The UK cities that could save the most and least from solar panels

Research shows the cities that could save the most – and the least – by installing solar panels. Where does your city rank and how much could you save?

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We all know that solar panels can reduce your energy bill, but just how much could you save? Recent research by comparison site reveals which cities could get the most out of solar panels – does your city make the top spot?


Which cities could save the most from solar panels?

It’s no surprise that the sunny south coast dominates the list of cities that can benefit most from solar panels. Hotspots Brighton and Hove took first place, where solar panels could save households £195 a year.

They were closely followed by Plymouth, where annual savings came in at £190. In fact, annual savings in all cities in the top ten were close, with less than £30 difference between them. 

But perhaps most surprising was the presence of a northern city, Liverpool, amongst the southerners. Here’s where cities ranked, with annual savings in brackets:

  1. Brighton and Hove (£195.27)
  2. Plymouth (£190.08)
  3. Bournemouth (£189.18)
  4. Portsmouth (£187.08)
  5. Southampton (£181.56)
  6. Bristol (£172.98)
  7. Cardiff (£172.04)
  8. Reading (£171.41)
  9. Liverpool (£169.07)
  10. Norwich (£168.16)


Which cities could make the lowest potential savings from solar panels?

Despite the cities listed below falling into the bottom five spots, there are still some decent savings to be made by installing solar panels. 

The bottom five are:

  1. Glasgow (£137.71) 
  2. Manchester (£141.73)
  3. Bradford (£144.82)
  4. Edinburgh (£147.74)
  5. Stoke-on-Trent (£148.09)

Commenting on the findings, Peter Earl, head of energy at, said: “Though some areas will benefit more than others, installing solar panels can help to save money wherever you live, as well as help to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, providing a great long-term investment to help you save money and the planet at the same time.

“If you want to play your part in living a more sustainable life but don’t know where to start, you can look at switching to a renewable energy provider. Alternatively, you could make your own renewable electricity by having solar panels installed, with government loans such as the Green Deal helping you to save money on energy-saving improvements to your home.”

How many solar panels are needed to run a house?

According to figures from Ovo Energy, the average UK household uses 3,731kWh of electricity every year, so you’ll need a system that can produce at least this amount.

You’d need 10 solar panels, each with an output of 400 watts. If the output of each panel is lower, then you’ll need more of them to generate the energy you use. 

In terms of installation cost, to generate enough energy to meet the 3,731kWh average, you’d be looking at around £6,000. 

How do I install solar panels?

Solar panels don’t come cheap, so it’s a good idea to do your homework.

If you can, get a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone who has had solar panels installed.

It’s also worth looking for installers who are certified or accredited to trade groups, in particular, the MCS (microgeneration certification scheme). The scheme certifies products and firms to ensure panels are fitted to a high standard. You can search for a contractor on the MCS website

Also, try to get at least three quotes so you can see how costs stack up with different companies. Be wary of anyone cold calling to offer a quote and don’t agree to anything you’re not completely happy with. 

If solar panels aren’t right for you and your home, why not try one of these five apps that can help you save money through energy efficiency? We’ve also got other ways to save money on gas and electricity as well as these ten tips to reduce your fuel costs

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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