Generate your own clean energy! We are now offering a grant for Solar Photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for homeowners.

The benefits

Grant for Solar PV

We are delighted to offer homeowners a grant to support the installation of Solar PV panels and battery energy storage systems. This will reduce the electricity you currently purchase from your supplier and save you money.

Eligibility

Support is available to all owners of dwellings built and occupied before 2011 and where SEAI have not previously provided support for solar PV system at that address.

The homes energy performance following installation of solar panels must be BER C or better.

Payback estimate

The payback period depends on

  • Upfront costs
  • Maintenance of the panels
  • Amount of sun falling on the panels (South facing panels will produce the most electricity)
  • Price paid for the electricity

The typical cost is €1,700 - €2,500 per kWp

Apply now

Grant amounts available

Solar PV grantExample

€900 per kWp

Up to 2kWp

You will receive €1800 for 2kWp solar panels (ie 6/7 solar panels)

€300 for every additional kWp up to 4kWp if you get a battery.

Total grant available capped at €2400

For 3kWp: You will receive €2100 for 3kWp solar panels plus €600 for the battery system.

For 4kWp: You will receive €2400 for 4kWp solar panels plus €600 for the battery system.

Battery energy storage systems are also covered. They are used for larger solar PV systems, so that the excess electricity generated during daytime hours can be used at another time. This is a newer technology and recommended to be only installed in suitable homes.

Battery storage grant

€600 grant

How to apply

1. Find and appoint a registered SEAI solar PV company

Get quotes from a couple of registered companies. Choose and appoint a company and agree a formal contract with them to get the works done.

2. Make an application to SEAI for the grant offer

It is critical that homeowners do not start works until they receive the grant offer. (Grant offers are valid for eight months.)

3. Apply to ESB Networks to connect the Solar PV system to the electricity network

Your Installer must apply to ESB Networks before installing a Solar PV system. This application process takes at least 4 weeks (20 working days).

4. Install your solar PV panels

Get your solar PV system installed and either pay the installer or arrange a payment agreement.

5. Get a post-works BER

A post works BER is required and the cost is included in the grant amount.

7. Solar PV company submit evidence of works to SEAI

Your solar PV company will give you the documentation related to your installation and they will submit copies to SEAI electronically.

8. SEAI process the claim

Due to the popularity of this scheme please allow up to 6 weeks for payment, with additional time if an inspection is required.

Find a registered installer

Learn more about Solar PV

Before investing in Solar PV, take some time to understand what Solar PV is and how we can generate electricity from it. Not all homes are suitable so it is definitely worth doing your research. When should I invest? what are the planning considerations? what's the payback? These are all valid questions and should be answered before you make the investment.

Learn more about Solar PV

FAQs

The panels will generate renewable electricity, which you can use in your home. This will reduce the electricity you currently purchase from your supplier. This reduction in cost from your electricity supplier is a saving directly into your pocket. Solar PV systems are simple to install (typically within a single day), and cause minimal disruption to your home (i.e. no builders work is required). You can calculate the potential payback for solar PV using our calculator.

Other grant options

Solar PV generates renewable electricity, but does not reduce how much energy you use in your home. You should consider other energy efficiency measures in your home, and SEAI provide a wide range of grants for energy efficiency measures such as insulation and heating controls.

This depends on several factors like the direction and accessibility of your roof, your location in the country, and the amount you currently pay for your electricity.

 

The size of solar PV system will depend on a number of factors, and you should discuss this with potential installers. Your installer should consider the amount of electricity you use in your home, when you use it most during the day, and the size, and orientation, of your roof.

It is desirable to maximise the amount of solar electricity you use in your home, sometimes called ‘self-consumption’. You can do this by sizing the solar PV system to meet your demand, and by using energy storage solutions. Analysis of Irish homes found that 80% of the electricity generated by a 2kW (kilowatt) solar PV system in an average Irish home would be used within the home (self-consumed). With the addition of storage solutions, this could be increased further towards 100%.

Therefore, for solar PV without storage, a system of 2kW or lower is considered optimal for high self-consumption. For systems larger than 2kW, some form of storage should be considered to increase self-consumption.

If you have a well insulated hot water tank (‘immersion’), the best option is to use a diverter to heat hot water with electricity that would otherwise export from your house. This is a very low cost solution, and is considered in the grant support. You should consider your hot water needs in your home, and if you will use the water heated this way.

An emerging solution is the use of a battery storage system. This system will detect when you are exporting energy to the grid, and then will store this energy within a battery within your home. The battery will then feed this stored energy back into your home when you need it next.

If you choose to install a battery to increase the amount of solar electricity you use in your home, there are a few considerations which you should discuss with your installer

Battery rating and capacity

Battery storage systems are often provided with a power rating in kilowatts (kW). Storage batteries for a grid connected solar PV storage system are around 1kW to 7kW. This is the capability of the battery to charge (from the PV system) and discharge (to the house).

Battery storage system are also provided with a capacity rating in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A battery’s stated electricity capacity is generally larger than the battery’s actual useable capacity, because:

  • All batteries lose some energy in charging and discharging, though some have better ‘charge-discharge efficiency’ than others.
  • Most batteries are not designed to be routinely fully discharged. Some have deeper discharge capability than others.

Battery lifetime

A battery’s efficient lifetime depends on the technology and the way the battery is used - on the number of ‘cycles’ that they undergo. Manufacturers generally give an expected lifetime in years and/or in ‘charge-discharge cycles’. For example:

‘Life expectancy = 10 years or 10,000 cycles, whichever is the sooner’

DC and AC coupling

There are two main ways of linking a battery storage system into such a system:

  • DC Coupled: the batteries are installed on the same side of the solar inverter as the solar PV panels, they charge from the panels, and their DC energy is only converted to AC when it’s used.
  • AC Coupled: the batteries are installed on the grid-side, where the solar PV’s DC has already been converted to AC. A separate inverter converts the AC back to DC for storing in the battery. When the battery discharges, the same separate inverter converts the DC back to AC. This type of battery may allow other functions besides storing solar PV excess electricity, such as storing cheaper night rate electricity to use during the day.

It is often a complaint that homeowners do not get paid for selling export electricity to the grid. Export payment schemes are not offered (to new customers) by any Irish energy suppliers currently. It is likely that EU directives will change this in the coming years.

From SEAI’s analysis and research it is clear that it is in your best interest to increase self-consumption of the generated solar energy in your home, ideally to 100%, and the grant scheme is tailored to encourage this. It will always be more valuable to use the energy within your home, than any export payment. For solar PV systems with high self-consumption, an export payment has little impact on the payback time of the system.

Therefore, SEAI recommend that you work with your installer to design your PV system (and storage if applicable), to maximise self-consumption in your home.

About 80% of generated energy from a 2kW solar PV system would be self-consumed (i.e. used on site) in an average Irish home. Using simple technologies such as a hot water diverter, the ‘excess’ energy can be used to heat water in your home and push self-consumption towards 100%.

For solar PV systems over 2kW, self-consumption drops dramatically for the average Irish home. To increase self-consumption for large PV systems, a more comprehensive storage system is required, i.e. a battery.