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Solar panel prices dropped by two-thirds since early 2011 according to CompareMySolar research. A 4kWp system (16 solar panels) that used to cost £15.000 is currently available for just above £5.000. On a South-facing roof in these panels will pay back about £1.000 per year, which is an excellent return of 20%. Due to these price drops, solar panels still provide great returns despite the Feed-in-Tariff subsidy cuts.
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Our price index for solar panels (incl. VAT and installation) is currently two-thirds lower than early 2011. A 4kWp system (16 panels of 250 Wp, yearly production +/- 4000 kWh ) used to cost £15.000 early 2011. Early this year it was £8.500 and currently prices start just above £5.000.
Our expectation is that prices will drop stabilize around £5.000-5.500 due to increasing consumer demand in the Spring. The index graph shows the average price of the top 10 quotes for each month, based on over 4000 quotes requested through our website. CompareMySolar utilizes their network of 150+ UK solar installers to always compare the best prices for solar panels.
On a South-facing roof in e.g. Exeter a 4kWp system will produce around 4.000 kWh per year. Utilizing the 16 pence Feed-in-Tariff, a 15 pence Electricity rate rate and the 4.5 pence Export rate (assuming 50% exported) this will provide a year one return of around £1.000. This is an expected return of 20% on the best available solar panel prices (around £5.800), as shown in the second graph. This financial return is higher than on earlier Feed-in-Tariff rates due to the strong price drops of solar panels.
We expect the solar panel return to rise slowly due to further prices cuts from solar installers. Payback time is currently around 7-8 years, which is less than one third of the lifetime of your solar panels. Another way to look at this is that you buy electricity now for the next 25 years for only one third of the price!
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Price of solar panels 2011 - 2013 (UK).