James Elston

James Elston

Published June 5, 2024

Yes. Installing solar panels on a thatched roof is possible; however, it can be very challenging and may not be recommended. Thatch, a natural and delicate material, requires careful handling to avoid damage during solar installation. But, with proper planning and professional expertise, you can also reap the benefits of renewable energy, even on a thatched roof.

This guide will take you through the process, challenges, and solutions of installing solar panels on a thatched roof.

How Are Solar Panels Installed On A Thatched Roof?

The solar installation process can vary quite widely because of how complex the job can be. Nonetheless, here’s a breakdown of how certified solar panel installers handle the situation:

Assessing the roof structure

Whether it’s flat roofs, shed roofs or thatched roofs, the process always starts with a professional assessing the roof’s structure. This involves checking the size of the solar array you want to construct. You’d also ideally want it to be a south-facing roof, so that it captures more sunlight.

Because thatch is natural, its thickness, density, and load-bearing capacity can vary a lot. The aim of the assessment is to ensure the roof can support the weight of the solar PV system without compromising the roof’s integrity.

Designing the mounting system

Given how delicate thatch is, a specialised mounting system has to be used. Traditional methods like drilling are avoided to prevent damage. Instead, professional installers use non-penetrative mounts that distribute the weight evenly and provide ventilation.

Ensuring proper ventilation

Ventilation is crucial when installing solar panels on a thatched roof to prevent rot. The installation typically includes creating a gap between the panels and the roof. This increases airflow and helps maintain the durability and longevity of the thatch and solar panels.

Aesthetic considerations

A huge focus of the process is ensuring the solar panels don’t take away from the visual appeal of the thatch. This is important as thatched roofs often contribute to the traditional aesthetic value of a property. Many installers strategically place the panels so that they blend with the roof’s appearance.

Safety and fire prevention

Thatch is highly flammable, so all electrical components must be carefully installed to prevent fire risks. This is why technicians use class-A fire-rated materials and ensure all wiring is insulated and shielded from the elements.

How Long Does It Take to Install Solar Panels On a Thatched Roof?

Because of the precautionary measures required, installing solar panels on a thatched roof generally takes longer. Depending on the complexity, installing solar panels on a conventional roof can take around one to three days. But, in the case of thatched roofs, if the installation is given the green light by the technician, the process could take longer, potentially around a week.

Although this could be frustrating, installing solar panels on a thatched roof comes with some risk, especially if the thatch is non-synthetic. So, rather let a professional company like Eco Happy handle your installation.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels On a Thatched Roof?

It’s relatively rare for technicians to agree to install solar panels on a thatched roof, so getting the job done could end up costing one quite a bit. Prices will also vary depending on the power needs of the property. This means that the solar installation cost could be anywhere between £500 and £2,000 or more.

Get A Solar Panel Installation Quote Today

Ready to see if you can harness the power of solar energy on your thatched roof? Eco Happy specialises in providing tailored solar panel solutions that meet your unique needs. Our expert team ensures a smooth installation process, maintaining the integrity and look of your thatched roof.

Don’t wait to start saving on your energy bills and contributing to a greener future. Get in touch with us for a free, no-obligation quote today. Join the many satisfied customers who have trusted us for their renewable energy needs.


What type of roof is best for solar panels?

The best type of roof for solar panels is typically sturdy, durable and unshaded, with a good amount of available space for solar panel installation. Roofs made of materials like asphalt shingles, metal, or concrete tiles are typically well-suited for solar panel installation because of their strength and longevity.

What are the risks of having solar panels on thatched roofs?

Thatched roofs aren’t always structurally suitable to support solar panels and drilling through the thatch can compromise its integrity and increase the risk of fire. Also, thatch material might not provide a stable surface for secure installation, leading to damage or leaks.

Do I need planning permission to fit solar panels?

You likely won’t need planning permission to install solar panels on your property if certain conditions are met. If you’re unsure of this, get in touch with Eco Happy or your local council for confirmation.

What are the disadvantages of thatched roofs?

They’re more susceptible to fire hazards due to their flammable nature, require regular maintenance such as rethatching, and can be more expensive to install and maintain. To add to this, their unique construction makes installing solar panels on them a lot harder.

Our Verdict

So, can you put solar panels on a thatched roof? Yes and no. Yes, if installed by professionals who understand the unique challenges of thatch, ensuring proper ventilation and support. No, if your installer doesn’t find any viable systems that won’t compromise the structural integrity of the thatched roof.

Solar power is a viable option but requires careful planning and possibly higher costs depending on how complex the job is. But, once it’s installed, watch your energy bills plummet. Whether it’s a flat roof or a thatched one, the key is professional assessment and installation.

James Elston

James Elston

Boiler Expert

James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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