How the numbers stack up

You make money from solar in two ways: from government Feed-in Tariffs and savings on your bills. The tariffs earn you cash for whatever you generate, even if you use it all yourself. It’s tax-free with predictable income each year. Savings depend on how much you use yourself, but also grow as electricity prices rise. The amount of income and savings you can generate varies according to where you live and how suitable your roof is; we estimate the overall average UK return to be 6%.

Here’s an example:
  • You invest £5,150 on one of our systems
  • In the first year, you make £350, through a combination of income and savings
  • This increases with inflation, so that over 20 years you make a profit of £4,447

That’s a tax-free return of 6.5%.*

The Feed-in Tariff

Your total annual return can be calculated by combining the income you receive for the Feed-in Tariff (which comprises a generation tariff and an export tariff) as well as the savings you make on your electricity bill.

The Feed-in tariff rises with inflation every year for 20 years.

Electricity savings vary by homeowner. If you use some of the electricity that your solar PV system generates in daylight hours, you will save on your electricity bills as you will use less electricity from your electricity supplier. We have estimated that 45% of the generated electricity is consumed.*

By adding solar, you may well be adding to the value of your home. A solar PV system will typically improve your Energy Performance Certificate rating a whole grade. Government research has shown that by improving the energy efficiency of your house you can increase its value by a minimum of 3%. And given the average house now costs over £250,000 that represents additional value of more than the cost of the solar system.

To find out how much you could be saving, try
our handy calculatorTry it now


  • 1) A south-facing roof at typical pitch in central UK with 10% shading, giving 837 kWh/kWp yield (source: MCS, SC analysis)
  • 2) Electricity savings calculations are based on 45% of the solar energy produced being used in the property, typical for the UK (source: DECC).
  • 3) Property has an Energy Performance Certificate rating A-D
  • 4) Investment based upon SC’s 3.1kWp polycrystalline system
  • 5) Feed-in Tariff rates as at July 2016, tariffs paid for 20 years from the point the solar system is accredited
  • 6) Savings of 16.0p per unit of electricity, at 5% annual inflation (source: DECC Quarterly Energy Prices, 10 year average )
  • 7) Export tariff payments are based on a deemed export of 50%
  • 8) Profit after cost of installation and includes £20 p.a. maintenance costs (index linked)
  • 9) Return being tax-free, with the average annual return (IRR) taken over 20 years
  • 10) Payback being the time taken to recover the initial outlay to the nearest year

Please be aware that for every quarter, the government will now cap the number of installations that qualify for the Feed-in Tariff. If the cap is reached, your solar system will be placed in a queue for the following quarter’s tariff. Your return on investment will vary depending on what Feed-in Tariff you actually get. We cannot guarantee any rates.

Hear from our customers - videos, case studies and testimonials from people who've installed solar, the IKEA way

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How solar panels work even on cloudy days

Solar takes advantage of a free and powerful energy source – the sun. Solar converts this energy into electricity, making it a simple, clean and cost-effective way to power our lives. It’s dependable, too – because unlike fossil fuels, the sun’s energy is unlimited.

Solar panels capture the sunlight and convert it into electricity.

And you don’t need to live somewhere warm and sunny, because solar needs only daylight not heat. Even the UK gets 60% of the sunlight (or solar radiation) found at the Equator.

It’s true that the more light the panels receive, the more electricity they can generate. But they still work on cloudy days – just as a solar-powered calculator does.

Solar in action

  • 1. Daylight hits these cells and is converted to direct current (DC) energy.
  • 2. This DC energy travels to an electrical device called an inverter, which converts DC energy into alternating current (AC) energy.
  • 3. The AC electricity produced is just like the power supplied by your utility company, and can go directly to power all your household appliances and lights.
  • 4. Or the power produced can be exported back to the grid and redistributed locally.
  • 5. You can monitor your system’s performance over the web or, for a small additional charge, via a dedicated display.

Want to find out more? Give us a call on 0800 334 5996 or complete our online form here