2.5kW solar systems: Pricing & power output in the UK

by James Martin II on February 19, 2013

Solar panels

2.5kWp (or 2.5kW) solar systems are proving a popular solar system size for UK residents thanks to their relatively low up-front costs and their growing attractiveness as an investment option. This article is an overview of what to expect when shopping around for a 2.5kW solar system in the UK including pricing, output, and return on investment.

Solar Selections can help you compare 2.5kWp solar systems anywhere in the UK. Request a free Solar Quote Comparison by filling out the form to the right of this page or call 020 7205 2267 for more information.

2.5kWp solar systems: Prices from around £3,200

Solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices have fallen significantly in the past few years, making them more affordable than they ever have been. This fact, in combination with the UK’s feed-in tariff for renewable energy, makes going solar a smart investment option for homes across the country.  

In the UK at the time of writing, fully-installed solar systems of decent quality can be purchased for approximately £1.31 per watt, or about £3,200–around a quarter of what they would have cost just 5 years ago.

As with any type of electrical equipment, however, it is absolutely key to shop around and compare options when considering going solar. Solar systems have a lifespan of about 30 years, and the less maintenance required over the course of this period means higher return on investment. Therefore it is necessary to think about quality as well as price.

2.5kWp solar systems: Power output

The actual power output of a 2.5kW solar system will be influenced by a number of factors, including its orientation and the tilt angle of the panels, the presence or absence of shade, its latitude and the climate in that region, and the quality of the components used in the system.

The output of a system will vary throughout the year, as well. In the summer when there is more sunlight, the panels will produce more power, and in winter they will produce less. Typically, however, a system in the UK can be expected to annually produce on average 2.35 kilowatt-hours (kWh, or units of energy) for every 1 kilowatt-peak (kWp or kW) of capacity.

This means that a 2.5kW solar system will produce about (2.35kWh x 2.5kW =) 5.9kWh of electricity per day, averaged over the year. This translates into approximately 2,140kWh of power per year. 

What does this mean in terms of financial returns?

Financial returns from a solar system of any size are dependent on the generosity of the feed-in tariff available to the owner at the time of installation, and the price of electricity. A solar PV system can save its owner money on their power bills in 3 ways:

1) The ‘generation tariff’ pays the home for each unit of solar power that they produce–regardless of where that power goes and who uses it.

2) The ‘export tariff’ rewards solar homes with a small amount of money for each unit that they do not consume themselves–i.e. every kWh that they export to the grid.

3) Homes can also offset their power bills by consuming as much of their solar power as possible themselves. This will enable them to avoid purchasing power from utilities, ultimately saving them money on their power bills.

Below are some indicative investment figures for a 2.5kWp solar system generating on average 5.9kWh of power per day, costing around £3,200 to install, and being eligible for the current feed-in tariff rates (valid for 20 years). Keep in mind that actual figures will vary (the major factor being how much solar power is consumed directly by the owner vs exported and ‘sold’ to the grid).

Payback period: About 6 years

Annual return on investment: 15-20%

Quarterly savings: £109-125

Annual savings: £320-440

Read more: Solar panel payback times and return on investment.

© 2013 Solar Selections Ltd

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