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Best national solar panel installers in the UK

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Best overall: Project Solar

Best UK coverage: Effective Home

Best panel choice: Glow Green

Over 50,700 solar panel systems were installed in the UK in the first quarter of 20231, but with more than 2,000 solar providers nationwide, identifying reputable solar panel installers can take time and effort. Our solar experts have extensively researched many companies for you. We’ve assessed their qualifications, warranties, services, customer support and of course how much their solar panel cost. Our detailed guide features the best national solar panel installers, highlighting their standout qualities to help you choose the ideal installer for your needs.

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The best national solar panel installers compared

The success of your solar system hinges on two big things: the quality of the materials and how well they’re installed. When seeking the best solar panel installer, you need someone who knows their stuff, from choosing the best solar panels to positioning them in just the right place maximise energy generation. Plus, they need to be qualified in electrical systems, keeping everything safe and hazard-free.

How long the installer’s been established really matters, too. If they’ve been around for at least four years, it usually means they’re doing something right – like keeping their customers happy and building up a wealth of experience that newcomers just don’t have yet.

How we choose the best solar panel installers

When selecting the best solar panel installers, we look at a variety of critical factors. Reputation is key; we consider how long they’ve been in business, their accreditations, and their track record for customer satisfaction. Panel efficiency and power output are also crucial, as these impact the system’s effectiveness and your potential savings. We evaluate the warranties offered, ensuring they provide adequate protection. 

Cost is, of course, a significant factor, balanced against the savings offered. Additionally, we check Trustpilot scores and other review platforms to gauge customer experiences. All these elements combined help us identify the top installers who can deliver quality, reliability, and value.

Our top solar panels installers

Solar panel installerMCS accreditedInstallation warrantyYears in business
Project Solar10 years22 years
Effective Home2 years15 years
Glow Green5 years12 years
Heatable2 years5 years
Evergen2 years13 years
Solarsense2 years23 years
UPS Solar10 years7 years
Sunsave20 years2 years
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How to find national solar panel installers near you

Finding solar panel installers near you can be accomplished by filling out our short form to receive free quotes from highly-rated solar panel installers.

Project Solar: Best overall

Project solar website
  • 10-year labour warranty and lifetime panel warranty
  • 24/7 monitoring 
  • MCS certified

Project Solar has carved a significant niche in the renewable energy landscape, executing more than 45,000 solar installations and mitigating 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. The firm boasts accreditation from several industry organisations, including the Home Insulation and Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme (HIES), the Energy Performance Validation Scheme (EPVS), the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT), and MCS, and has a Trustpilot rating of 4.5 out of five stars, which is classed as “excellent”. While most reviews are positive, many one-star reviews portray dissatisfaction with the initial consultation or follow-up appointments, with missed dates and poor aftercare service. However, Project Solar responds to every review – whether positive or negative – showing a commitment to customer service.

Its diverse product portfolio ranges from its Evo Super Max solar panels and innovative photovoltaic roof tiles to advanced EV chargers, infrared heaters, and smart heating systems. It also uses SunPower Maxeon panels in its installations. Project Solar stands out from its competitors due to a 10-year labour warranty (as opposed to the typical two years offered by other installers) and an industry-leading lifetime product warranty on its solar panels.

Read our full Project Solar review.

Effective Home: Best for UK coverage

  • 25-year installation warranty
  • Has installed over £250 million worth of energy-saving measures
  • MCS certified

Effective Home installs heating systems, insulation solutions, solar batteries, and solar photovoltaic (PV) panel systems throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. It offers free surveys and finance options and supplies Tier One panels from JA Solar, Aiko and Longi. 

Effective Home holds several industry accreditations. These include the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), assuring that all electrical parts are correctly installed in line with national standards, HIES, which emphasises consumer protection, and EPVS, ensuring consumers achieve the promised energy savings. The company has a Trustpilot rating of 4.4 out of five stars, with 72 per cent of reviews awarding five stars. Its customer service team responds to all reviews, including offers to rectify any negative experiences, showing the company is making an effort to maintain customer satisfaction.

Effective Home is planning to introduce a subscription service, allowing homeowners to benefit from a solar system with minimal upfront costs – a £99 onboarding fee is required. Effective Home retains ownership of the panels, carrying out maintenance without charging the customer. Its Energy Shield subscription will offer five-year fixed terms, with the customer buying the solar energy their panels generate for prices starting at 19.9p per kW.

EDF, British Gas, Halifax, and Lloyds Banking Group have teamed up with Effective Home to offer solar panels to their customers.

Read our full Effective Home review.

Glow Green: Best choice of solar products

glow green website
  • Five-year labour warranty
  • Will match quotes like-for-like
  • MCS certified

Glow Green specialises in energy-efficient home enhancements, which include solar panels, solar battery storage, EV chargers, air conditioning, and heat pumps. Its installations use Tesla, PureDrive, Trina, JA Solar, and Perlight solar products, and it offers free quotes within 60 seconds. The like-for-like price match guarantee gives Glow Green a competitive advantage, meaning if you receive a cheaper quote from a different installer, the company will match it. 

Customers have awarded Glow Green 4.4 out of five stars on Trustpilot, but it’s important to note this is in relation to all of the company’s products, not just solar panel installations. Still, the company responds to all reviews with offers to help rectify any issues. This combined with its 12 years in business suggests a reliable, professional service.

Read our full Glow Green review.

Heatable: Best after-sales service

Heatable website
  • Two-year labour warranty
  • Fixed online prices
  • MCS certified

Heatable installs solar systems using REA Solar panels, Enphase inverters, and Alpha ESS batteries. It also offers 24-hour performance and storage monitoring and ongoing maintenance. 

Heatable is MCS-certified, supported by the HIES Consumer Code, and has developed its own online design tool, eliminating the need for a home visit before providing a fixed quote. 

The company has a Trustpilot customer rating of 4.8 out of five stars, with an impressive 98 per cent giving Heatable four or five stars – though it’s important to note only a small number of reviews are specific to solar installations.

Evergen: Most efficient panels

evergen screenshot
  • Two-year labour warranty
  • Finance available
  • MCS certified

Evergen, based in Berkshire, delivers a range of solar solutions, including solar panels and batteries, throughout the UK. Currently, the company is installing Aiko panels, which are some of the most efficient on the market and come with a 25-year product warranty. 

The company holds HIES and EPVS’ Gold Standard accreditations and operates under the Trading Standard Approved Code. It was also a finalist in the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2023 and Maidenhead and Windsor’s Best Covid Bounce Back Awards. 

Evergen scores 4.2 out of five on Trustpilot, with 75 per cent of customers awarding the company four or five stars.

Read our full Evergen review.

Solarsense: Best social responsibility

Solarsense home page
  • Two-year labour warranty
  • Has installed more than 10,000 residential solar systems
  • MCS certified

Solarsense instals and maintains solar panel systems, solar batteries, solar-powered hot water systems, and EV chargers. Additionally, it offers guidance when applying for solar panel grants. Solarsense also has a varied charity programme, carrying out projects across Asia, Africa, and the UK.  

Operating as independent contractors, Solarsense isn’t anchored to a particular brand of solar panels; however, it appears to favour Q Cells, Solis Solar, and SolarEdge panels. If homeowners want a specific manufacturer, Solarsense says it will accommodate those preferences.

Solarsense has a Trustpilot rating of 3.0 out of five; however, this score is based on just three customer reviews, including one which awarded the provider five stars. The negative reviews suggest poor aftercare service but don’t give any detail, and the company has yet to respond to them.

Read our full Solarsense review.

UPS Solar: Best payment terms

UPS Solar website
  • 10-year labour warranty
  • Requires no upfront payment
  • MCS certified

Nationwide company UPS Solar instals solar panels – primarily from Sharp, Q Cells, and JA Solar – and batteries. It also offers ongoing maintenance, a 10-year labour warranty, and a deposit-free installations, only requiring payment once the job is complete.

UPS Solar installations are backed by the Independent Warranty Association (IWA), and the company holds accreditation from RECC and MCS. It also operates under the Trading Standard Approved Code. 

Customers award UPS Solar 4.7 stars on Trustpilot, with 90 per cent giving four or five stars.

Sunsave: Best solar panel subscription service

  • 20-year full system warranty 
  • Subscription payment scheme with no upfront costs 
  • MCS certified  

Sunsave may have only been operating since 2022, but it’s already managed to make a name for itself in the solar panel industry. The company specialises in solar power generation and storage, offering supply, installation, monitoring and maintenance. 

What sets Sunsave apart is its innovative Plus scheme, which allows homeowners to pay for their panels through a monthly subscription service, with a starting fee of £69 per month, and no upfront costs. This also includes a free out-of-warranty replacement battery.

Customers have awarded Sunsave 4.7 out of five stars on Trustpilot. The reviews reflect experiences from sale to installation, with the company replying to every negative review after two to three weeks.

Read our full Sunsave review.

Benefits of hiring national solar panel installers

Hiring professional solar panel installers offers a range of benefits compared with attempting a DIY installation or opting for less experienced labour. These advantages include:

  • Expertise and experience: professionals have the experience to ensure solar panels are installed correctly, which is essential for optimal energy production and the longevity of the system
  • Safety: installing solar panels involves working with electrical systems and often working at heights. Professional installers are trained to handle these risks and have the right equipment to do the job safely
  • Warranties: most reputable solar installation companies offer warranties on their workmanship
  • Efficiency: experienced installers can complete the job faster than someone who is inexperienced or attempting a DIY installation, meaning your solar panels will start generating electricity sooner
  • Maximised energy production: a professional will make sure the panels are positioned in the best way possible to capture sunlight, considering the angle, orientation, and potential shading issues
  • Access to materials and equipment: professional installers have relationships with manufacturers and distributors, allowing them to source high-quality panels, inverters, and mounting equipment, often at better prices than retail
  • System monitoring and maintenance: many solar companies provide monitoring systems that allow you to track your solar energy production. They may also offer maintenance packages to ensure your system remains in top condition throughout its lifespan
  • Cost-effective: while hiring professionals might seem like an additional expense, the efficiency, longevity, and performance of a professionally installed system can lead to more significant savings over time

How to choose the best national solar panel installers or companies

Solar is a long-term investment, so ensuring you choose the right company from the outset can save a lot of hassle. There are several factors to consider when evaluating an installer. 

Certifications

Certifications are a good way to ascertain that an installer is competent and adheres to recognised standards.

  • MCS certification: if the company is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, it means that it meets specific standards for solar panel installations. It’s necessary that your chosen installer has this certification to benefit from SEG payments (for more information, see our page about the Smart Export Guarantee)
  • RECC membership: membership of the RECC (Renewable Energy Consumer Code) indicates the installer has agreed to comply with a consumer code that covers all aspects of selling and installing solar panels
  • STA membership: the STA (The Solar Trade Association) is responsible for setting policies relating to solar panel installers, and many of the best installers in the UK are members of this organisation

Experience

The experience of a solar panel installer can significantly impact your installation’s efficiency, safety, and longevity. While newer companies can also provide exceptional service, a company with over four years of experience often indicates that it has stood the test of time and has adapted to the evolving industry.

A company’s portfolio can also provide a snapshot of its expertise in real-world scenarios. Review the range of projects it’s undertaken to gain insights into the quality of the installations.

While companies often showcase their best testimonials, diving deeper can provide a more comprehensive view. Look for online reviews on sites such as Trustpilot rather than relying solely on testimonials offered by the company. If multiple reviews praise the company’s customer service or the durability of installations, it’s a positive sign. Conversely, repeated negative feedback on a particular aspect warrants attention.

Cost

While the cost of solar panels is essential, it’s equally important not to compromise on quality. The cheapest option is not always the best. High-quality panels and installation might cost more upfront but can provide better efficiency and longer service life.

Get multiple quotes from different installers to provide a benchmark and help negotiate prices. Ensure the quotes include a breakdown of costs so you can see what you are paying for – panels, inverters, labour, and any additional services.

Warranties

Warranties indicate the company’s faith in its products and services.

  • Workmanship warranty: this covers the installation work. A standard installation warranty lasts between one and 10 years, but some companies offer extended warranties
  • Product warranty: typically, solar panels come with a product warranty that lasts between 10 and 25 years. This warranty covers manufacturing defects or any other problems with the panels themselves
  • Performance guarantee: most manufacturers also provide a performance guarantee, ensuring the panels will produce a certain percentage of their rated power after a specified number of years – usually 25 to 30 years
Jina Kwon Otovo circle close-up

We spoke to Jina Kwon, Otovo’s General Manager for the UK and Ireland to get her advice on choosing the right solar panel installer.

 

She emphasised that the best residential solar installers will meticulously design a system tailored to your unique electricity consumption. They value your input and encourage you to provide a year’s worth of energy bills to accurately gauge your household’s energy usage. 

 

Jina recommended to be wary of installers trying to oversell you on a big battery if you don’t need one — a typical battery is 3kW. Battery storage can easily be increased later if required, meaning you don’t have to commit to this extra expense if you don’t need it.  

What to avoid when choosing a solar panel installer

When you’re choosing who should install your solar panels, there are several red flags to watch out for. These include:

  • Don’t rely solely on pricing: while it’s tempting to go for the lowest quote, the cheapest option may not always offer the best value. Low pricing could reflect compromises in panel quality, installation standards, or service
  • Choose quality over cost: invest in high-quality solar panels and a reputable installer. The initial cost might be higher, but the long-term benefits in efficiency, durability, and lower maintenance costs are worth it
  • Avoid hard selling tactics: steer clear of installers who pressure you into making a quick decision. A reputable company will understand the importance of this investment and give you the time and information needed to make an informed choice
  • Seek fixed price quotes: this guarantees the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay, avoiding any unexpected costs after the project begins
  • Consider after-sales support: after installation, you may need help with system monitoring, maintenance, or addressing potential issues. Choose an installer who offers comprehensive after-sales support

How long does installation take with a national solar panel installer?

The lead time from your initial consultation to installation will vary depending on how busy your installer is and whether the system components are in stock. On average, a solar panel installation can take around two days; however, there are a number of factors to consider that could affect the timescale, which include:

  • System size: the size and capacity of the solar panel system will directly impact the installation time. Larger systems with more panels will generally take longer to install
  • Complexity of the installation: the complexity of the installation will also affect the time. Challenging roof layouts, additional wiring, or integration with existing electrical systems can add to the installation time
  • Weather conditions: weather can play a significant role in installation time. Inclement weather can delay the installation process.

Why are DIY solar panels a bad idea?

Opting to install solar panels yourself by taking the DIY route might seem like a cost-saving option. However, it’s fraught with challenges and potential pitfalls that can turn it into a risky, if not dangerous, venture.

Safety risks

First and foremost, safety is a paramount concern. Installing solar panels involves working with electricity, and mishandling can result in electrical shocks or fires. Professionals in the field are trained to navigate these risks and ensure safe installation, whereas DIY enthusiasts lack the requisite knowledge and experience, potentially endangering themselves and others.

Warranty issues

Another significant consideration is the potential voiding of product warranties. Many manufacturers require that licensed professionals install solar panels and inverters to maintain warranty coverage. DIY installations can result in the forfeiture of these warranties, leaving homeowners unprotected against potential defects or malfunctions.

Performance complications

An incorrect installation can lead to a host of performance issues. Panels might not be optimally angled, or the wiring could be incorrect, resulting in inefficiencies and diminished energy production. This underperformance can compromise the anticipated benefits and cost savings, undermining the purpose of adopting solar energy.

Impact on property value

While a professionally installed solar panel system can enhance a property’s resale value, a DIY installation may not meet the same standards. Potential buyers might be wary of the quality and safety of a non-professional installation, which could affect the property’s marketability and value.

Get free quotes and consultations from the best national solar panel installers

When selecting a national solar panel installer, exploring your options and comparing quotes is beneficial before finalising any decisions. It’s advisable to get at least three different quotes, considering each installer’s cost, experience, and credentials. Avoid settling for the first quote received, as this doesn’t allow assessing whether it represents a good deal.

Invest time making a well-informed choice, and don’t feel pressured by aggressive sales tactics. If an installer tries to push a time-limited offer, remain cautious. Numerous installers are available, each offering deals, so take the time to find the one that best suits your needs.

In addition to comparing quotes, it’s wise to take advantage of consultations, which should be offered free of charge. A solar panel consultation clarifies the installation process and allows you to address any queries or concerns.

Sources

  1. The Renewable Energy Hub, More than 57,000 UK Home Install Solar Arrays in First Quarter of 2023 ↩︎

Frequently asked questions about national solar panel installers

Generally, the quote for your solar panel installation includes labour costs, so arranging for this separately is unnecessary. 

The labour cost for solar panel installation can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of the system, the property’s location, the type of roof, and the company providing the installation services. Typically, for one installer per day, the costs are between £300 and £500, rising to £1,800 for a more significant, two-person installation taking three days.

While electricians can have the basic electrical knowledge needed to install solar panels, not all are qualified. For example, solar panel installers should be certified under the MCS accreditation scheme. The MCS is a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme that certifies both products and installation companies, ensuring installations meet a set standard of quality and compliance. Hiring a certified installer is also necessary to benefit from Ofgem’s SEG scheme. 

Remember that solar panel installation involves other tasks, such as roof mounting and connecting the system to the grid, which require specialised knowledge beyond standard electrical work.

In the UK, residential properties often do not require planning permission for solar panel installations, as they are usually considered permitted development. However, there are exceptions if the property is listed or located in a conservation area.

Before proceeding with a solar panel installation, checking with your local planning authority is always a good practice to confirm whether any permissions are needed. Additionally, consulting with a professional solar installation company can help guide you through the regulatory requirements and approval process.

Solar panels calculator

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The data used to power this calculator is sourced from various solar companies and industry bodies, including the UK government, the Energy Saving Trust and Ofgem. Please note that costs are estimated and based on a UK average, and should not be taken as the exact price you would pay. If you’d like to get an accurate quote for solar panels, then you can use this form to get an estimate from one of our trusted partners.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.