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Last updated: 10th April, 2024


Solar Panel Costs and Boiler Compatibility

Solar Panel Costs and Boiler Compatibility

Key takeaways

  • Solar panel costs have experienced a substantial decline in recent years, making them a more viable option for homeowners and businesses alike.
  • When solar panels and modern boilers are integrated, homeowners can experience the full benefits of sustainable heating.
  • Before committing to any solar panel purchase, you must consider how suitable your property is for the new addition.

As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges, the adoption of renewable energy sources has gained significant traction.

As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges, the adoption of renewable energy sources has gained significant traction. 

Among the various alternatives, solar power has emerged as a promising solution, offering a clean and sustainable energy option for both residential and commercial applications. 

In this blog post, we will explore the costs associated with solar panels from the perspective of iHeat, an online boiler installation company. 

Furthermore, we will highlight the benefits of modern boilers and their correlation with solar energy, showcasing a pathway to an eco-friendly and cost-effective heating solution.

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The Cost Perspective: Solar Panels

Solar panel costs have experienced a substantial decline in recent years, making them a more viable option for homeowners and businesses alike.

Factors such as technological advancements, increased production, and government incentives have contributed to this downward trend.

While the overall cost of solar panel installations can vary depending on factors like system size, location, and equipment quality, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment.

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar panel system, several components must be considered:


Solar panels, inverters, mounting systems, wiring, and other hardware required for installation contribute to the upfront costs. The quality and efficiency of the components can impact both the installation cost and the long-term performance of the system.


Labour costs associated with the installation process, including permits, electrical work, and panel mounting, need to be factored in. It's crucial to engage professional installers to ensure a safe and efficient setup.


Solar panels generally require minimal maintenance, but occasional cleaning and inspection are recommended. Maintenance costs over the system's lifespan should be considered in the overall cost estimation.

Financing Options

Several financing options, such as solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans, are available to make solar installations more accessible. These options can help mitigate the upfront cost burden and provide attractive repayment terms.

Benefits of Modern Boilers

As an online boiler installation company, iHeat recognizes the importance of providing efficient heating solutions that align with sustainable practices. Modern boilers offer several advantages over traditional heating systems, and when combined with solar energy, they form a powerful duo for energy-conscious homeowners:

Energy Efficiency

Modern boilers are designed to maximise energy efficiency, reducing both fuel consumption and carbon emissions. High-efficiency condensing boilers can achieve energy savings of up to 30% compared to older models.

Cost Savings

By adopting a modern boiler, homeowners can enjoy significant cost savings on their energy bills. Improved efficiency translates into lower fuel consumption, resulting in reduced heating expenses over time.


Reduced Environmental Impact

Modern boilers emit fewer greenhouse gases, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment. By combining solar power with a modern boiler, homeowners can further minimise their carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels.

Increased Comfort and Control

Modern boilers offer advanced features such as programmable thermostats and zoning capabilities, allowing homeowners to tailor their heating needs and optimise comfort in different areas of the house.

The Synergy of Solar Panels and Modern Boilers

When solar panels and modern boilers are integrated, homeowners can experience the full benefits of sustainable heating. By utilising solar energy to power the boiler, homeowners can significantly reduce their reliance on conventional energy sources. 

Excess energy generated by solar panels during the day can be stored in batteries or fed back into the grid, further enhancing the system's efficiency.

Moreover, solar-powered boilers can operate during periods of grid outages, ensuring a continuous supply of hot water and heating, especially in areas prone to power disruptions. This reliability can be particularly valuable during colder months when heating demands are at their peak.


Thing to Consider Before Purchasing Solar Panels

  • Is your home in a sunny location that would allow it to benefit from solar panels? You need roughly 5 square metres of roof space faxing East to West through South collecting sunlight in order for it to work effectively.

  • Do you have the space for an additional hot water cylinder? If you own a combi boiler, you’ll know that they’re compact and require very little space, however, in order to store hot water with solar panels, you’ll need extra room for the hot water cylinder.

  • Is your current boiler compatible with solar water heating? There’s no point investing all that money into solar panels, only to realise they don’t actually work alongside your boiler so make sure to do some research first.

New Boiler Costs

Boilers can be a daunting purchase for many people as they’re an appliance with a lot of responsibility, providing heat for you and your family is something you want to get right. Boilers aren’t exactly a quickly disposable item either, potentially lasting you a decade.

Boiler costs can be split into two segments: the first is the actual boiler itself (unit price), and the second is the cost of the boiler being installed (set up) in your property by an expert engineer. 

Here at iHeat, we want to remove all of this undue stress and make the decision making process of upgrading to a new central heating system, as easy as possible.

Boiler costs can vary depending on a number of factors including their brand, model, fuel, output, warranty, labour and installation type. Typically a new boiler will cost between £1,845 and £3,500, below is a list of average boiler installations offered by iHeat.

Installation Type

Price (inc VAT)

Combi to combi swap


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System to combi conversion


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New boiler install


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Back boiler to a combi


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System to system


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Some location factors that can influence the price of your new boiler

You will be given a specific quote from the boiler installation company based on:

  • The type of home you have (i.e. terraced, semi-detached, etc.)

  • How many bedrooms you have

  • How many bathrooms you have

  • Your postcode and specific location

Here at iHeat we offer free, fixed price quotes in less than 60 seconds!

Now might be the perfect time to upgrade your central heating system to lower your heating bills.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Boiler Do I Need with Solar Panels?

When integrating solar panels, especially solar thermal panels for hot water, it's best to have a boiler system that can easily integrate with solar heating. Systems like conventional (regular) boilers and system boilers are typically more compatible with solar thermal systems because they operate with hot water cylinders that can be heated by solar energy. Combi boilers can also be used with solar thermal systems, but they may require additional components, such as a diverter valve, to integrate smoothly.

Why Are Some Boilers Not Compatible with Solar Panels?

Some boilers, particularly older models or specific types of combi boilers without a separate hot water tank, may not be directly compatible with solar thermal systems due to their design. Solar thermal systems heat water that is stored in a cylinder, and systems without a tank (like some combi boilers) aren't designed for this storage and integration. However, many modern boilers and heating systems can be adapted to work with solar thermal technology with the right equipment.

Is My Boiler Compatible with Solar Thermal?

Whether your boiler is compatible with solar thermal depends on its type and model. If you have a system or conventional boiler with a hot water cylinder, it's likely compatible. Combi boilers can be compatible but may require additional setup. To be sure, consult with a solar thermal system installer or a heating engineer who can assess your specific boiler and recommend the necessary modifications.

Can I Run My Central Heating with Solar Panels?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, which generate electricity, can indirectly support your central heating system if they produce enough electricity to power an electric boiler or heat pump. However, solar thermal panels are specifically designed to heat water and can be integrated more directly with your central heating system to provide hot water and supplement heating.

Can You Have a Combi Boiler and Solar Panels?

Yes, you can have a combi boiler and solar panels. While solar PV panels can reduce your electricity consumption (including that used by an electric boiler), solar thermal panels can be integrated with a combi boiler to provide hot water, albeit with additional components for compatibility.

Do I Need to Tell My Electricity Supplier I Have Solar Panels?

Yes, you should inform your electricity supplier if you install solar panels. This is because your system may generate excess electricity that can be fed back into the grid, potentially qualifying you for feed-in tariffs or export payments. Your supplier will need to know about your solar installation to properly manage your account and payments.

Why Am I Being Charged for Electricity When I Have Solar Panels?

Having solar panels doesn't necessarily mean you won't have any electricity charges. You may still draw electricity from the grid during periods when your solar panels aren't generating enough electricity to meet your demand, such as at night or during cloudy days. Additionally, there are fixed charges associated with your electricity account, such as service fees, that you'll be responsible for regardless of your solar panel production.

Stephen Day profile photo
Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.