Navigating Solar Panel Incentives: How To Save On Installation Costs

Investing in solar panels is a great way to reduce your future energy costs and make your way towards a more sustainable home or business. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that this can be an expensive venture so people all over the UK are looking for ways to reduce the costs of installation.

The great news is that the UK Government is keen to help as many people as possible go green and, as such, there are several incentives you may be able to take advantage of.

In this guide, I’ll be explaining some of these to you and how you might be able to apply. What’s more, I’ve got some great tips on always getting the best deal when it comes to solar panel installation.

Is Solar Panel Installation Expensive?

When people think about having solar panels installed, they immediately imagine the cost to be incredibly high. While this may be true, it’s usually the equipment such as the panels, inverter, and solar batteries that cost the most.

In terms of labour, you can expect to pay around £300 to £500 per day per tradesperson that you hire. The larger the property and the more panels required, the longer the installation will take.

However, on average, it usually only takes one day for the installation to be completed. Note that this doesn’t include the erection or taking down of any scaffolding or any work required for the roof to be secured or made safe.

What Incentives And Assistance Are Available For Solar Panel Installation In The UK?

There has been a significant focus on countries around the world becoming more sustainable and solar power is an easy way that everyone can get on board. But there’s one thing that might get in the way; the cost.

That’s why the UK Government has put various incentives in place to help with the cost of making your home or business greener.

The Green Deal

For people who are looking for a loan for solar panel installation, the Green Deal, run by the government, might be the right option.

This is a scheme that’s designed to help UK homeowners make their property more energy efficient and includes everything from insulation to solar panels.

Finance taken out to fund your improvements (in this case, solar panels) will be paid back through installations taken from your electricity bill. The great thing is that the Green Deal stays with the property, not the person. So, if you decide to move, you won’t need to continue repaying the loan.

VAT Reduction On Home Solar Panel Installations

In the UK, until 2027, there is a scheme running that completely removes the VAT on either the cost of installation or the solar panels themselves.

What’s great about this is that it’s estimated that you could save up to £1000 on the initial cost of installation once the VAT is reduced to 0%.

In order to qualify, you must ensure that you declare both the installation and the physical products at the same time.


The government has allocated £4 million to homeowners who can apply for a solar panel grant and this scheme lasts until April 2026 so there’s still plenty of time to apply.

What’s great about this scheme is that, because it has such a large budget, there’s a far greater chance of receiving the grant.

The idea of the scheme is to make homes more energy efficient which will, in turn, lower energy bills.

Low-income households can apply for the grant to make various improvements. Not only solar panels but other things like heating systems, as long as it improves the energy efficiency of the property.

However, there are some strict conditions about who can and cannot apply. For example, your current heating system must be between a D and G grade on the energy efficiency scale and you must be in receipt of government benefits. You can read more about the eligibility criteria here.

Smart Export Guarantee

While not an incentive based on installation costs, the Smart Export Guarantee does make solar panel installation much more attractive to homeowners in the UK.

This scheme allows homeowners to sell excess energy back to the grid so you can make a little extra money. Additionally, you can choose who you sell your energy back to which allows you to shop around and get the best price! 

Other Ways To Save On Solar Panel Installation Costs

The incentives that are currently available provide some great ways to save a decent amount of money when having solar panels installed. However, these aren’t the only ways that you can save a pretty penny.

I have written a more detailed guide on how to avoid costly errors when installing solar panels. But I wanted to include a few choice tips here as well:

  • If you’re planning to go the whole hog and have solar panels and a solar battery then it’s better to have all of the work done at the same time. Coming back down the line to add extra parts will incur more labour charges. What’s more, you may be able to get a deal when you buy all of your equipment at the same time.
  • Don’t just go with the first solar panel installation expert that you come across. Take some time to research your options and get plenty of quotes so you are able to get the best value for money without sacrificing quality.
  • Ensure that your equipment and the workmanship come with a generous warranty because fixing problems could be costly. You want to protect your investment, not cause yourself a financial headache.
  • It can be tempting to go for the cheapest solar panel system you can find but this might not meet your energy consumption needs. Be realistic about what your requirements are and invest properly so that you won’t need to add anything extra in the future.

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