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Best solar panels in the UK in 2024

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To determine the best solar panels in the UK, our solar experts have researched over 50 models on the market. In their extensive analysis, they examined key factors, including efficiency, reliability, power and solar panel costs. We also spoke to Dr David Sprake, Programme Leader in Renewable Engineering and panel member at the Climate Regional COP Summit, to get his advice on choosing solar panels.

The Project Solar UK Evo Super Max Series 455W came out on top for its ability to generate the expected amount of energy even in cloudy conditions. It also has an unparalleled warranty and strong reliability.

What are the best solar panels on the market?

The best solar panels for UK homes have efficiency ratings of over 20 per cent as well as solid power outputs – anything from 420W and up. They typically come with advanced features that increase their efficiency and longevity, and most can work in low light and adverse weather conditions. We’ve found that the best solar panels are usually made from monocrystalline cells, which are more efficient than cheaper polycrystalline cells.

Important note: Not every brand mentioned in this guide installs solar panels. The most cost-effective way to purchase our recommended panels is to compare quotes from local installers. Our short form provides quotes from up to four local installers. It’s quick and free to use.

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Our research into the best solar panels

During our research, we compared more than 50 solar panels from 13 best-in-class manufacturers, evaluating each to decide an overall winner. We considered a range of factors in our analysis.

  • Efficiency: the percentage of sunlight each panel converts into electricity
  • Durability: the panels’ resistance to environmental factors and harsh weather
  • Power output: the amount of electricity a panel generates under ideal conditions
  • Low-light performance: how well panels generate power in poor lighting conditions
  • Degradation rates: how well the panels maintain performance over time, with lower degradation rates ensuring longer service life and a better return on investment
  • Warranties: the product and performance guarantees for long-term reliability assurance
  • Size: the measurements used to assess roof compatibility
  • Cost: the price of each panel

As part of our research, we also examined the manufacturers track record, as well as their expertise, experience and ethical and sustainable practices. To learn more about our process, read about how we review solar panels.

50+
Panels reviewed
300
Customer reviews read
13
manufacturers compared
50
hours comparing products

Best solar panels at a glance

Solar Panel Power output Efficiency Weight Dimensions score Degradation Warranties Approximate price per panel
Project Solar UK Evo Super Max 455W 22.01% 23kg 1905x1134x35mm (LxWxD) Not available Lifetime product warranty, 30-year performance warranty POA
SunPower Maxeon 7 445W 24.1% 20.7kg 1787x1035x40mm (LxWxD) 0.25% maximum annual degradation after year 1 25 years standard product warranty, 40 years with registration POA
Jinko Tiger Neo 420W N-Type 54 Cell 420W 21.51% 22kg 1722x1134x30mm (LxWxD) 0.4% annual degradation after year 1 25-year product warranty and 30-year performance warranty £80
JA Solar JAM72S30 Mono PERC Half-Cell MBB 550W 21.30% 28.6kg 2278x1134x30mm(LxWxD) 0.55% annual degradation after year 1 12-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty £165
Suntech Ultra V Mini 405Wp 405W 20.70% 21kg 1722x1134x30mm(LxWxD) 0.55% annual degradation after year 1 15-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty £170

Best overall: Project Solar UK Evo Super Max Series 455W

The Project Solar UK Evolution Titan 445 (Project Solar)

Top takeaways

  • Project Solar’s product warranty is four times longer than every other panel we reviewed
  • It has a 30-year performance warranty – one of the longest of the panels we reviewed

Key specifications

Efficiency 21.01 per cent
Power output 455W
Degradation Not specified
Temperature coefficient -0.35%/°C
Price On enquiry
Warranty Lifetime product warranty and 30-year performance warranty
Weight 23.5kg

Pros

10 per cent more energy generation per metre squared than many other models Designed to deliver optimal energy generation throughout the year Lifetime guarantee

Cons

Prices only available on request Degradation rates only available on request

The Evo Super Max Series 455W solar panels are the newest in Project Solar’s range. They are the best overall solar panels, thanks to their solid output and efficiency, combined with the most generous warranty on the market.

These panels incorporate passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) technology. PERC solar cells are enhanced versions of traditional cells, designed to increase energy production by as much as 6 to 12 per cent. This efficiency boost comes from an additional layer placed on the cell’s rear side that captures the sunlight reflected back into the cell, providing another opportunity for energy conversion.

What’s more, the Evo Super Max Series 455W can be integrated into a smart solar system that uses real-time data to monitor energy production with smart meters and inverters. Thanks to its high efficiency of up to 21.01 per cent, the brand is suitable for homes of all sizes, retaining optimum performance in low-light conditions. In other words, cloudy days and winter months shouldn’t affect its performance.

Read our full Project Solar review.

Most efficient solar panel: SunPower Maxeon 7

Image shows the SunPower Maxeon 6 AC.
The SunPower Maxeon 6 AC (SunPower)

Top takeaways

  • This was the most efficient panel we tested
  • Each Maxeon panel has a built-in inverter, so if one panel has an issue, the system will continue to generate energy

Key specifications

Efficiency Up to 24.1 per cent
Power output 435W – 445W
Degradation 98 per cent warrantied output for the first year, with a minimum of 0.25 per cent degradation annually after that. This means that at year 30, the panels will have an efficiency of 22.1 per cent.
Temperature coefficient -0.34%/°C
Price On enquiry
Warranty 25 years standard; 40 years with registration
Weight 20.7kg

Pros

High efficiency of 24.1 per cent 40-year warranty Guarantees 92 per cent efficiency after 25 years

Cons

Limited availability

SunPower’s Maxeon 7 combines a high energy output with a high efficiency rating of up to 24.1 per cent. The crack-resistant panels are designed to withstand corrosion, and they come with enhanced shade tolerance.

The design of solar panels typically results in the system only being as strong as its weakest panel. For this reason, an issue with a single panel can impact the whole system. However, SunPower Maxeon 7 solar panels are fitted so that each panel works independently, improving the system’s overall power by approximately 50 per cent. This means less surface area is required to achieve the same energy output as other panels. The Maxeon 7 panels also feature maximised power point tracking, which enhances their output in variable weather conditions. So, even on overcast days, you’ll benefit from optimal output.

Read our full SunPower solar panels review.

Most reliable solar panel: Jinko Tiger Neo 72HL4

Image shows the Jinko Tiger Neo 420W N-Type 54 Cell solar panel.
The Jinko Tiger Neo 72HL4(Jinko)

Top takeaways

  • PVEL – the solar industry’s independent testing lab – named JinkoSolar the top performer of 2023, and the company has been one of PVEL’s highest-ranking performers seven times
  • Jinko Solar is committed to sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025

Key specifications

Efficiency 23.42 per cent
Power output 400W – 420W
Degradation 0.40 per cent annual degradation over 30 years, meaning that the performance rate at year 30 will be around 20.8 per cent
Temperature coefficient -0.30%/°C
Price Around £100
Warranty 12-year product warranty and 30-year linear power warranty
Weight 27kg

Pros

Small degradation factor – 0.40 per cent after year one Good power warranty of 30 years Great value for money

Cons

Short product warranty

Jinko’s Tiger Neo 420W N-Type 54-Cell panels use Super Multi Bus Bar (SMBB) technology. Bus bars are thin copper or silver strips that connect the cells in a solar panel and carry the current. The sophisticated design of SMBBs uses a higher number of bus bars, which are also finer and denser. This reduces the effect of shading and optimises the path the current takes, increasing the overall efficiency of the panel.

Naturally, all solar panels degrade over time, losing their ability to harvest energy and becoming less efficient. This is caused by potential induced degradation (PID) – the gradual leakage of electrical current from the solar cell to the panel frame. Jinko’s technology has reduced this leakage, meaning its panels hold their efficiency longer than the average panel.

They also deliver enhanced protection against extreme environmental conditions, such as rain, wind and snow, making them one of the most reliable solar panels in the UK. If you live on the coast or your home becomes shaded when it’s particularly windy, you’ll still be able to generate a stable amount of energy with these panels.

Jinko offers a 12-year warranty on the product and 30 years on linear power.

Read our full Jinko Solar solar panels review.

Most powerful solar panel: JA Solar JAM72D40 Mono PERC Half-Cell MBB

Image shows the JA Solar JAM72S30 Mono PERC Half-Cell MBB.
The JA Solar JAM72S30 Mono (JA Solar)

Top takeaways

  • JA Solar’s panel delivers 595W of power – around 140W more than the nearest competitor we tested
  • This panel’s frame is 5mm slimmer than many other panels we examined

Key specifications

Efficiency 23 per cent
Power output 525W – 595W
Degradation 0.55 per cent linear degradation over 25 years, giving them an efficiency of 19.55 per cent by year 30
Temperature coefficient -0.35%/°C
Price Approximately £150
Warranty 12-year product warranty and 25-year linear power output warranty
Weight 31.8kg

Pros

Fantastic power output for the money Good efficiency Great weather resistance

Cons

Relatively short product warranty Heavier than many other panels A lower-than-average heat resistance of -0.30 per cent for every degree over 25°C

Among all the solar panels we reviewed, JA Solar’s panels boast the highest power output. Designed with shading and weather in mind, and packed with desirable features – such as PERC cells and a high resistance to hotspot degradation – they make for a welcome addition to homes with high energy usage.

At 31.8kg, the panels are quite heavy, but their high energy output easily compensates for the extra weight. Considering that an output of 420W and above is standard for solar panels, JA Solar’s 595W panel is certainly powerful – especially when paired with an efficiency rating of up to 23 per cent. In short, you can expect a healthy return of energy from these solar panels, even in low-light conditions.

Read our full JA Solar review.

Best low-light solar panels: Suntech Ultra V Mini 430Wp

Image shows the Suntech Ultra V Mini 405Wp solar panel.
The Suntech Ultra V Mini 405Wp (Suntech)

Top takeaways

  • One of the best low-light panels on the market
  • Designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions

Key specifications

Efficiency 22 per cent
Power output 430W
Degradation 2 per cent in the first year and 0.40 per cent annually thereafter, giving them an efficiency of around 17 per cent in year 30
Temperature coefficient -0.36%/°C
Price Around £150
Warranty 25-year product warranty and 30-year performance warranty
Weight 21kg

Pros

Good value for money Optimised power generation in shady conditions

Cons

Limited availability

All solar panels will perform to some extent in cloudy weather, but low-light conditions pose a greater problem. If your home is shaded by trees, then it’s crucial to invest in panels designed with low-light enhancements.

The Ultra V Series from Suntech includes modules comprising 182mm silicon wafers that optimise this solar panel’s layout and power generation. What’s more, these modules operate well in low light and adverse weather conditions, providing a more consistent energy output during daylight hours.

Excellent low-light performance means that your solar panels could absorb light even in the early morning, so you won’t have to wait until peak hours – typically between 11am and 4pm – to start drawing on your home’s solar energy supply. Suntech’s Ultra V panels also perform well at lower temperatures and can withstand wind and other harsh weather, including heavy snowfalls.

Read our full Suntech solar panels review.

Other solar panels we recommend

Aiko N-Type ABC Series – 72 Cell

Efficiency: 23.9 per cent 
Power output: 615W
Degradation: 0.35 per cent annual degradation from year two to year 30
Temperature coefficient: −0.26%/°C
Price: Approximately £188
Warranty: 15-year product warranty and 30-year performance warranty

Pros

Long lifespan of 40 years High power output means a 6kW system can be achieved with 10 panels Full black design

Cons

Heavy panels

The Aiko Solar N-Type ABC White Hole offers almost 24 per cent efficiency, which beats the average of around 20 per cent. Its 615W power output is among the highest of all panels on the market. Unlike other panels, which can quickly lose efficiency, this model maintains approximately 89 per cent (about 550W) of its initial capacity after decades. So, if you bought one today, it might still be outperforming many new panels on the market by 2054. Unfortunately, its price is undisclosed, making it difficult to compare costs with similar models.

Read our full Aiko solar panels review.

REC Alpha Pure-R

Efficiency: 22.3 per cent 
Power output: 420W
Degradation: 0.25 per cent after year one
Temperature coefficient: –0.24%/°C
Price: £160 
Warranty: 25-year product warranty and 25-year performance and labour warranties – as long as they’re fitted by a REC-certified installer. Panels fitted by any other companies are only eligible for a 20-year product warranty

Pros

Lead-free manufacturing High-strength frame design Good high-temperature performance – 0.24 per cent per degree over 25°C

Cons

REC’s product warranty doesn’t cover inverters, unlike many other warranties

The REC Alpha Pure-R panel stands out with its advanced technology, offering superior performance compared to others on the market. Constructed from 80 silicon cells, these panels are assembled with lead-free, gapless technology, encased in 3.2mm glass and framed with black aluminium. They achieve a peak efficiency of 22.3 per cent and boast a minimal annual degradation rate of only 0.25 per cent after the first year – significantly lower than the typical 0.5-0.7 per cent for other panels.

Read our full REC solar panels review.

Perlight NTA 430W

Efficiency: 22.28 per cent 
Power output: 430W
Degradation: less than 2 per cent in year one, 0.45 per cent in years 2-25
Temperature coefficient: –0.31%/°C
Price: POA
Warranty: 30-year product and performance warranties

Pros
Certified against extreme weather conditions, resistant to wind and snow
Manufactured with low lead levels and no fluorine, so they’re more environmentally friendly
Cons
Priced higher than some other panels

The Perlight NTA 430W solar panel has an output of 430W and an efficiency rate of 22.28 per cent. It incorporates n-type technology, giving it superior resistance to sunlight-induced degradation and ensuring a more consistent performance over the panel’s lifetime.

Perlight’s manufacturing processes are certified under SA8000 standards. This certification addresses labour conditions and environmental impact concerns, highlighting Perlight’s dedication to social responsibility and environmental stewardship throughout the manufacturing of its solar panels.

Get quotes on the best solar panels in your area

Discover how much solar panels would cost for your home by answering a few quick questions

How the best solar panels work

Solar panels capture daylight and turn it into usable power. The best solar panels are usually made from silicon cells or another semiconductor material set in a metal frame with a glass casing. When daylight hits these cells, electrons within the cells move, creating an electric current. This electricity is then used to power your home.

What makes the best solar panel?

The best solar panels are highly efficient, generate plenty of electricity, perform well on overcast days, are designed to cope with harsh weather conditions and come with generous warranties. They also have an excellent cost-per-watt ratio, allowing you to maximise your investment.

However, there’s no single best panel to suit every household. Your ideal model will depend on the size and location of your property, as well as the energy needs of your household. For example, if you live in an area with high sun exposure – that doesn’t often experience harsh weather – you could go for a panel with a lower power output and efficiency rating and still generate the same amount of energy you may get from more efficient panels in less sunny areas.

What to consider when choosing the best solar panels

Want to maximise your investment as soon as possible or live more off the grid? Then focus on panels with the highest power output and efficiency percentage. You’ll also want to sign up for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme to sell any excess energy your solar panels produce back to the national grid.

As soon as you decide to invest in solar panels, make sure you consult with several suppliers, as well as a number of national and regional installers. By doing so, you can clearly explain your requirements, understand how they can accommodate those needs and compare the various quotes. You can get in touch with trusted installers in the UK – quickly and easily – with our free quote-finding form.

Finally, don’t be afraid to walk away if a particular quote doesn’t suit your home or budget. After all, solar panels are a big investment, so you should be informed and confident in your decision.

As you research the best solar panels for you, be sure to keep the following key attributes in mind.

Katharine round image

Why choosing the right solar panel for you matters – Katharine Allison, Energy Saving Expert

Every household requires a solar panel system tailored to its specific needs, reflecting the versatility of solar technology. Custom systems address different environments, energy requirements, and physical constraints, whether it’s high-efficiency panels for limited spaces, robust systems for coastal areas, or aesthetically integrated options. This ensures benefits like reduced bills, decreased carbon footprint, and increased energy independence are accessible to all, highlighting the importance of selecting the right solar panels for optimal performance and value.

The following are the key attributes to keep in mind when choosing the best solar panels for you.

Solar panel efficiency

Solar panels are awarded efficiency ratings according to how much electricity the solar panels will produce. The higher the rating, the better, and most panels tend to range between 18 and 22 per cent.

Various factors, such as roof pitch, your home’s location and the size of the solar panel system will affect efficiency – this applies to even the best solar panels. In choosing a system, the aim is to ensure the panels are exposed to as much daylight as possible. It’s also important to choose solar panels with added features that increase their efficiency and, therefore, their power output – especially if their position isn’t optimal.

Solar panel power output

A solar panel’s output is defined as the amount of energy you can expect it to generate. Pmax is a metric that defines the maximum power output of a solar panel module in clear and bright conditions. As with efficiency ratings, the higher the Pmax number, the better. You can find a solar panel’s Pmax in its product description or data sheet.

If you have a small roof space, choosing panels with a higher power output may allow you to generate a good amount of energy even with fewer panels.

Energy generated per solar panel per day

Module brand and typeWatts per moduleEnergy generated per panel/day* (watts)
Project Solar Evolution Titan 4454451,891
SunPower Maxeon 74451,870
Jinko Tiger Neo 72HL46052,380
JA Solar JAM72D405952,370
Suntech Ultra V Mono 430Wp4301,730
* Based on the panels’ maximum power output provided by the manufacturers in standard test conditions. Data based on an average of 4.25 hours of sunlight in the UK.

Solar panel components

Essentially, solar panels capture daylight and turn it into usable energy. The best solar panels are made from silicon cells or another semiconductor material and typically set in a metal frame with a glass casing. When daylight hits these cells, electrons inside them move, creating an electric current. This electricity is then used to power your home.

When choosing a solar panel, it’s important to consider what it’s made of and the quality of its build.

The elements below are the main parts of a solar panel:

  • Frame: the frame surrounds and supports the entire structure of the solar panel, providing durability and rigidity. The best frames are made of aluminium
  • Glass cover: a layer of tempered glass protects the solar cells from the elements while allowing daylight to pass through efficiently
  • Polymer sheet: this sheet acts as an additional protective layer, helping to preserve the integrity and performance of the cells
  • Cells: solar cells are the main functional units of the panel and are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity. They’re usually made from silicon, and they are the critical component when it comes to generating solar power
  • Bus bars: these are thin strips of conductive material that run across the solar cells, collecting electricity and transporting it beyond the panel. Copper is the best material for bus bars, though some brands use silver
  • Backing material: this protects the rear side of the solar cells from damage, supports the panel’s structure and ensures overall durability. It is usually made of a polymer-based material, and in bi-facial panels, this surface is reflective to increase the panel’s power output

Guarantees and solar panel degradation

Although solar panels can last between 30 and 40 years, even the best panels on the market will see their efficiency decrease over time.

Degradation is usually measured over a period of years from the installation date, and this will be detailed on the solar panel’s data sheet.

Look for enhanced PID resistance, which helps maintain the panel’s generation rates over time. Without this feature, panels are more prone to decreasing their power output with each passing year.

Performance guarantees are another important detail to look out for. Make sure to check how long your panels’ power output efficiency is covered. That way, if performance decreases more quickly than expected, you’ll be able to get a replacement or another form of compensation.

Most domestic solar panels come with a 12-year product warranty, while performance warranties tend to start at 25 years. It’s important to note that warranties vary greatly, with some manufacturers offering a combined guarantee for both product and performance. As you shop for solar panels, we strongly recommend that you read the terms and conditions carefully. You should also find out how to report any issues with your solar panels.

Sustainable credentials

Solar panels often contain trace amounts of lead in the solder used for connecting cells, valued for its conductivity and durability. Due to environmental and health concerns, the industry is shifting towards lead-free alternatives. Fluorine, found in some thin-film panels and protective coatings, enhances durability and performance, but again, fluoride-free panels are being developed. To minimise environmental impact, choose panels with low or no lead and fluorine.

Dr Sprake headshot

Expert insight

“Misinformation often surrounds renewable energy and climate change.

 

Solar panels significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions compared to fossil fuels, despite the energy used in their production and transport. Over their lifetime, solar panels have a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional energy sources, and as the manufacturing process is working to reduce carbon, this footprint will decrease further. Solar panels also produce no air pollution during operation. 

 

Solar panels are mainly constructed from aluminium, glass, and silicon, so about 80 per cent can be recycled. A growing industry supports this, including a free recycling centre in Scunthorpe.”

 

Dr David Sprake PhD, BEng (Hons), CEng, MEI, Chartered Energy Engineer, FHEA

Lecturer and Programme Leader in Renewable and Sustainable Engineering

Smart connectivity

Most solar panels can be connected to smart meters and solar monitoring apps, helping you to keep track of how much energy your panels produce and how reliant you are on the National Grid. This type of monitoring is especially useful if you’re eligible for the SEG scheme, as you could earn cash for any energy you export to the grid. Ask your supplier or solar panel installer for more details on smart connectivity.

Where to get the best solar panels

When looking at your options for solar panels, we highly recommend that you source them directly from a professional solar installer, whether regional or national. The benefits of this include:

  • Expert advice: professional installers offer advice tailored to your specific energy needs, location and roof type, ensuring you get the most efficient and cost-effective system
  • Comprehensive service: by purchasing from a professional installer, you benefit from an all-inclusive service. This includes site assessment, custom system design, installation and maintenance, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your solar panel system
  • Quality assurance: installers often have access to higher-quality products that meet UK standards and are more durable than those you might find online. Their transport will also provide better care than you’d get with an online purchase
  • Warranty and support: professional installers typically offer robust warranties and after-sales support, ensuring any issues are promptly addressed

How to get the best deals on solar panels

Once you’ve chosen the right solar panels for your energy needs, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.

Our solar quote process is transparent and straightforward. Simply follow the steps below to quickly get quotes for solar panels tailored to your needs and budget.

1. Submit your details

Enter basic information about your home and energy usage. This enables us to present you with only the most relevant quotes.

2. Get customised quotes

Based on the information you’ve provided, you’ll receive customised quotes from some of our trusted suppliers. Most installers use Google Earth to check the location and orientation of your property, as well as the available roof space.

Each quote should offer various options, from the most advanced solar panels to more budget-friendly choices – all tailored to your specific needs.

3. Compare your options

Take your time to compare the benefits and costs of each quote, including the features offered. With this guide for reference, you should have all the information you need to compare the quotes side by side.

4. Make an informed decision

Once you’ve reviewed all the quotes and armed yourself with our expert advice, you should be ready to choose the solar panel system that best matches your needs and sustainability goals.

Get free solar panels quotes
Discover how much solar panels would cost for your home by answering a few questions.

Best solar panels FAQs

Different brands offer varying levels of efficiency and durability as well as different warranty lengths. Reputable brands tend to offer more efficient panels, longer and more comprehensive warranties and better support, ensuring long-term performance and reliability.

Finding the best solar panels comes down to pinpointing the right product for your home and individual circumstances. Consider your home’s position, roof orientation and energy usage, as well as whether you wish to export excess energy to the grid or use solar battery storage to optimise your solar setup.

The best solar panels for your home depend on your budget, property size, orientation and energy usage. Start by comparing quotes and consulting installers about their stock and costs, focusing on key elements such as efficiency, power rating and design features. Research suppliers thoroughly by reading customer reviews. For even more reliable feedback, speak with neighbours who have already installed solar panels.

The best angle for solar panels is between 30 and 40 degrees. Your installer should consider your roof’s orientation and angle to maximise sunlight exposure and optimise energy conversion.

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The data used to power this calculator is sourced from various solar companies and industry bodies, including the UK government, the Energy Saving Trust and Ofgem. Please note that costs are estimated and based on a UK average, and should not be taken as the exact price you would pay. If you’d like to get an accurate quote for solar panels, then you can use this form to get an estimate from one of our trusted partners.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.