☀️ Yes, solar panels can be installed on a slate roof, but it requires a different installation technique.
☀️ Due to the different installation required it costs 30% more than an installation on a standard roof.
☀️ The savings on your electricity bill will normally more than make up for this higher price point.
Solar panels are becoming more and more affordable as their prices drop, which is great for anyone who wants to cut down on their electricity costs, especially with the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.
But before you get solar panels, you need to check if your roof can support them.
In this guide, I’ll explain how an MCS Certified Installer will install solar panels on a slate roof, how much it will cost, and what solar choices you have to think about before you proceed with installing solar panels on a slate roof.
Can solar panels be installed on a slate roof?
Yes, solar panels are compatible with slate roofs.
You can see many examples of this on slate roofs across the UK, as well as on other kinds of roofs.
But it should be noted that slate roofs require more time, care, and attention for solar panel installation than other roof types.
How are solar panels installed on a slate roof?
This is how an MCS Certified Installer usually installs solar panels onto a slate roof.
To be sure, ask each solar installation company that quotes you if they will follow the proper steps for this kind of solar project.
Don’t try to do it yourself – it’s risky, costly, and may invalidate your warranties and your Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme income for your surplus solar energy.
1. Remove the tiles
On a slate roof, hammering flashing and brackets would ruin or crack the tiles.
So, your installer will take out the required tiles carefully, with a hammer, a slate ripper, and maybe tin snips.
They’ll slide the ripper under each tile and hook around a nail that holds the tile to the roof, then pull it out by striking the ripper’s handle with a hammer.
They might also use this method to detach the tile, then remove the nails with the hammer’s claw.
2. Affix the flashing
Your MCS Certified Installer will fix flashing to your battens – the wood structure of your roof – to prevent water from entering or leaking through your roof.
3. Install the mounting brackets
They’ll then attach the mounting brackets to your roof with standoffs, to lift the mounting brackets from the surface.
4. Reattach the tiles
The MCS Certified Installer will saw the slate tiles they took out to fit them around the mounting brackets and avoid any holes in your roof.
5. Add the solar panels
They’ll finish the normal procedure of putting the solar panels on the mounting brackets, locking them, and linking the solar inverter to the solar panels and your consumer unit (or fuse board or box).
All skilled MCS certified solar panel installers can do these steps easily. Remember always choose a MCS Certified PV Installer.
Does it take longer to put solar panels on a slate roof?
Yes, solar panels on a slate roof take more time to install.
Your MCS certified installer will need about five days to install the complete solar PV system, while most standard roofs take just one or two days.
More time means higher costs, which I’ll discuss in the next section.
How much does it cost to install solar panels on a slate roof?
A standard UK 3-bedroom house with solar panels on a slate roof costs between £10,000 – £13,000 on average depending on the number of solar panels you have installed.
This is 30% higher than the usual UK price of between £7,500 – £10,000 for solar panels on a standard roof of a 3-bedroom property.
The extra cost is due to the labour and tools needed to remove, cut, and put back the slate tiles without breaking them, which is a skill and requires knowledge and experience to do well.
But solar panels on a slate roof are still a good investment. You can save about £500 a year on your electricity bills and pay off the cost in 19.5 years – and then you’ll enjoy free energy from your solar panels for years to come.
Are there other solar panel options for a slate roof?
You may want to explore other methods of installing solar panels on your slate roof. We have all the top options for you.
We’ll explain each of them, below.
1. Integrated solar panels
Integrated solar panels fit on a part of your roof without tiles, so they match your other tiles.
They resist weather, water, and are as durable as normal roof tiles – and they look better than solar panels on brackets.
The installation is easy, and standard panels cost the same as mounted panels.
But they produce 3% less solar energy than regular panels, so they have lower returns for the same price.
2. Solar roof tiles
Solar roof tiles look like normal tiles and make electricity like solar panels.
But you need to change your whole roof to get solar tiles.
Solar tiles cost 85% more than solar panels and are much less efficient than the best solar panels.
3. Replace all your slate tiles
Another option is to change your tile type and redo your roof.
Asphalt shingles or metal roofs are easier for solar panel installation.
Metal roofs with standing seams are handy, because installers can fix solar panels without making holes.
This option may cost the most, but it’s a good idea.
With all the information above , you’re now ready to proceed with your solar installation on your slate roof. But remember to check suitability, weigh the pros and cons, and get professional help.
Feeling motivated and ready to make your slate roof useful? Want to learn more? Your best option is to talk to one of our friendly solar energy experts on 01268 928 690 or click on the ‘Enquire Now’ button below and we will help you find the right fit for your home and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Panels on Slate Roofs
Yes, you can put solar panels on slate roofs. They need more work, time and money than other roofs. But you can still save a lot with solar power every year.
Solar panels on your roof don’t need planning permission, as they are considered ‘permitted development’, unless your home is a listed building or located in a conservation area. For listed buildings, make sure the solar panels match or enhance your home’s history, and apply for planning permission. For conservation areas, talk to your local authority about your solar PV system installation plan and how it will fit in with the local area.
These roofs are bad for solar: all-wood roofs, north-facing roofs, and low-sunlight roofs. Wood and solar panels can cause fires, but wood roofs are rare. North-facing roofs make less electricity, but solar panel trackers can help. All UK homes get enough sun for solar power. The only trouble is shady roofs, but this can be fixed.
Slate roofs are tricky to work on. For instance, some inexperienced solar installers make holes in the tiles to mount the equipment. They then seal the holes with silicone, but this will leak sooner or later and you’ll need a skilled MCS certified solar installer to fix it.
Slate roofs are expensive to install, which is a major drawback. Many houses need extra support for the slate tiles’ weight, which increases the cost. Slate tiles tend to attract homeowners because of their aesthetic look.
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