How Many Solar Panels to Power a UK House

solar panels uk house

There is no better home development you can opt for than installing solar panels. Not only are solar panels a sustainable source of energy, lowering your carbon footprint and helping the planet, but they also reduce your annual energy bills significantly. On top of this, if you have any remaining stored energy, you can sell this back to the grid.

So, if saving money, making money and helping the planet is right up your street, then read this article to find out the system you would need.

Work Out Your Solar Panel Requirements

The number of solar panels needed to power a house in the UK depends on several factors, including the energy consumption of the household, the efficiency of the solar panels and the average sunlight hours in the location. To demonstrate how you can calculate the number of solar panels required to power your specific house, we have created an example below, incorporating all factors.

Average Household Electricity Consumption
In the UK, the average household electricity consumption is approximately 2,700 kWh per year.

Sunlight Hours

In the UK, the average is approximately 1,050 hours of effective solar irradiance sunlight per year (this figure will vary by geographical location).

Solar Panel Output

The average annual output of an individual 300-watt solar panel is 360kWh under optimal conditions.

The mathematical formula used to calculate the number of panels needed would be:

Number of Panels= Annual Consumption (kWh) ÷ Panel Output (kWh) per year

So, to power an average UK household, which consumes about 3,600 kWh per year, you would need approximately 10 solar panels, each with a panel output of 360kWh.

A Solar Panel Installation on a commercial roof

​Required Area for a 5kW Solar System

The average wattage size of a domestic solar panel is between 300 and 400 watts. So, we first need to simply divide 5kW (5000 watts) by the wattage of your solar panels. So, for 300-watt solar panels, you would require approximately 17 panels and for 400-watt panels, you would require about 13.

The sizes of panels can vary depending on manufacturer, but a rough average would be 92 x 165cm for a 300-watt panel and 109 x 175cm for a 400-watt panel.

So, 17 x 300-watt panels would total 1564cm x 2805cm, so you would require an area that would permit approximately 16m x 29m.

Using 400-watt panels would bring the total area required down a little, even though they are bigger, as you need less in total. 13 x 400-watt panels would total 1417cm x 2275cm, meaning you would only need an area of 15 x 23m.

solar panels on a home, domestic solar panels

What Are the Maximum Panels Allowed

In the UK, there is not a specific legal maximum number of solar panels that can be installed on a domestic property. However, a few factors effectively limit how many panels you can have, including the following:

Physical Space

The size of your available space will limit how many panels you can install, and you must not protrude any more than 20cm from the surface on which they are laid. You also must keep them five metres or more from your boundaries and not exceed the highest part of your roof.

Planning Permissions and Building Regulations

While solar panel installations are generally considered permitted developments and do not require planning permission, there are exceptions if your house is in a conservation area or is a listed building. Additionally, installation must comply with building regulations regarding structural integrity and safety.

Grid Connection and Export Limits

The capacity of your connection to the grid can limit your solar system size. If you plan to export surplus electricity back to the grid, your energy provider may have limits on how much they will accept.

Powering Your House – Panel Count

When homeowners install a solar system, many wisely opt to include battery storage. What this offers, is a place to store energy as you farm it, ideal for winter months when there is less sun, and, if you have surplus energy stored, you can sell this back to the grid. If you have an electric vehicle then you may want to consider installing an EV charger connected directly to your new solar system.

At Rollings Renewables, we have you covered for everything from solar panel supply and installation to EV chargers and battery storage systems such as the Tesla Powerwall. If you like saving money and like to do your bit for the planet then let’s have a chat, as we do too.