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Solar panel installation guide

Thinking of investing in solar panels but unsure what happens during the installation?

Read our guide to get information about solar panel installations and factors you may want to consider to help you make an informed decision.

Installer carrying a solar panel

What are solar panels?

Solar panels also known as photovoltaics (PV) are made up of silicon cells that capture sunlight and convert it to clean, renewable energy for your home. They reduce reliance on the grid and lower your carbon footprint.

Get a solar quote

How are solar panels installed?

Installing solar panels may sound like a long complicated process but with EDF we make solar, simple. In no time at all you could be generating your own electricity with solar panels.

Step 1: Get a quote

After filling out our quick webform, we'll get you in contact with a solar expert to find out what solar design works best for your home. You'll then be emailed your tailored quote which will also include your carbon and energy savings.

Step 2: Survey

Next, your installer will conduct a thorough survey to ensure your home and roof are suitable and safe to install the panels.

Step 3: Scaffolding

The installers will put up the scaffolding a few days before your installation.

Step 4: Installation day

On installation day, our trusted installers will handle the entire process. This includes mounting the solar panels, installing the inverter and installing battery storage if you've opted for a battery too.

House with solar panels on roof

How much does home solar panel installation cost?

The cost of installing solar panels on your home depends on various factors, such as:

  • System size: the cost fluctuates depending on the size of the solar energy system you choose, typically ranging between £5,800 to £10,000
  • Technology and style: the final cost can vary depending on the brand of the system and your property type. Choosing a more discreet option like built-in roof tiles will cost more
  • Installing panels on complex roofs can be more expensive due to the extra scaffolding and labour involved.

If you decide to install a solar battery to store excess energy to use at a later time, this will also be an additional cost, separate from the solar panels.

Are solar panels worth installing?

Installing solar panels is worthwhile despite the upfront costs. With solar panels, you can enjoy:

  • long-term savings - some households enjoy savings of up to £545 annually (1)
  • energy independence - by installing solar panels, you'll be creating your own energy, this means you're less likely to be affected by spikes in energy prices
  • a lower carbon footprint - you'll be generating renewable energy and contributing to a cleaner, greener environment 

How long does it take to install solar panels?

Once the installers are on-site, it usually takes two to three days to install a standard solar panel system. However, timings may vary from house to house.

Check out our installation video to find out more.

Installers mounting a solar panel on a roof

How many solar panels can I get fitted?

The number of solar panels you can install depends on your electricity needs and available space. For a standard 3-bedroom house, a package priced at £6,650 includes:

  • 8 x 400-450W solar panels
  • All installation and scaffolding costs
  • A 10-year warranty for both the battery and inverter
  • Costs for virtual and technical surveys
  • System monitoring and a performance app 

Solar panel installation requirements

While most homes are suitable for solar panel installation, certain factors determine if it's the right option for you:

  • Size: the more panels you have, the more energy you can generate. On average, a system occupies around 15-20m2 of roof area
  • Direction: ideally, your roof should face south without shading from trees or buildings. Although panels can be installed on east or west-facing roofs, they'll produce less energy than those on a south-facing roof
  • Pitch: a diagonal roof is essential, as we cannot install solar panels on flat roofs. The optimal pitch angle falls between 30-40º, matching the typical angle of most UK rooftops.

While most homes don't require planning permission, exceptions exist. If your home is listed, in a conservation area, or a national park, please check with your local planning office. 

Can I install solar panels myself?

While it's technically possible to install solar panels yourself if you have the necessary qualifications, we recommend you use our MCS-accredited installers who specialise in safe and professional solar panel installations.

Solar installations must be:

EDF Installer speaking to customer about a solar panel installation

Can solar panels be installed on a flat roof?

Yes, solar panels can be installed on flat roofs, however, this is not something EDF offers.

If you decide to install solar panels on a flat roof keep in mind that these panels may need more regular maintenance, as they're prone to accumulating dirt and debris more than tilted panels.