In Ireland, solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way for homeowners to offset rising electricity costs, while also making a positive contribution to the health of the planet.

But despite solar power’s rising popularity, many are still unsure about whether to make the initial investment in a PV system.

So before diving right in, here are five important things you should know about solar panels.

Solar panels - save money on electricity bills

1. There are Grants Available for Solar Panels

Grants for solar panels are available through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which will pay for up to €2,400 for those who wish to make the transition to the green energy source.

These grants for PV solar panels are available to all households in the Republic of Ireland, including private landlords, where the homes were built and occupied prior to 2021.

In September 2022, the SEAI extended solar PV grants for installations up to 6 kW to the non-domestic sector, including, businesses, schools, small farms and community enterprises.

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.

These SEAI grants reduce how much you will have to pay, so take this into consideration in your initial calculations of how much solar panels cost.

The Irish Government has also confirmed that a small-scale generation scheme for generators above 50 kW for rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV is expected to be launched this year, which is good news for larger businesses which are less suited to the above support measures.

To learn more about the grants that are available, check out our extensive guide to solar panel grants here.

Grants available for solar panels

2. Solar Panels are a Long Term Investment

Solar panels can last for between 25 – 30 years before they begin to slowly drop in efficiency. But even after all those years, they will still work.

As well as saving money on your electricity bills, investing in PV panels will also add value to your home.

Having a solar system installed will increase the BER energy rating of your home. You will be required to make this rating known to any renters or buyers in the future.

Some solar providers also provide cost-effective plans for those who want to install a solar PV system.

This could drastically reduce the initial costs of installation.

Solar panels are a long term investment

3. Solar Panels are Low Maintenance

One of the many benefits of installing a solar PV system is that the only ongoing maintenance costs are periodic cleanings.

The most common materials that block sunlight are dust, leaves and water.

Solar panels should be cleaned at least once every year, so that they retain their optimum productivity and effectiveness.

However, based on where you live and the level of dirt and pollution where you live, you may need to clean your panels more often.

Homeowners may opt to clean the solar panels themselves, or hire a trained professional to carry out the work.

Those who choose to DIY should use a soft brush and detergent to remove dust.

Check out our in-depth guide to optimising your solar panels’ efficiency.

4. You Can Make Money from Having Solar Panels on Your House

With solar panels, an average household can expect to save between €500 and €1,000 a year.

A customer with just seven solar PV panels on their roof, covering 12 square metres of roof space, can expect to save approximately €200 each year by consuming 60% of the self-generated electricity.

Under the Clean Export Guarantee, people can also make money from the energy generated by their solar system by exporting excess electricity back to the grid.

Factors which will determine how much you save include the size and quality of your PV system, your location, and whether your roof is south facing.

These all impact the levels of solar energy that can be captured by your panels.

sell surplus solar energy back to the electricity grid

5. Solar Panels are Environmentally Friendly

As well as the many personal benefits of solar energy, their positive impact on the environment shouldn’t be overlooked.

Solar panels are a renewable energy source, which will help offset your carbon footprint – i.e. the total amount of greenhouse gases caused by your actions.

Greenhouse gas emissions which are caused by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

By harnessing power generated by our nearest star, you are reducing your reliance on fossil fuels.

Greenhouse gas emissions are the driving factor in the climate crisis which will impact on all human life, as well as entire ecosystems.

Solar energy can also improve the air quality in your immediate environment and reduce water use from energy production.

In short, the planet will thank you should you decide to install a solar power system on your home.

Solar panels are environmentally friendly

Get a Quote for Solar Panels Today

Investing in solar is a big step, but an investment that will reduce your energy bills while looking after the planet.

So if you would like to know more, take a free assessment on what is the best solar power option for you today.

consider getting solar panels installed on your home or business

Michael Malone

SOLAR ENERGY EDITOR

Michael Malone is Solar Energy Editor at Energy Efficiency Ireland. He is committed to highlighting the benefits of solar PV for people across the island of Ireland, and is eager to clear up some misconceptions which linger among the Irish public regarding solar energy.

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