How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power a UK Home?

Panels are Needed

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

Energy bills have risen considerably over the past few years. So, it’s no wonder that many people are looking for alternative ways to power their home. While switching to an eco-friendlier boiler or investing in a heat pump can lower your outgoings, solar panel installation by a solar PV specialist is also an attractive option. By harnessing the sun’s natural energy, you can live a ‘greener’ lifestyle and reduce your reliance on the National Grid.

The question is, how many solar panels are needed to power a UK home and are they suitable for your property? Let’s find out more.

Can I Power My Home with Solar Energy Alone?

Whether you can power your entire home on solar power will depend on many different factors. Each one requires careful consideration to see if solar energy can meet your daily demands. The first question to think about is how much electricity you use. Take a look at your energy bills over the past year for a rough figure. And remember that you are likely to use a lot more energy in winter than you do in summer, so you need to look at 12 months’ usage for accurate figures.

As a guide, the average home in the UK is thought to use about 3,731 kWh of electricity per year. This is according to data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The actual figure can vary significantly depending on whether you live in a small flat alone or a big, five-bed detached property. Looking at your own usage is the best way to get a figure that specialists can work with. Solar PV installers in Kent, for example, will then use this information to install the right number of panels.

How Many Solar Panels Will I Need?

Your energy usage will be determined by how big your house is, how many people live there, whether you use gas or just electricity, whether you work from home and how well-insulated your house is. Typical solar panels produce anywhere between 1kW to 5kW of power, with 5Kw systems generating around 4,500 kWh per year which is enough to meet the demands of a typical UK household. The number of panels this equates to will depend on their size.

When calculating the number of solar panels required, you also need to ask yourself how much sunlight your home gets. A south or southeast-facing roof will get the most hours of sunlight throughout the year and will typically require fewer panels than rooftops facing other directions. Take into consideration how shaded your roof is too. A south-facing roof shaded by trees might not be as effective as one that’s exposed to direct sunlight.

The third most important consideration is how much space your roof has for panels. If you’ve a small roof, you might only be able to fit a small number of solar panels and will need to rely on other energy sources too. PV installers can only work with the space they’ve got and while some panels are larger than others, the number you need will be based on the surface area of your rooftop.

The best way to find out how many panels you need is to contact expert solar panel installers. They’ll assess your roof, energy needs and property size and make the right calculations.

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