How to Break Even on Solar Energy Faster
While the payback period is now estimated by the Government to be 6.2 years for an average solar installation, there are a few ways of ensuring the that it is as short as possible.
Selling Solar Back to the Grid
A great way of shortening the solar payback period is to sell excess electricity generated by their solar PV panels back to the grid.
Your energy supplier will pay you for electricity that you supply back to the grid by means of the Clean Export Guarantee under the Micro Generation Support Scheme.
The amount of money you can make selling surplus solar energy depends on the size of your solar system as well as the rates offered by your electricity provider.
The latest rates offered by energy companies in Ireland:
Pinergy: 25c per kWh
SSE Airtricity: 24c per kWh
Flogas: 22c per kWh
Electric Ireland: 21c per kWh
Bord Gáis Energy: 18.5c per kWh
Energia: 18c per kWh
Note: Rates accurate as of 15 June 2023
Cleaning Solar Panels for Maximum Efficiency
While solar PV panels require very little maintenance, cleaning them from time to time will be beneficial as dust or leaves can decrease their efficiency and extend the payback period.
Homeowners can clean their 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 any dust that has built up.
Solar batteries reduce the amount of solar energy that goes to waste by retaining electricity when it is not used, for use at another time.
Batteries, or energy storage units, can reduce the amount of time that it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves by utilising energy that would otherwise be wasted.