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How many solar panels do you need to power a house?

When considering solar panels for your home, one of the most common questions is, “How many solar panels do you need to power a home?”. The answer varies depending on several factors. This includes your energy consumption, geographic location, roof size, and the efficiency of the solar panels.

Let’s dive into these factors – but, as always, if you have any questions specific to your own home, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Eclipse Energy offers free home surveys, with no obligation to proceed.

The first step…calculate your annual electricity usage

The first step in working out how many solar panels you need to power your house is to look up how much electricity your household uses. This can be done by simply checking your energy bills. Or if you don’t have an annual summary of your past 12 months bill, contact your energy supplier and ask.

Factors like the size of the house and the number of people living in the household, will directly affect the amount of energy usage. However, once you know the annual energy usage of the property you can work out how much electricity you’ll need.

From this you can then estimate how many solar panels will need to be installed, as outlined below.

How do I calculate how many solar panels I will need?

A typical solar panel is rated at 350W. In the UK, this will produce on average 265kWh of solar PV energy per year. This means that if you divide your annual electricity usage by 265, you can estimate the number of panels required for your house.

For example: a household that uses 2,650kWh of energy per year will need 10 solar panels. (10 x 265kWh = 2,650kWh).

Whilst there are other factors that will affect how many solar panels you will need. A general guide based on the size of the house will look something like this:

  • 1-2 bedroomed house – 6 solar panels (typically generating 1,590kWh per year)
  • 3-4 bedroomed house – 10 solar panels (typically generating 2,650kWh per year)
  • 4-5 bedroomed house – 14 solar panels (typically generating 3,710kWh per year)

Other factors that affect how many solar panels you will need

Whilst the size of the house and number of people living within the property are typically the main factors in determining how many solar panels you will need. There are other factors to consider when determining how many solar panels you may need, these are:

1. Geographic location

The geographical location of your home can also affect the number of solar panels your home will need. For example, to achieve the same energy results in the North of Scotland, as opposed to the South England, you’ll typically need 1-3 more solar panels.

This is because certain areas in the UK will have typically cloudier days than other areas. Solar panels still work on cloudy days, but they can be less efficient than areas where there are considerably less cloudy days. The amount of hours of sunshine your home is likely to receive will affect how much electricity the solar panels will produce.

2. Direction and orientation of the roof

A south facing roof in the UK is exposed to the most hours of sunlight and produces more electricity than a roof facing east, west or north.

If your roof faces east or west, you might need to install one to three more panels to achieve the same amount of energy production as a south facing roof.

3. The size and strength of the property roof

Is your roof physically big enough to install the number of solar panels needed?

Most residential solar panels measuring 2m long by 1 metre wide and weighing approximately 18-20kg. Therefore it is crucial that a professional survey of your roof is undertaken. This is to ensure there is enough space required, and the roof is structurally strong enough to hold the weight.

Eclipse Energy specialise in Yorkshire stone and slate roofs. And we do not charge extra for the type of roof your home has. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

Next steps

Hopefully you now know how to work out how many solar panels you need to power your house. The next step is to contact Eclipse Energy, your Renewable Energy specialists, to receive a free assessment of your home.

Call us today on 01422 768 113 or fill out the quote request form below. Then one of our friendly team will get in touch with your free quote. You can also read more articles on our blog about solar panels here.

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