Solar energy is becoming an increasingly attractive investment for businesses in Ireland that want to cut down on their electricity bills.

Solar panels are a fantastic way of protecting your business against fluctuations in electricity prices, while fostering a reputation for sustainability and a reduced carbon footprint.

The cost of solar panels in Ireland for businesses has declined substantially in recent years, making the initial upfront investment in solar PV far less off-putting compared with the many potential benefits.

Reasons for Businesses to Invest in Solar Energy

There are many financial and environmental reasons to invest in commercial solar energy these days, with declining costs to install, rising energy prices to incentivise the shift, and of course the chance to dramatically cut down on carbon emissions.

The main reasons business choose to switch to solar energy are:

  • Cut down on overheads

  • Rising electricity costs

  • Future proofing
  • Blackout protection
  • Make money selling back to the grid
  • Sustainability

Cutting Down on Energy Overheads

Energy costs can be a huge portion of businesses’ overheads, especially with consumer prices having risen dramatically in Ireland in recent years and remaining stubbornly high.

In 2022 the average amount that businesses spent on electricity increased by 60% compared with the previous year, an IBEC survey found, and these costs on energy bills are expected to continue rising.

Future Proofing

Commercial solar panels come with an estimated lifespan of 25 – 30 years, with only minimal maintenance requirements.

While electricity prices may fluctuate wildly over time, your solar panel system will continue to generate their own electricity over those years with no additional input and little to no maintenance costs.

Blackout Protection

A power outage at home is an inconvenience, but a blackout at a business can result in a serious loss of income over the course of the day.

Having a commercial solar panel system with sufficient battery storage can offer businesses protection against power outages, allowing them to keep operating even when their connection to the national grid is down.

Solar PV systems don’t automatically come with blackout protection. That is because the power inverter is required to automatically cut off power during a blackout to prevent any electricity being unexpectedly dumped into the grid while repairs are being made.

However, it is possible to have some dedicated circuits installed which are not connected to the main grid at additional cost

Make Money Selling Back to the National Grid

Businesses are also able to sell excess energy generated by solar PV systems back to the national grid at rates they set through the Micro-generation Support Scheme.

For commercial solar panel systems that far exceed those of domestic customers, the government has fixed the Clean Export Premium (CEP) feed-in tariff at €0.135 per kWh for systems of 6.1kW and 50kW.

Become more Sustainable

Making the switch to renewable energy by installing solar panels is a great way for businesses to severely cut down their carbon footprint, and get a reputation for sustainability.

A 6kW solar PV system can offset the emissions of more than six metric tonnes of carbon emissions each year. The environmental benefits are even more impressive for large scale, energy intensive businesses.

7 Years

A typical solar installation is fully paid back within 7 years. All solar panels we recommend are under warranty for 25 years, so you will enjoy at least 17 years of free energy generation.

0% VAT

As of 10 May 2023, the government has removed all VAT on solar installation and solar panel supply. This means solar has never been more affordable!

Government Grants

There is a range of government grants available for all new solar installations. Our team will guide you through the application process.

How Much Can Businesses Save with Solar Energy

Businesses can save anything from hundreds to thousands of euro by installing commercial solar panels to cut down their electricity bills.

With skyrocketing electricity prices, and many expecting them to stay high for some time, businesses stand to make more savings than ever by using solar panels to generate up to 30% of their electricity needs.

Check out our solar panel calculator too see how much electricity a solar PV system could help generate for your business,

The exact amount which businesses can save by installing commercial solar panels is determined by how much electricity they use, the price set by their utility provider, and the size of the solar panel system they have.

Even for micro and small businesses consuming less than 20,000kWh of electricity each year, that could mean an annual electricity bill of approximately €6,000, SEAI figures show.

With commercial solar panel installations of just 6kW, around 15 – 20 solar panels, that could result in savings of roughly €2,400 on your energy bills each year.

how much you can save with solar energy

Solar Panel Cost for Businesses

The cost of installing solar panels has fallen dramatically in recent years, with the technology now less than half the price it was in 2010.

The cost of a solar PV system can vary depending on the quality of the solar panels selected, whether you choose monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels, the location of your business premises, and the labour required for the installation.

A rough estimate of the cost of installing commercial solar panels would be in the region of €850 – €2,000 per kWp.

However, there are also multiple streams of grant funding available which can help reduce how much commercial solar panels cost by up to €162,000.

Online Solar Assessment

Speak with a member of our team and determine the type of solar that best suits your situation

  • Fill in the solar assessment

  • A solar expert will call you with 24 hours and ask any questions they have

  • We will email across accurate quotes, detailing the timeframe, costs, available grants and next steps

Solar Energy as an Investment

Commercial solar panels on a business are also an excellent long term investment of your money. Solar panels give an approximate return on investment (ROI) of 10% – 15%, and will have paid for itself within six to ten years.

Everything beyond that is free electricity, as well as a source of income from selling surplus electricity back to the grid.

For any property, having solar panels installed will also help raise its BER, and the subsequent value of the property and reduce your carbon footprint.

or a business to have installed solar panels on their premises can deliver a boost to their Commercial BER Cert if the property is ever sold

Grants for Businesses to Switch to Solar Energy

There are multiple grant schemes open to businesses of all sizes which are looking to invest in renewable energy:

  • Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme
  • Exeed Grant Scheme
  • Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme
  • Accelerated Capital Allowance
  • Solar Capital Investment Scheme

Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme

The non-domestic micron scheme is ideal for small businesses and farms, up to €2,400 is available from the SEAI to install commercial solar panels from the standard scheme.

In addition, in 2023 the government expanded the scheme on a pilot basis to offer up to €162,000 in grant funding for solar PV systems as large as 1,000MW in size to encourage larger businesses to convert to renewable energy.

EXEED Grant Scheme

Provides larger companies with up to 30% of the cost of a large scale energy investment project, up to a maximum of €3,000,000.

Available for both new developments, and renovations of existing buildings.

Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme

Energy suppliers are obliged to support energy efficiency projects in homes and businesses.

Commercial solar PV projects are eligible under this scheme.

Accelerated Capital Allowance

This allows businesses to reduce their tax bill by deducting the cost of solar panels from their taxable profits in the year they were purchased.

Solar Capital Investment Scheme

Specifically meant for farmers as part of the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS 3), this provides farmers with grants of up to 60% of the cost of a Solar Energy project.

The maximum amount available under the scheme is €90,000.

Get a Quote for Rooftop Solar

Take our 90-second online assessment and we’ll determine if your home is well suited to solar. It only takes 90 seconds and it’s 100% cost and commitment free.

Do businesses need planning permission for solar panels?

Planning permission is not needed for commercial solar panel installation on businesses in almost all areas, with some limits in specific Solar Safeguarding Zones (SSZs).

Planning exemptions introduced in late 2022 allow for commercial solar pv panels covering a rooftop area of up to 300m² in Solar Safeguarding Zones without requiring permission.

SSZs are areas around an airport, aerodrome or helipad in which there is a potential for glint or glare from solar panels to impact aviation safety.

Outside of SSZs businesses and industrial premises can install unlimited amounts of roof mounted solar panels without requiring planning permission, as long as that electricity is primarily for internal use.

Ground-mounted or wall-mounted solar panels are also exempted from planning permission up to an area of 75m².


Businesses with a large amount of car parking on their premises might also consider using solar carports as another source of commercial solar energy.

A Power Purchase Agreement also allows a business to alleviate all the cost purchasing commercial solar panels. The agreement sees solar panel companies handle the commercial solar panel installation on a business, and all the costs, and the customer agrees to purchase electricity from them at an agreed on price.

Yes, despite what concerns people might have about the climate in Ireland not being suited to solar power, there is more then enough sunlight to make a commercial solar panel system worth it as an excellent way for a business to reduce their carbon footprint and help achieve energy independence.

The amount of roof space needed for a commercial solar PV system is dependent on how much energy you business uses, and the amount of electricity you are looking for a solar array to generate.

Solar Energy for Your Business

To sum it up, commercial solar energy is an excellent way to save money for any business by using renewable energy to cut your bills now, and future proof against further changes in the market by delivering

Get in touch and see how much commercial solar panels can do for your business in terms of savings and reducing your carbon footprint.

Get a free quote for solar energy today and start reducing your businesses carbon footprint!

consider getting solar panels installed on your home or business

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