Solar panels

Solar panels

Using solar panels to generate clean, renewable energy

Solar panels capture the sun’s energy and use it to either heat water or convert it into electricity. They don’t need direct sunlight to work and will still produce some energy on a cloudy day.

Solar electricity is a green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any pollutants.

How much solar energy you could make

You can get a rough idea of how much energy you can make from solar panels using our solar map.

For example: 51 BS7 2RD


The map uses colours to show the sun's strength on unshaded roof space:


Very good






Limited or no unshaded roof space


Types of solar panels, costs and savings

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
Solar PV uses energy from the sun to produce electricity.

Using the Solar Energy Calculator from the Energy Savings Trust, you can estimate the savings you could make by installing a solar system.

Solar water heating
Solar water heating uses energy from the sun to heat water. The average home system costs between £3,000 and £5,000. You may be eligible to receive payments for using a renewable heating system through the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (GOV.UK).

Find an installer

We recommend using an installer who is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This is essential if you want to use the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

You can search for a certified installer on the MCS website.

Planning permission

You don’t usually need planning permission to install solar panels on your home. There are some restrictions, which you can read about on the Planning Portal website. If you live in a listed building, you’ll need listed building consent. If you live in a conservation area, you’ll need planning permission if the panels are fitted on the principal or side wall and are visible from the road.

Building regulations

Building regulations will normally apply if you want to install solar panels on your roof. For example, the strength of the roof will need to be checked. An installer who is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) will be able to advise further.