What do renewables cost in 2023
What renewables are available for my property?
Firstly you want to understand what renewable products are on the market and what are suitable to your needs and property.
Are you looking to heat your home? heat your water? or provide electricity to your property? For each question there is a product that will answer it.
Solar provides options for both electricity and heating hot water, Heat pumps provide solutions to heating the home as well as Biomass boilers.
What are the costs?
The cost of a typical 4kW solar PV system is estimated to cost around £6,000 to £8,000.
The cost of a solar hot water system can be priced between £3,000 and £6,000 for a typical 5m2 thermal collector roof area and 250-litre cylinder
Heat pumps will vary depending on if its Ground source or Air source but you can be in the region of £10,000 up to £25,000.
Lastly Biomass boilers, an automatic pellet fed could boiler cost between £10,000 and £20,000 and a manually fed one between £4,000 and £10,000
How much does Solar PV cost?
7 different types of solar panels explained
When it comes to getting solar PV installed on your property there are many things to consider, such as what type of solar cell you want. Each different type comes with its advantages and disadvantages from cost to efficiency.
|Solar Cell Type||Efficiency rate||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI)||20%||High efficiency rate; high life-time value||Expensive|
|Polycrystalline Solar Panels (p-SI)||15%||Lower cost||sensitive to high temps; lower life span & less space efficiency|
|Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels||7 to 10%||Relatively low cost; easy to produce & flexible||Shorter warranties and life span|
|Concentrated PV Cell||41%||Extremely high efficiency rate and performance||Solar tracker and cooling system needed|
What does each solar panel mean?
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
This type of solar panels is the purest one. You can easily recognise them from the uniform dark look and the rounded off edges. The silicon’s high purity causes this type of solar panel to have one of the highest efficiency rates with more modern panels reaching about 20%
They have a power output, occupy less space, and last the longest. All these benefits do also mean they are the most costly.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
You can quickly identify these panels because this type of solar has squares, its angles are not cut, and it has a blue, speckled look. They are made by melting raw silicon, which is a faster and cheaper process than that used for monocrystalline.
This does mean a lower cost to you but also a lower efficiency rating at around 15%, as well as a shorter lifespan. However the difference between Mono and Polycrystalline types of solar panels are not majorly significant and will largely come down to personal preference and cost.
Thin-film solar cells
If you are looking for a less expensive option, thin-film might be the best choice for you. These types of solar panels are the easiest to manufacture and economies of scale make them cheaper due to less material.
They are also flexible, that opens a lot of opportunities for alternative applications and is less affected by high temperatures. The key issue is they take up a lot of space, generally making them unsuitable for residential installations.
Cost of Solar panels per kW system in the UK 2023
|System size||Cost range||Number of panels||Annual bill savings||Savings after 25 years SEG|
|3kW||£5,000 to £6,000||12||£160||£5,993|
|4kW||£6,000 to £8,000||16||£270||£9,240|
|5kW||£7,000 to £9,000||20||£320||£11,088|
|6kW||£8,000 to £10,000||24||£430||£14,533|
How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?
Depending on the size of your solar panel system and export tariff, your solar panels can be paid off after 15 – 25 years. A larger system is more expensive, but it can generate more electricity therefore, it can bring you more savings long term.
A 5kW system can break even after 15-20 years, while a 3kW system can take 21-25 years to break even. This is likely to be accelerated if the price of electricity continues to rise.
Does solar battery storage affect the overall cost of solar?
Adding a solar battery storage system will inevitably increase the overall cost of your solar investment. However it can also mean that you get even more out of your system but using stored electricity when the sun goes down.
The average prices for batteries can range between £1,500 and £6,000 depending on the battery type, lifespan and quality. If you want to include a battery storage solution be prepared to pay more up-front.
Solar Hot water system costs
As we are moving towards cleaner and more sustainable power and focusing on renewable costs, solar thermal system are becoming an increasingly popular solution for homeowners. By drawing power from the sun, these systems transfer the heat straight into your hot water supplier.
The result is emission-free hot water for you to wash, clean up and do your laundry. No only are solar water heating systems great for the environment, but they’re also a good way to save on heating costs in the long run.
So how much does a solar hot water system cost?
|Solar thermal system||System and installation||£3,000 to £6,000|
|Solar thermal Kit||System only||£2,000 to £3,000|
Solar hot water system types
Solar thermal technology harnesses clean energy by converting heat from the sun into hot water. This is ideal for homeowners and businesses who want to reduce carbon emissions and cut down on the costs of fossil fuels
There are two main types of solar thermal systems;
Will my heating system work with a solar thermal system?
If you have a regular heating system that is gravity fed, you’ll need to get an extra heat pump or valve so that the system can function when the heating is running alongside it. It’s also worth noting that solar thermal systems aren’t usually compatible with combi boilers as they receive water directly from the mains.
Air source heat pump costs
An air source heat pump costs a large amount at first – around £10,000 – but as with any long-term investment in your home, you have to spend money up front to make a difference.
And you’ll also save £335 per year compared to gas boiler owners, so you don’t have to pay any extra to follow your green principles.
Air Source installation costs
The average air source heat pump costs around £10,000 to buy and install, according to the Energy Saving Trust – not ideal, considering 69% of people rank cost as the most important factor when evaluating which low-carbon product to purchase.
However, you may have to install underfloor heating, better insulation, or new radiators that are 2.5 times bigger than regular ones to take full advantage of your new heat pump’s abilities.
You may not need to replace all your radiators, but most homes should expect to replace one-third of them.
Air source heat pump running costs
There are plenty of pros and cons of air source heat pumps, but one of the main drawbacks is that they cost £1,360 per year to run, on average. This is more than it would currently cost to run a gas boiler – but that won’t be the case forever.
Let’s dive into how we reached that figure.
The average home uses 12,000 kWh for heating per year, according to the latest Ofgem data.
Fortunately, the typical air source heat pump produces three units of heat energy for every unit of electricity it uses, largely because water holds onto more heat than air.
If your pump is your sole heating system, that means you’ll only need to use 4,000kWh of electricity to produce the 12,000kWh of heat needed to heat the average home over a year.
However electricity’s average price is currently 34p per kWh according to Ofgem, while gas only costs a relatively low 10.3p per kWh. That’s 3.3 times higher.
So one factor reduces your costs by 300%, while the other increases your costs by 330%, meaning you’ll pay slightly more in energy bills.
Instead of paying £1,236 per year with a typical gas boiler, you’ll pay £1,360 with an air source heat pump – but that’s not the end of the story.
A gas boiler needs to be replaced every 10 years, while a heat pump typically lasts for 20 years or more – and we expect the price of gas to increase faster than electricity.
Avoiding that extra boiler cost of £4,000 and the rising price of gas means you’ll actually save £6,700 overall by opting for a heat pump.
Air Source Heat Pump Grants
You can install a heat pump for cheaper than the average gas boiler, thanks to an increase in government grants available from today. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will offer £7,500 towards the cost of a new heat pump – a 50% increase in the support available for air source models and making it one of the most generous schemes in Europe. This is up from the £5,000 voucher first launched in April 2022.
With the average cost of a new Gas boiler coming in around £2,000 to £3,000 this Heat pump grant of £7,500 can now make it a cheaper alternative for some households.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said:
“No one should have to choose between cutting costs and cutting emissions – our pragmatic approach means we can continue to deliver on our ambitious net zero targets without unfairly hitting the pockets of hardworking families.”
“From today, for some households starting prices for heat pumps could now be below the average gas boiler, as we have increased the cash grant by 50% to £7,500 – making our scheme one of the most generous in Europe.”
“This will help thousands of people across the country reduce their energy use and keep their homes warm.”
You can read more from Claire Coutinho and more about the heat pump grants on the direct gov website.
Ground Source heat pump costs
They heat homes using only electricity and the ambient warmth of the soil in your garden, so no need to burn gas or oil.
Wondering how much you’ll pay for a ground source heat pump, and how much they cost to run? We’ve answered all that and more here.
Simply enter a few details about your home, and we’ll pass them on to our expert installers, who will provide you with free quotes.
So how much does a ground source heat pump cost?
Ground source heat pumps typically cost £24,000, going all the way up to £49,000 for more complex installations (typically vertical installations).
There’s the unit itself, the required groundwork (either a trench system or borehole), and the installation to consider.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides support for ground source heat pumps. Launched in April 2022, the £450 million scheme gives grants of £6,000 to people installing ground source heat pumps.
Ground source heat pump costs based on the size of your property
|Size of property||Vertical system||Horizontal system|
Vertical vs Horizontal ground source heat pump
There are two types of ground source heat pumps: horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal heat pumps require groundwork and piping to be spread across a wider area in your garden.
The space required for a horizontal installation means properties with large gardens are best suited.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, ground source heat pumps need about 2.5–3 times more land than the floor area of your house. So a 150m2 (square metres) house would need roughly 400–450m2 of land.
Vertical ground source heat pumps require at least one borehole to be drilled 100m deep, which is better for properties with smaller gardens. This requires heavy specialist machinery to create the hole, which makes it the more expensive option.
Are there grants available for heat pump?
The UK government launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in April 2022, which can get you £6,000 off the cost of ground source heat pumps.
You may also be able to use this scheme to get £7,500 off the cost of an air source heat pump or biomass boiler. Updated from £5,000 in October 2023.
It will run from April 2022 until April 2025 and is open to domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales.
If you have one of these heating systems commissioned on or after April 1st 2022, you’ll qualify for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
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The average air source heat pump costs around £10,000 to buy and install
The cost of a typical 4kW solar PV system is estimated to cost around £6,000 to £8,000.
Yes! Under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme you can get £5,000 of the cost and installation of a new heat pump.