With people across Ireland becoming more and more climate conscious, and rising energy bills, homeowners across the entire country are choosing to install solar panels on their rooftops.

Here’s our guide to home solar in Ireland, where you’ll find everything you need to know before taking the plunge and opting for this increasingly popular renewable energy source.

Are solar panels worth the investment?

Solar panels will reduce your annual energy bills by hundreds of euros each year, and they also essentially pay for themselves over time.

People who install an average sized solar power system on their home can see a return on their investment within 6 to 10 years, and you will have green, free energy for the 20 years after they have paid themselves off.

Benefits of Solar PV Panels for Irish homes

While solar thermal panels heat water, solar PV systems generate electricity. People in Ireland are installing PV solar panels on their homes for five main reasons.

reasons to consider solar panels

Reduce Energy Bills

A solar PV system sized at 20 square metres (3kW) could potentially generate around 2,600 kWh of electricity, slashing electricity bills by 50%.

Solar Energy Grants

Grants of up to €2,400 are available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, greatly reducing the initial solar installation costs for your system.

Sell Surplus Energy Back to the Grid

Solar PV systems can pay themselves off in just six years, and will be generating free electricity for at least two decades after that, with enough excess power to sell back to grid.

Increase your House Value

Having solar panels will increase the value of your home, as well as improving its overall BER rating, which is attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Offset your Carbon Footprint

Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, i.e. your contribution to polluting the atmosphere with gases from fossil fuels. Using renewable solar energy means you will be making a positive contribution in the fight against climate change.

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.

Solar Panels Grants for Irish homes

Grants of up to €2,400 are available for those who wish to install solar panels.

These grants, provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, are available to all homeowners where the homes were built and occupied before 2021.

Most people will opt for a photovoltaic solar panel system over a thermal system, and the SEAI provides PV grants of up to €2,400.

The grants are currently €900 per kW up to 2kW, and a further €300 per kW between 2 kW – and 4 kW (up to a total of €2,400).

To find out more about the grants that are available for solar PV in Ireland, check out our extensive guide to solar panel grants here.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels work by converting the sun’s energy into electricity. PV solar panels contain semi-conductor materials, such as silicon, which produce an electrical charge when they interact with photons from the sun’s rays.

Direct current (DC) electricity is then transformed into a accelerating current (AC) electricity by a solar inverter which is connected to your home’s electricity supply.

Solar panels work by converting the sun's energy into electricity

Solar Panel System Components

There are three main parts that will likely make up your solar PV system, including the panels themselves, an inverter, and a battery bank – which is optional. Smart meters may also be installed to allow you to sell.

Solar Panels

PV panels are the most well-known component, as they are easily recognisable. They contain solar PV cells with semiconductor materials such as silicon, which is where the sun’s rays interact with electrons in the PV cells, creating direct current (DC) electricity.

Solar Inverters

Solar Inverters are connected to solar panels, and should be kept out of direct sunlight. These devices convert the DC electricity into accelerating current (AC) electricity, which can can be used in homes and businesses.

Solar Batteries

Solar Batteries can store energy to be used at night or in winter when there is less sunlight. These are optional, and homeowners can include or exclude batteries depending on their needs.

Solar Smart Meters

Installing a solar meter allows homeowners to send excess energy produced by their PV panels back onto the grid. Smart meters allow people to track the solar electricity generated, optimising their energy consumption.

Solar Batteries

One of the questions that many people have about solar energy in Ireland is whether they should install a battery.

While installing solar panels is beneficial for many reasons, up to 50% of the electricity they produce can be lost if it is not used.

That’s where solar batteries come in, as these devices can store power during the day, meaning that it is available to use at night or other times when there are fewer sunlight hours.

A solar battery system can also turn your off-grid solar system into an emergency backup during power outages.

Heat Water for Free with Solar Energy

Thermal solar energy systems heat water instead of generating electricity, which will be the preferred option for some people.

The SEAI provides grants for all houses built before 2021 of €1,200 for thermal solar panels.

However, most people in Ireland choose PV systems as they have a number of added benefits.

These advantages include the ability to produce excess electricity which can be sold back to the grid, and larger grants for solar PV are available from the SEAI – worth up to €2,400.

Heat water for free with solar energy

Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

The vast majority of roofs in Ireland are suitable for solar PV panels. But there are a few factors which may increase or decrease the efficiency of your solar system, based on the type of roof you have.


As Ireland is in the northern hemisphere, the sun is always to the south of us. For this reason, having a south-facing roof is ideal to harness the maximum amount of solar energy. North-facing roofs are less suited to solar power.

Roof Size

The size of your roof will determine the size of the solar system that you can install. However, most roofs are of an adequate size to support a solar system that will generate enough electricity to make it worthwhile.

Windows and Varying Roof Heights

Varying roof levels or dormer bungalows with many windows may also be factors that solar panel providers will take into consideration when giving a quote.

Save Money while Protecting the Planet

Among the many positive aspects of solar panels is that they are both energy efficient and beneficial on a personal level as well as a global level.

Solar panels will help offset your carbon footprint – i.e. the total amount of greenhouse gases caused by your actions, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.

Greenhouse gasses are caused by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, so harnessing the sun’s natural energy source each day is helping to reduce the harm caused to the ozone layer.

These emissions are contributing to global climate change which will impact everyone, as well as whole ecosystems for many years to come.

Solar Panel Grants Ireland

Cost of Solar Panels Based on System Size

The average solar panel installation costs are between €4,000 and €12,000 after getting an SEAI grant, depending on the size and quality of the solar PV system you wish to have fitted.

Between 6 and 25 solar panel modules is likely to be plenty to cover most households in Ireland, however every home is different.

Naturally, smaller houses consume less electricity, while the energy bills for larger homes are greater.

The best way of finding out what system size is right for you is by getting a free quote.

Are Solar Panels Efficient in Ireland?

Despite Ireland being one of the cloudiest countries in Europe, we still have more than enough sunshine per year for solar panels to work well.

Solar panels in Ireland generate more than enough electricity to justify their installation, as the country averages between 1,100 and 1,600 hours of sunshine per year.

Ireland’s sunniest months are May and June when we get between 5 and 6.5 hours of sunshine per day, and the region with the greatest amount of sunshine is the south-east.

But regardless of your location, your solar panels will receive plenty of sunlight to generate electricity.

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

8 Years

A typical solar installation is fully paid back within 8 years. All our panels are under warranty for 25 years, so you will enjoy 17 years of free energy generation.

0% VAT

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

Government Grants

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

Getting Solar Panels for Free

Some solar panel companies provide financing options which means that the initial installation costs are greatly reduced, or almost eliminated altogether.

As well as that, An Post offers green loans for homeowners wishing to upgrade their homes by moving towards renewable energy.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar panels require very little maintenance. Having said that, your residential solar panels should be cleaned at least every year.

But depending on where you live and the levels of dirt and pollution, your solar panels may need to be cleaned more frequently.

Homeowners can clean their array of solar panels themselves, or hire theservices of a professional to do the work.

It is recommended that those who opt for a DIY option use a soft brush and detergent to remove any dust that has built up on the panels.

4 Factors Affecting Solar Panel Efficiency

Season / Sunshine hours

Ireland gets between 1,100 and 1,600 hours of sunshine each year with our sunniest period falling between May and June when the country averages 5 to 6.5 hours of sunshine each day.

Having Clean Solar Panels

Having clean solar panels will ensure nothing gets in between sunlight and your PV cells. This can be carried out by a trained professional, or you may wish to DIY.

Roof Suitability

South-facing roofs are ideal, but east-west roofs will also receive enough sunlight for your solar power system to be worthwhile.

Battery Storage

Having a battery doesn’t mean that your panels will generate more electricity – but it means that less energy will be lost when it isn’t used up.

The Solar Panel Installation Process

As well very little maintenance work being necessary in the coming years, the solar panel installation process itself is fairly straightforward and pain-free.

technician installing a solar panel system on a roof in ireland
  • The solar panels are installed on your roof or a ground mounted system by your solar energy provider.
  • The inverter is installed. This can be located outside or inside, however inside is recommended, or anywhere away from direct sunlight and with proper air ventilation. This is connected to the household unit, and a meter should be installed to calculate how much energy your solar system is generating.
  • Your battery, which is optional, is installed. This can save excess solar energy for nighttime, or winter.
  • Your solar installer will carry out a diagnostics test to ensure your solar panels are working as they should.

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.

Is it worth buying cheap solar panels?

Installing a cheap solar PV system might seem like a good idea for some people as the initial installation costs are reduced.

But cheap solar panels are less efficient and generally have a shorter lifespan than more expensive panels.

This essentially means they will produce less electricity and our advice would be that cheap solar panels are usually not worth the risk.

Do you need planning permissions for solar panels?

The Irish government has removed the requirement of planning permission for solar panels, and a PV system can now cover the entire roof of a house without having to apply for planning permission.

For a small minority of houses, which are located in ‘Solar Safeguarding Zones’ near airports, aerodromes and other sites with helipads such as hospitals, a solar rooftop limit remains due to the potential for glare.

But this has been increased from a limit of 50 square metres or less for the entire development to 300 square metres.

How long do solar panels last?

Something to keep in mind when thinking about installing a solar panel system is how many years they will be producing solar power.

Modern solar panels have a lifespan of around 25 to 30 years, with very little maintenance along the way.

After less than ten years, your solar panels will have paid for themselves, meaning that for the next 20 years or so, you will be making a net return on your investment.

lifespan of solar panels is 25 - 30 years

Get a Quote For Your Own Solar Panels Installation Today

Now that you know more about home solar in Ireland, you might wish to take the next step by taking an assessment on what is the best solar power option for you personally.

Get a free quote on your home or business solar energy today!

consider getting solar panels installed on your home or business

Solar Energy Saves Households Thousands in Electricity Costs

Take our 2-minute questionnaire and find affordable solar options to suit your budget and lifestyle