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Created on October 5, 2023

Updated on February 19, 2024

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Complete Guide to Solar Panels in Scotland

Solar panel expenses are on the decline, and residents in Scotland are seizing the opportunity. Over 148,000 households in Scotland have adopted solar panels, and Solar Energy UK anticipates a more than threefold increase in the country’s solar capacity by 2030.

Fortunately, the Scottish government has streamlined the process for acquiring solar panels and reducing electricity bills, especially crucial during a cost of living crisis.

On this page, we’ll provide information on government grants and loans available for solar panels.

Moreover, you can effortlessly compare solar panel prices with our assistance. Simply provide a few details, and we’ll connect you with our proficient installers, who will furnish you with free solar panel quotes to facilitate your comparison.

my renewable quote solar panels scotland

What's on this page?

Are solar panels worth it in Scotland?

Whether you reside in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or the Highlands, investing in solar panels in Scotland is highly beneficial, reducing the average household’s electricity bills by a substantial 63%.

For a typical 3.5-kilowatt peak (kWp) solar panel system in Scotland, priced at £7,642, you can generate 2,370 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually. This capacity is sufficient to power half of your home’s electricity needs, allowing you to sell the surplus solar energy back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee.

In summary, the average three-bedroom household can enjoy savings of £466 per year with solar panels, making them a worthwhile and cost-effective investment.

When do you break even on solar panels in Scotland?

In Scotland, the average household will reach the break-even point for solar panels after 16.4 years. Subsequently, you have a minimum of ten years to relish the substantial profits derived from the free solar electricity generated by your panels.

While the break-even point in the UK is slightly lower than in Scotland, standing at 15.1 years, the distinction is not significant. Our assumption is based on selecting a solar array that supplies enough electricity to meet half of your home’s requirements—illustratively, a 3.5 kW system is adequate for an average three-bedroom house.

By selling surplus solar energy back to the grid, you can anticipate an estimated overall saving of 63% on your electricity bills.

Do solar panels work in Scottish weather?

Solar panels function effectively in Scottish weather conditions, generating ample energy to supply approximately half of your home’s electricity requirements at no cost. Notably, solar panels exhibit efficiency on cloudy days, eliminating the need for direct sunlight—an advantage particularly beneficial in Scotland’s frequently overcast weather.

Scotland has experienced notably sunny summers in recent years, further enhancing the performance of solar panels. A study conducted by WWF Scotland revealed that since 2017, households equipped with solar panels in seven cities, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee, have consistently generated more than 100% of the typical household electricity needs.

During a summer heatwave in 2018, Scottish solar power records were shattered in various locations. Aberdeen, for instance, received 136% of its average household electricity demand, while Lerwick received 117%.

How much do solar panels cost in Scotland?

House sizeNo. of panels neededCostTonnes of CO2 saved / yearSavings / yearYears to break even
1-2 bedrooms6£4,5850.3£28016.4
3 bedrooms10£7,6420.5£46616.4
4+ bedrooms14£10,6980.7£65316.4

Solar panels cost £7,642 on average in Scotland for a 3.5 kW solar panel system, including installation.

Are there grants for solar panels in Scotland?

Certainly! You are now eligible for grants to support your solar panel installation through the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan program. This government initiative offers financial assistance of up to £6,000 for your home’s solar panel system, with a 0% interest rate.

Additionally, community organizations and charities have the opportunity to secure funding for solar panels and other renewable energy solutions through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).

GrantWhat it’s worthWho is eligibleHow to apply
Home Energy Scotland Grant and LoanUp to £6,000Scotland residents onlyApply via the Home Energy Scotland website
Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)Up to £80,000 for community building projectsCommunity organisations and charitiesFill in an application form on the Local Energy Scotland website
VAT reduction0% VAT on solar panel purchasesAll UK residentsVAT reduction automatically applied
Smart Export GuaranteeUp to 29.3p per kWh of electricity sold back to the gridElectricity generating solar panel ownersContact your energy supplier and fill in an application form
Warmer Homes ScotlandUp to 100% of the costsEnergy-inefficient households on certain benefits, or with a member who is either over 75 years or has certain medical certificatesApply via the Home Energy Scotland website
ECO4 ScotlandUp to 100% of the costsLow-income, energy-inefficient households on certain benefitsContact a participating energy supplier

The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan

If you reside in Scotland and are considering transitioning your home to solar power, the Scottish government is ready to provide financial assistance.

The Home Energy Scotland Loan is an initiative designed for homeowners aiming to implement “energy improvements” in their households. These improvements encompass:

• Heating systems such as gas, oil, or LPG boilers
• Double glazing and secondary glazing
• Renewable energy systems like solar panels
• Energy storage systems including solar batteries

For a solar panel installation, the maximum loan amount available is £6,000, aligning closely with the typical cost of a 3.5 kWp solar PV system. The loan comes with zero interest and can be repaid over five years (for amounts less than £5,000) or ten years (for amounts £5,000 or more).

Read our complete guide to the Home Energy Scotland Loan for more information.

Who’s eligible?

Every homeowner in Scotland has the opportunity to apply, with eligibility determined through a credit rating assessment. It’s important to be aware that successful applicants are required to pay an administrative fee, equivalent to 1.5% of the total borrowed amount.

The Scottish government advises against commencing the installation of solar panels until the official loan offer is received in writing. Undertaking installation prior to loan approval renders you ineligible for the loan.

Upon loan approval, you are granted a period of up to six months to borrow the funds and complete the installation of solar panels.

How to apply

To apply for the loan, you need to call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. You can also ask for a call back or for an email.

You’ll then be advised on which option is best for you. When you’ve made a decision, you’ll have to complete an online application form.

Finding an installer

If the prospect of the Home Energy Scotland Loan has sparked your interest in harnessing solar power for your home, now is an opportune moment to explore the associated costs of installing solar panels.

We’re here to simplify this process significantly. Just complete this brief form, and our certified installers will promptly provide you with complimentary quotes for easy comparison.

For more information, check out our handy guides to solar panel costs.

Get FREE Solar Quotes
Find out how much a solar solution would cost you

Step 1 of 8

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Get FREE Solar Quotes
Find out how much a solar solution would cost you

Step 1 of 8

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

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