With rising energy prices across the world, homeowners are becoming increasingly interested in learning more about how to save money with solar panels, and Irish households are no different.

As well as being a great way to offset your carbon footprint, installing solar panels can greatly reduce sky-high electricity bills in Ireland, which remain well above the European average.

So let’s discuss the initial costs of installing a solar system as well as how much you can save from going solar.

Grants available for solar panels

How much is solar energy?

The cost of your solar PV system will depend on how much energy you wish to generate.

But on average, a solar system in Ireland costs between €4,000 and €12,000.

The number of solar panels you will be able to install will be determined by the amount of roof space that you have available (or outdoor space, should you wish to install a stand-alone solar system).

For semi-detached houses, your solar system will likely fall into the lower end of the price range due to limited space.

But for larger, detached houses, you will be able to choose the size of your PV system depending on your energy usage and the amount of electricity you wish to generate.

Your solar panel installation costs will also be offset by SEAI grants that are available for most homeowners.

how much you can save with solar energy
solar energy grants

Grants

Grants of up to €2,100 are available for solar panel installation from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

These are available to all households where homes were constructed and occupied before 2021.

Most people will choose a photovoltaic solar panel system which generates electricity over a thermal system which just heats water, and for PV systems, the SEAI has grants of up to €2,100.

To learn more about these grants, visit our page on solar panel grants in Ireland.

Are there any recurring costs?

Solar panels generally last for around 25 years before they slowly begin to lose their efficiency.

The only ongoing maintenance cost is cleaning, however, many people opt for a DIY solution.

For most people, their solar panel system should be cleaned every six months to a year to guarantee maximum efficiency, as things like water and dust can build up, blocking the sun’s rays from the panels.

How much can you save with solar energy?

You can cover up to 40% of your electricity bills with a solar panel system, but how much you will save will depend on your system’s size as well as its peak output, which is calculated in watts.

Ireland typically receives between 1,100 and 1,600 hours of sunshine each year

Electricity usage v energy generated by solar panels

The average amount of electricity used by Irish households each year is 4,200 kWh, which will result in an annual bill from your electricity provider of over €2,000.

For one or two bedroom apartments, the average is around half of this amount, while it is roughly double for three or four bedroom detached homes.

With a 3 kW array of PV panels on your roof covering 15 metres, your system could generate 15 kWh on a clear summer’s day.

This means that with 365 days of sunshine, a 3kW system would generate 3,000 kWh per year.

But on average winter’s day, your system will generate much less – in the region of 3 kWh per day.

Can you make money from solar energy?

One of the many benefits of installing solar panels in Ireland is that since the summer of 2022, homeowners and businesses have been able to sell extra electricity back to the grid through the Micro-generation Support Scheme.

Surplus electricity must be sold back to the energy company that you use, and each utility company offers its own rates.

  • Energia: 18c per kWh
  • Pinergy: 25c per kWh
  • SSE Airtricity: 24c per kWh
  • Bord Gais: 18.5c per kWh
  • Electric Ireland: 21c per kWh

Solar energy as an investment

Solar panels are a long-term investment. Below, we’ll take a look at an example of how much you could save over a 30-year lifespan of your solar PV system.

So let’s say your solar system generates energy worth €70 per month, and that the solar installation costs were €6,500 after grants.

As well as saving thousands over the years, your solar PV system could also add thousands to the price of your property be increasing its energy efficiency rating.

And with electricity prices ever increasing, a solar system might just be sways any potential house hunters should you wish to sell up in the future.

Solar PV installation costs: €6,500
Annual electricity costs: €3,000
Annual solar panels value: €840 (x 30 = €25,200)
Overall savings: €18,700

Learn more about how much you can save today

Installing a solar system will undoubtedly save thousands of euro over the course of the panels’ lifespan.

If you are interested in knowing more about the price of solar panels, get a FREE quote 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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