Turn your home into a renewable power station! We are now offering a grant for Solar Photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for homeowners.

Generating electricity from solar

The term ‘solar panel’ is often used interchangeably to describe the panels that generate electricity and those that generate hot water.

  • Solar panels that produce hot water are known as solar thermal collectors or solar hot water collectors.
  • Solar panels that produce electricity are known as solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. These panels generate DC electricity when exposed to light.
  • Solar PV is the rooftop solar you see on homes and businesses. PV or photovoltaic solar panels turn daylight into electricity and provide you with energy and electricity to power your TV, kettle, toaster, phone charger, radio, oven and so on.

Installation of domestic solar PV system

A domestic solar PV system consists of a number of solar panels mounted to your roof (or in your garden) and connected into the electrical loads within your building. The solar panels generate DC (direct current – like a battery) electricity, which is then converted in an inverter to AC (alternating current – like the electricity in your domestic socket). Solar PV systems are rated in kilowatts (kW). A 1kW solar PV system would require 3 or 4 solar panels on your roof.

Any excess electricity produced can be stored in a battery, or other storage solution like your hot water immersion tank. It can also be exported from your house into the electrical network on your street.

New rebate for Solar PV

We are delighted to offer homeowners a rebate 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. 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. This is available for all new Solar PV installations from Tuesday 31st July 2018.

Find out how much you can save

Rebate amounts available

Solar PVBattery Storage System
€700/kWp €1,000

You can get €700 for each kW of solar PV installed up to 2kW. This “kW” is the power output of the panel. Each manufacturer has a different output for their panel.

Most homes typically install 1.5 to 2kW solar system which is equal to about 6 panels. Taking the example of a 6 panel system with an output of 1.8kW, this would be eligible for 1.8 x €700 = €1,260

You can install any size of solar PV that suits your needs. If you install a battery storage system we will support up to 4kW of solar PV plus the battery storage system.

The benefits

How to apply

1. Find and appoint a registered SEAI solar PV company

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

2. Install your solar PV panels

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

3. Claim your payment

Create an online account and complete the online claims request. You will need to provide details of the installation (size kW, MPRN, address).

4. 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.

5. SEAI process the claim

Due to the popularity of this scheme please allow up to 6 weeks for payment.

If you are doing a major renovation of your home and want to significantly improve the energy rating, you may be interested in our Deep Retrofit Grant.

Claim your payment

List of registered Installers / Companies

CompanyWebsiteTelephone
PB Electrical www.gosolar.ie 047 72451
Wyse Solar Solutions www.wysesolar.ie 01 298 8330
PV Generation www.pvgeneration.ie 087 7530066
Activ8 Energies www.activ8energies.com 1890 929 828
NRG Panel www.nrgpanel.ie 042 974 9322
Energy Freedom Systems www.energyfreedom.ie 087 230 5071
Solar Installations www.solarinstallations.ie 087 259 5552
PV Energy Ireland www.pvenergyireland.ie 087 901 1067
Southwest Renewables   087 274 7387
Solar Electric www.solarelectric.ie 053 9256804
Ecovolt www.ecovolt.ie 01 524 0387
Crosby Electrical Services Ltd   087 131 7206
Energlaze www.energlaze.ie 01 901 1635
Next Gen Power Ltd https://nextgenpower.ie/ 01 969 7851
Solar Co www.solarco.ie 062 74007
Cubic M3 www.cubicm3.com 01 808 4330
Sean Horan Ltd   094 903 0895

Also, please download our Renewable Installers Register to find a Solar PV Installer who can certify the installation.

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. Using a typical system of 1.5kWp, you would get a grant of €1,050 and save about €200 a year in electricity. On average this would give a payback of around 9 years. Using a system of 3kWp, you would get a grant of €2,100 and save about €330 a year in electricity. On average this would give a payback of around 13 years.

Please see our Solar PV Payback calculator.

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.

SEAI have structured this grant support based on detailed analysis and research. It is in your interest to increase self-consumption of the generated solar energy in your home, and the grant scheme is tailored to encourage this.

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.

This is why the grant scheme is available without energy storage up to 2kW, but in order to receive grant support, battery energy storage is a requirement from 2kW to 4kW.

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.

You are eligible for the maximum level of grant available for the system you install. Two examples are given below.

  1. I want to install 3kW of solar PV, but do not want to install a battery: You will get €1400 grant for the initial 2kW of system.
  2. I want to install 6kW, and a battery: You will get €3800 for the initial 4kW of solar PV and the battery system