With the high cost of electricity in Ireland and the negative impact fossil fuels are having on the climate, homeowners across Ireland are installing solar panels in their droves.

While the initial costs might seem expensive, the many advantages of having solar panels ensure that they are more than worth it.

Solar panels have many benefits. They can slash energy bills, increase house prices, produce free electricity for over 25 years, and generate surplus electricity to be sold back to the grid.

Homeowners with solar PV panels also have a lower carbon footprint, making a significant and positive contribution to the environment.

Here, we’ll discuss five of the many advantages of installing solar panels on your home in Ireland.

Solar panels - save money on electricity bills

Solar Panels Help Lower Electricity Bills

The average price of electricity in Ireland in March 2024 was around €86 per megawatt-hour, which is cheaper than the energy prices in 2022 and 2023.

However, prices fluctuate, and recent years show us that energy prices can quickly skyrocket.

The average household in Ireland uses 4,200 kWh of electricity per year, and with the current rates with some of the leading energy companies in Ireland, this works out at around €1,750 per year.

And this is just the average – many households will have bills that far exceed this figure. Having solar PV panels installed on your home can take a big chunk out of those energy bills.

You can even make some money by selling surplus electricity back to the national grid.

how much you can save with solar energy

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar Panels?

The amount of money you can save with solar panels will depend on the size of the system you install and the maximum energy output of the panels.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland estimates that you could reduce your bills by one third with just 4 to 6 panels installed.

With a slightly larger system, you could slash your electricity bills by 50%, and based on current energy prices and the average usage this would mean annual savings of as much as €1,000 for some households.

These kinds of savings can more than offset the cost of solar panels, with an average payback period of just 6-10 years for most solar PV systems.

Ireland is Well Suited to Solar Energy

While Ireland is famous (or infamous) for its overcast weather conditions and no shortage of rainy days, the country is surprisingly suited to solar energy.

Solar radiation levels across the island are comparable with other European countries such as France, Belgium and Germany.

The sun shines for between 1,100 and 1,600 hours in Ireland, with the two sunniest months being May and June. Met Éireann data shows that during these months, most of the country experiences between 5 and 6.5 hours of sunshine per day.

The ‘sunny southeast’, as you might suspect, is the sunniest region in Ireland, with over 7 hours of sunshine each day in early summer.

The southeast gets around twice the amount of sunshine (2 hours) as the north in December, Ireland’s most overcast month.

But solar panels don’t need direct sunlight – even on overcast days they can produce more than enough energy to justify the investment and make solar panels well worth it.

Solar Panels Have Become More Affordable

Grants offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are available for homeowners looking to install solar panels on their homes.

Solar panel grants have significantly reduced the initial up-front costs associated with the solar installation process.

The SEAI offers €800 per kWp up to 2kWp, meaning they provide grants of €1,600 for a small system of 2kWp solar PV panels. They then offer €250 for every additional kWp up to 4kWp, capped at €2,100.

This essentially means that most homeowners installing an average solar PV system can receive €2,410 from the SEAI.

Another factor which has helped lower the cost of solar panels is the new 0% VAT rate which came into effect on the 1st of May 2023.

apply for solar grant

The Irish Government envisages the 0% VAT rate reducing the average cost of the supply and installation of solar PV panels by €1,000 – around 11.5% less than they would have been previously.

So with the introduction of grants from the SEAI and the removal of VAT, households will pay around €3,400 less for an average solar system than before these incentives were introduced.

Solar PV Requires Little Maintenance

Once you have a solar PV system installed on your roof or on a ground mounted structure in your garden, there is not much else for you to do except enjoy the savings over the years.

Solar panels require very little maintenance except occasional cleaning. Cleaning the panels will remove any dust that has built up, as well as any leaves that might have blown onto your roof from nearby trees that might interfere with that all important sunlight.

Cleaning solar panels can be done professionally, and it is generally recommended that homeowners have their PV panels cleaned at least once per year to maximise their efficiency.

DIY is another option, and a soft cloth and soapy water or a hose can be used safely on solar panels, avoiding any harsh chemicals which could cause problems.

But apart from the occasional clean once or twice a year, your solar panels shouldn’t need much more care or attention, so you can just let them be to work their magic.

The Value of Your Home Will Increase

As well as being attractive to house hunters for the obvious reason that they will save them money on their electricity bills, installing solar panels will also increase the property’s Building Energy Rating (BER).

This energy efficiency rating, which is ranked from A1 (most energy efficient) to G (least efficient), must be available to any prospective buyers when homeowners wish to sell up.

Higher rated homes, i.e. homes that are more energy efficient, are much more desirable, as it generally means they will have lower bills.

An ESRI report found that each step up the BER ladder was associated with a 2% increase in the sales price.

Get a Quote on Solar Energy for your Home Today!

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your home or business, it’s important to look at multiple options before taking the plunge.

Take a free assessment on what is the best solar power option for you personally today!

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Michael Malone


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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