Everything you need to know about solar installation with Octopus Energy

Frame 42

By generating your own power, you can avoid volatile energy prices, and save 86%+ on your electricity bills on one of our competitive smart tariffs. But how does it all work? And what will the costs and savings look like for your home?

The costs

In recent years, the energy crisis has highlighted just how unpredictable the price of electricity can be – so with advancements in solar and battery tech, the ability to take control of your home energy supply has created a welcome opportunity for homeowners.

The cost of installation can depend on how many panels you need, whether you choose to have battery storage and what size of battery you require. As of Feb 2024, the cost of a panel-only installation by Octopus starts from £4,999 (for 4 panels), while a 10 panel installation and a 5kWh battery (our most popular system) costs £10,399. Get a quick fixed quote to find out how much it’ll cost for you, based on your home.

After installation, you can begin to sell any excess energy you don’t use and watch the pounds roll back in. Right now, Octopus Energy has the best export rates in the market, with our solar smart tariff Intelligent Octopus Flux. 💸

With the right set-up, it is possible to power your own home and get paid for the energy you sell back to the grid, so for most, it’s only a matter of time before your solar system pays for itself. We’ll run through your predicted payback period when we generate your full quote.

FYI: depending on where you live in the UK and your circumstances, you can get a Green Deal Savings Measures to find out if you’re eligible for any finance plans to help pay for solar panels. Check out this Government page for more info.


How do solar panels work?

The UK might not be known for its sunshine, but we get more than enough sunlight to make solar panels a great investment. It’s true that the stronger the sunlight, the more electricity you can generate – but even when it’s cloudy, there’s enough light for solar panels to power your home.

We think solar panels are the future. Not only do they keep your costs down, but you’re also helping to generate renewable energy, so it’s good for the planet, too. This is how they work:

A diagram showing the process of solar energy:  1) Light from the sun is made up of tiny particles called photons  2) Photons hit the solar panel, knocking electrons free of the silicon atoms within the solar cells  3) These loose electrons are now free to move, creating an electric current from the positive and negative charges now present. They pass through the layers of the solar cell.  4) The electric current flows to the edge of the panel into a conductive wire, which leads to the inverter  5) The inverter covers to the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is used to provide power  6) The electricity transfers to the building. If the solar panels are connected to the utility meter, excess electricity is transferred to the utility grid. This causes the meter to run backward, crediting the property for surplus generation.

The installation process

We help you through the whole process, from design and installation to generation and customer support.

First, you can book a solar panel consultation and cost estimate. We check for a few things, like if your home has a clear space on a pitched (not flat), south-facing roof, that can fit solar panels. We’ll also need to have room to install scaffolding to complete your installation. Before the survey, we’ll take a fully refundable £500 deposit.

Our solar sales specialists will work with you to plan the perfect solar panel setup for your home, using state-of-the-art software to visualise the path of the sun, and where to position the panels on your roof. Then you’ll receive a quote which will include the estimated investment return period.

Next, you’ll need to decide if solar panels make sense for your pocket. If you use a lot of energy, solar panels and battery storage will save you the most money. If you have low usage, your payback period could take longer, so we’ll help you make sure it’s the right choice for you.

You can get solar panels on their own, or you can include a battery as well, depending on how much electricity you expect to generate and when you’ll use it most. For example, if you use a lot of energy in the evening, we’ll recommend a battery since you won’t be using a lot of energy when the sun is brightest during the day. That means you can store the electricity to use later.

Once you’re happy, we'll ask you to complete a remote survey before booking an installation date that works for you. Installation should take 2-4 days, depending on the size of your system. We will also schedule time on either side of this to put up and take down the scaffolding at your property. Once installation is complete, we’ll request the remainder of the total cost.

Solar house

After your installation

Once your solar panels are installed, our solar specialists are on hand to help with anything you need, like making sure you’re on the right tariff. And you can clearly see the energy you’re generating and exporting back to the grid using our app.

You’ll also be protected by a 2 year Workmanship Warranty Insurance scheme, provided by Qualitymark, and our equipment is also guaranteed by its manufacturer:

  • Solar Panels: 25 years product warranty and 30 years linear power warranty
  • Inverters: 12 years
  • Batteries: minimum of 10 years depending on product

We’ve covered everything you need to know about getting solar panels here, but you can always get in touch if you’d like us to walk you through it or check out our FAQ page. And remember – Octopus has the best export rates on the market, so you’re in the right place to make the most out of a solar panel installation.


Why Sarah chose Octopus for her solar installation


Our expert engineers have installed solar systems for thousands of customers like Sarah. See how much you could save on a solar installation in two minutes:

Home solar FAQs
How much can you can save with solar?
Flux: the ultimate solar smart tariff

Published on 14th September 2023 by:

image of Becky Boulton

Becky Boulton

Green Hero

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!