like your home's energy consumption, local sunlight availability, panel
efficiency, and your energy objectives.

Typically, a one-bedroom house might need six panels, while a three-bedroom
home could require 10. However, panel size and efficiency play a role in this

Various solar panel types differ in cost based on their design and technology.
While the guide provides a general idea, consulting with solar panel experts from
ECOfootprint Limited will ensure a tailored solution for your home's specific

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

Determining the correct number of solar panels for your home involves
considering various factors. These include the sunlight your area receives,
energy needs, the solar panel's size and efficiency, and available roof space.

For instance, smaller homes only need a 1kW system, occupying about 8 m2 of
roof space. In contrast, larger homes with higher energy demands require a 4kW

system, taking up over 25 m2. On average, a solar panel measures 1.6 m2. It's
advisable to survey your property to gauge the number of panels you need.

The number of panels needed will depend on your energy usage, depending on
household size, appliance use, and additional energy demands (like electric
cars). Checking your energy bills can provide insights into your annual

Solar panel dimensions vary, but a typical size is roughly 65 by 39 inches. If your
roof is spacious, you might opt for more extensive, cost-effective panels.
However, limited or shaded spaces might necessitate fewer high-efficiency

Your region's climate also plays a role. In inconsistent sunlight areas, you might
need more panels. In the UK, where around 12,000 solar panels are installed
monthly, a roof pitch of 30-40° is ideal for optimal performance.

However, panels can still function effectively outside this range. While horizontal
installation in varying UK sunlight conditions is possible, angles below 12º might
hinder self-cleaning, reducing efficiency over time.

Lastly, the increasing demand for solar panels has led to an 80% price drop in
the past decade, a trend likely to persist.

Are Solar Panels Worthy of Investment?

Solar panel costs have decreased recently thanks to technological
advancements, making them more affordable. These panels not only cut down

energy bills but can also generate income from excess electricity. Since April
2022, the UK government has removed VAT on energy-saving measures,
making solar panels even more attractive. By adopting solar energy, you
contribute to reducing carbon emissions and combatting climate change.

For a typical UK home, a 4kW solar system, costing around £6,000, can produce
about 3,400 kWh annually. This output surpasses the household's yearly
electricity need, estimated at 2,900 kWh by Ofgem.

However, actual electricity generation varies based on sunlight and consumption
patterns. Plus, with the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), homeowners can earn
by selling unused energy to the National Grid.

The installation of solar panels is straightforward. When seeking quotes, it's
essential to engage with installers affiliated with the MCS to ensure government-
compliant advice.

Solar panel warranties are robust, often covering associated equipment. The UK
government is also considering introducing a Guarantee Scheme and a list of
approved suppliers to streamline solar panel adoption further.

Bottom Line

Considering solar panels can be financially savvy for homeowners in the right
situation. However, the initial cost is high, and they might not be ideal for renters
or those ineligible for solar incentives.

Contrary to common thought, solar panels operate on light, not just direct sun.
So, even in the often cloudy UK, they produce electricity. Plus, with modern
battery storage, surplus daytime energy can be saved for night time use.