The Cost to Install Solar Roof Tiles

All you need to know about having solar roof tiles fitted including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Cost to Install Solar Roof Tiles

What the job entails

Solar roof tiles are a new alternative to solar panels offering a more subtle look they are quite inobtrusive on the roof whilst offering the benefits of renewable energy. Whereas solar panels can look quite out of place and even ugly on roofs, solar tiles blend into the surrounding roof tiles pretty well yet still offer cheaper bills and lower carbon emissions. However, the performance and costs of solar tiles are generally not as impressive as conventional solar panels.

The main reason homeowners use solar tiles as opposed to traditional panels is they simply look much better. Solar tiles offer the benefits of renewable energy without the unsightly appearance of solar panels fixed to a frame on the rooftop. Solar tiles also act as the main roof covering, so they are especially effective if they are installed when the roof needs replacing in any case. For listed buildings and traditional properties of course, solar tiles are the only real option.

Installing solar tiles means simply replacing some or all of the existing roof tiles with photoelectric solar panels which look just like roof tiles. Installing solar roof tiles to a typical property will take 2-4 days on average. The actual installation will usually involve erecting scaffolding and is much the same process as replacing a roof, plus of course, the tiles need to be connected and wired up to an inverter the connected to your electricity supply and the electric meter.

Solar tiles cannot be fixed to a roof in poor condition, so any rotten or damaged timbers or battens will need to be replaced. You may also want to replace any other roof timbers such as fascia boards, soffits and guttering, while you already have paid to have the scaffolding in place to save some money. If your home electrical system has not been replaced for 20 years and you still have an old-fashioned fuse-box, you will also need to budget for complete rewiring plus the fitting of a modern consumer unit.

Whilst solar tiles do look great, they cost much more than solar panels, often costing up to twice as much! They are also still a relatively new technology, so at the moment they are around 10-20% less efficient than conventional solar panels. In general, solar tiles are more popular with new build properties where the solar tiles can be fitted across the roof without removing the existing tiles.

By very wary of attempting to fit solar tiles as a DIY project. They are a pretty new technology so really should be fitted by professionals to avoid any problems. In addition, to join the Feed-In Tariff system, you need to purchase your solar tiles from an accredited supplier and get your solar roof tile installer's MCS certificate when the work is done to make a claim. Then, you can apply for the Government incentive schemes and start receiving tax-free payments for twenty years. These payments are not taxable and do not count towards your personal tax allowance either. However, if you buy cheap tiles you find online and then fit yourself, you will miss out on the government incentives, which can be as much as '12,000 over the 20 years (which would pay for the complete professional installation). So a DIY solar tiles installation will actually cost a lot more in the long run!

The Cost to Install Solar Roof Tiles

The average material cost to install solar roof tiles will depend on the solar system size which is suitable for your home. 3kW or 4kW solar tiles are recommended for the average household to cover the total energy usage of the property. 1kW or 2kW would be viable for 1 or 2 people, although in the future if you come to sell the property this may be a stumbling block for potential buyers with a bigger sized family.

The average specialist will usually charge around £100-£200 per day to install solar roof tiles. Specialists will often work in pairs to ensure the job is done correctly and timely. Depending on the size of your roof, you can expect specialists to take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to install the solar roof tiles.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to install solar roof tiles:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Install 1kW solar tiles £6000 1-2 weeks
Install 2kW solar tiles £8000 1-2 weeks
Install 3kW solar tiles £11,000 1-2 weeks
Install 4kW solar tiles £13,000 1-2 weeks


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs to install 3kW solar tiles- Total Cost: £11,000

75%

Materials
£8250

20%

Tradesmen
£2200

5%

Waste Removal & Scaffolding
£550

FAQ's

The number solar tiles required will depend on the amount of electricity you hope to generate from them. So the number you need will depend on your general energy usage so will be affected by the number and type of electrical appliances that you have and the number of occupants.
Solar tiles will work all year round but they will produce much less electricity in the darker, winter months (typically around 20% of the energy produced in the summer). Many homes with solar tiles or panels will actually sell electricity back to the national grid during the summer months!
Modern solar panels and tiles are durable and shouldn't get damaged by the weather. So as long as you buy your solar panels from a reputable company and accredited supplier, you should enjoy the best quality of solar cell designed to withstand the harsh UK weather. However, heavy snow and sleet can block the sunlight from photovoltaic cells temporarily.
Yes, they have been designed to be compatible with battery storage to enhance the overall performance of the system and provide off-peak power and even supply electricity at night during power cuts!
Not always. The solar system can be designed to allow you to cover as much or as little of the roof as you choose, depending on your budget. The more tiles you have fitted, the more electricity you produce and the more money you can claim from the government. But more tiles also means higher initial installation and purchase costs.
No, South facing roof elevations will normally present the most surface area to maximise system efficiency, but tiles have been installed on east and west facing roofs with great results.
The solar tile systems have been designed to require very little maintenance and the finish helps reduce the build-up of debris and in most cases will allow rainwater to wash the tiles naturally. However, if you live in an area where the roof is covered by snow for long periods, this will need to be removed or the tiles will simply not provide and electricity as the snow will effectively block the sunlight.