Rooftop Solar Panel Installations in UK Homes Reach 7-Year High
In the early months of 2023, there was a surge in the installation of rooftop solar panels as consumers sought renewable energy options to mitigate spiralling energy expenses.
More than double the amount installed compared to the same period last year
According to industry statistics, over 50,700 households fitted solar arrays from January to March, which is more than twice the amount from the same period last year and represents the highest figure since late 2015.
The combined output of these rooftop solar panels installed in Q1 is 265 megawatts, equivalent to half the capacity of a standard coal-fired power plant.
Gareth Simkins, a spokesman for Solar Energy UK, said the number of installations has climbed steadily in recent years as households have become increasingly aware of the benefit to household bills and concerned about the environment.
“In the last year, solar installations have been driven by the energy crisis. The war in Ukraine has driven energy bills higher and there has been a greater awareness that solar panels can help to save on costs,” he said.
The boom in new rooftop solar units, recorded by installers registered to the UK’s micro-generation certification scheme (MCS), was also more than double the number of installations reported during the first quarter of 2019, which marked the end of the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy scheme.
Solar installations reached a peak in late 2015 as households rushed to take advantage of lucrative government payments through the FiT scheme, which was cut by 65% from early 2016. The scheme was closed entirely in 2019.
Growth in battery installations
MCS gathers data from certified installers of rooftop solar panels, home batteries and heat pumps. It recorded its highest number of home batteries for the quarter with 351 systems installed, half the total number of installations by accredited installers to date.
The actual figures for the installation of rooftop solar panels and batteries are likely to be higher than the MCS tally, which does not include work undertaken by unaccredited installers.