If you’re looking to slash monthly expenditures and combat the rising cost of living, a grant for solar panels in Ireland can help you reap the rewards of renewable energy. Although many of us are looking to curb unnecessary spending, there’s never been a better time to invest in solar panel technology. Government-backed support is more generous than ever, making PV systems an affordable choice for many. Meanwhile, new laws have been introduced that limit how many solar panels homeowners can install on their roofs without seeking prior planning permission. These exemptions also apply to commercial PV systems.
Currently, around 50,000 homes in Ireland have solar panels. By 2023, the Irish government aims to expand that to 250,000 domestic installations. Ready to make the switch to renewables? Read on for everything you need to know about PV installations and how to obtain a grant for solar panels in Ireland.
Is There a Grant for Solar Panels in Ireland?
Yes, homeowners can take advantage of a grant for solar panels in Ireland. This one-time grant is provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Although some restrictions are in place, most applicants will be able to significantly mitigate the cost of solar panel installation with SEAI assistance.
How Do I Apply for a Solar Energy Grant?
Applying for a grant for solar panels in Ireland is relatively straightforward. First, you’ll need to secure some quotes for PV installation from a registered company like Wizer Energy. Once you’ve settled on a provider, you’re free to agree to a contract for installation to be carried out.
Application and Grant Offers
Before you give the green light for work to begin, you’ll need to apply for your grant and receive an offer from the SEAI. Installation doesn’t have to commence immediately but bear in mind that grant offers are only valid for 8 months.
Applying to ESB Networks
Your installation provider will then need to apply to ESB Networks to ensure your PV system can be connected to the main electricity network in Ireland. This application needs to be filed before installation work begins. Processing times vary, but most applications take a minimum of 20 working days. Once this application has been finalised, your PV installation can get underway.
Getting a BER Certificate
You’ll only receive your SEAI grant if you obtain a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate once the installation works have been carried out. If you don’t know where to start, use SEAI’s National Register of BER Assessors. Try to arrange for BER assessment as quickly as possible to avoid delays to your grant payment.
Processing Your Claim
You’ll receive documentation regarding your installation directly. However, a PV installer should also submit documentation to the SEAI. A grant for solar panels in Ireland can only be processed once all documentation has been received by the SEAI. To speed up the process, you’ll want these documents to be delivered no later than a few days after the installation has been completed.
Once evidence of work and BER certification have been submitted, the SEAI takes between 4-6 weeks to finalise grant payments. Occasionally, an extra round of inspection may be required.
How Much is the Grant for Solar Panels?
There’s no one-size-fits-all grant for solar panels in Ireland. The grant amount you’ll receive ultimately depends on the peak electricity output of your PV system. Output is measured in kilowatt-peak (kWp). For a 1 kWp system, you’ll receive a one-time grant of €900. For a 2 kWp system, you’ll receive €1,800, while you’ll get €2,100 for a 3 kWp system. The maximum grant amount of €2,400 is reserved for 4 kWp solar systems.
This one-off grant for solar panels in Ireland is intended to cover all related costs, including labour and materials. However, if you’re planning on undertaking installation work yourself, your grant amount will be less.
Who is Eligible for the Solar Panel Grant?
Every homeowner is free to apply for a grant for solar panels in Ireland. Private landlords are also free to apply for grant assistance. However, there are a few requirements to consider. An eligible property needs to have been built and occupied before 2021. What’s more, you can’t have applied for a similar grant in the past.
SEAI also recommends that applications take further steps to insulate properties before installing solar panels. Once again, SEAI offers help to homeowners, with several insulation grants available. You’ll find grant support for things like attic, rafter, and wall insulation, along with heat pump installation and solar thermal solutions.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Are solar panels worth it in Ireland? Solar panel installation is a no-brainer if you’re looking to slash your monthly expenses and increase your property value. As of 2023, a 4 kWp system like this typically costs €8,405.
Let’s take a 10-panel package as an example. For homeowners looking into solar panels Cork, in a 10-panel array is usually more than sufficient for a three-bedroom property. The Irish government recently approved all residential solar panel installations, with the new zero VAT rate coming into effect on May 1, 2023.
As well as benefiting from this zero VAT rate, homeowners are still eligible to receive a maximum grant of €2.400 from the SEAI. After these savings have been applied, a 10-panel solar installation will set you back €6,005. In most cases, these systems pay for themselves in around 7 years.
Key Benefits of Solar Panels
How do solar panels work? Whenever light shines on the surface of these panels, electricity is generated. But do solar panels work when it’s cloudy? Absolutely. Your system doesn’t need to always receive direct sunlight to generate electricity. However, to maximise the efficiency of your system, you’ll need to think carefully about things like south-facing orientation. An experienced installation provider like Wizer Energy can help with this. Once installed, solar panels can save you as much as 50% on your electricity bills.
What’s more, understanding how to clean solar panels is important if you want to generate as much electricity as possible. Living in a wooded area makes it easy for leaves and other debris to accumulate. Keeping your system free of debris not only makes your panels more efficient but also ensures you’re protecting your warranty.
Most solar panels are incredibly low-maintenance, requiring little effort to keep them working optimally. A 10-panel PV system can add to the value of your property, making it easier to recoup your costs if you’re thinking about moving on to pastures news shortly.
Make the Switch to Solar Panels Today
Tired of spending over the odds on electricity? Now’s the time to start thinking about solar panels. Thanks to SEAI grant support, adapting your home with a PV system has never been more affordable. Zero VAT rates have dramatically reduced the financial burden of solar panel systems, reducing the payback period of a typical PV installation.
As well as serving customers in Cork, we handle the installation of solar panels in Dublin and solar panels in Limerick. Thinking about solar panels in Waterford? Our team is on hand to help. If you’re ready to embrace solar technology, get in touch with the Wizer Energy team today. Alternatively, give us a call at +353 83 080 0855.
Martin is the Managing Director of Wizer Energy, with 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial electrical work. He has won awards in the commercial wiring arena and went on to study and train as an electrical engineer, preparing a PhD study in the area of Future Smart Microgrids. Since the late 1990s, Martin has had a keen interest in green and renewable energy, now utilised by working in the solar panel industry. After a life-changing injury from a fall at a height in 2007, Martin overcame it with a voltage generator embedded within his body. Being a qualified electrician since the 90’s, an electrical engineer since 2012, and utilising electricity generated within his own body, it’s hard to get more electrically qualified!