Solar Panel Grants in Ireland

Grants for solar panels of up to €2100 are available in Ireland. The solar panel grant is towards the cost of buying and installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and battery energy storage systems.

Important – The solar grant was reduced from Jan 1st 2024 – the maximum grant dropped from €2400 to €2100

A solar PV system consists of solar panels mounted on the roof of your house which generate electricity.  You can also add a battery storage system to store any excess energy generated for use when the sun isn’t shining.
A 1kWp solar PV system would require 3 or 4 solar panels on your roof. The generated electricity feeds any electrical loads in your home, and any excess can be stored in a battery. You can also divert excess electricity to a hot water immersion tank. It can also be exported from your house into the electrical network.

A typical solar panel is rated 350 W, which is a measurement of power. A solar panel with this level of power will produce an average of 265 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.
Some solar panels are rated as high as 575 watts .

VAT Reduced on Solar Panels

There is zero rate of VAT for the supply and installation of solar panels for private dwellings since 1 May 2023
The supply of solar panels is subject to the standard rate of VAT. However, the reduced rate or zero rate applies when solar panels are supplied and installed as part of a supply and install contract.

The zero rate VAT also applies to ancillary equipment supplied and installed with the solar panels as part of the same supply and install contract for the solar panels (such as the wiring, the controller, the combiner box, the batteries, etc)
Before May 2023 – the reduced VAT rate applied where the solar panels did not exceed two-thirds of the total value of the supply.

Best Position for Solar Panels in Ireland

The position that maximises the energy collected by a solar panel in Ireland is facing south and tilted at an angle of 35 degrees from the horizontal.

If your roof is facing south-east, or south-west, then the production would be about 5% lower. If you are facing east or west, production would be about 20% lower.

Around 75% of the annual energy from a solar PV system is produced from May-September.

There are some benefits to east / west facing solar panels as their production matches standard consumption patterns – the panels generate in the morning and evening, when more electricity tends to be consumed, so you might not need a battery and might get to use more of your electricity produced.

How Much Electricity Can Solar Panels Generate?

Roughly 3400 kWh would be generated in a year by a 4kWp solar system on a roof in Ireland. This figure is based on a south-facing roof and a 30-degree slope. This figure would be roughly 20% lower for an East or west-facing roof. (2790 kWh).
The figure used as the “Average” household electricity usage in Ireland is currently 4200 kWh – so a 4kWp solar panel system could generate about 80% of the average home’s electricity.

Planning Permission for Solar Panels

For solar panel installations on domestic rooftops, there is no limit to the area of solar panels which can be installed on rooftops of homes, anywhere in the country. (This was changed in 2022 from the 50% roof limit which previously applied to houses). Planning permission is not required.

Ireland has a target of installing up to 380MW (approximately 1 million solar panels) of microgeneration capacity as part of Ireland’s overall solar targets under the government’s Climate Action Plan 2021.

Solar Panel Grant Amounts

Note: This grant scheme does not cover solar panels that just produce hot water. There are grants of up to €1200 for that.

The grant amounts for solar PV ( photovoltaic ) systems are: (revised Jan 2024)

  • €800 per kWp up to a maximum of 2kWp.(kWp means kilowatt-peak).
  • €250 for every additional kWp up to 4kWp

    (Maximum grant allowed is €2100)
  • e.g. for a 2kwp system the grant would be €1600
  • for a 3kWp system, the grant would be €1850
  • for a 4kWp or bigger system the grant would be €2100

Example of Solar Panel Prices and Savings

(Figures based on electricity unit rate of 43c in Sept 2023)

solar pv grants

Installing a typical solar PV system of 4kWp could cost from €6400 to €7100 . (Prices from June 2023) (No VAT). You can get a grant from the SEAI of €2100 for 4kWp solar panels   – Bringing the typical Net cost to €4100.

Simple PV System Without Battery

According to SEAI calculations, a simple 4kWp solar PV system (no battery or hot water diverter) could save on average €824 a year in household electricity charges – giving a payback time of about 5 years .
The SEAI calculations show that in a house in Galway , where someone is at home most of the day, and the roof is facing south – there would be an expected electricity bill reduction of €1175 a year with a payback time of 4 years
(Figures from SEAI )

Payback time could be even less if you can sell your excess electricity back to your supplier. Many suppliers now allow the selling back of solar-generated electricity. See below for more details about that.

Using figures from the UK Energy Saving Trust (adjusted for Irish electricity prices) gives a much lower figure of €618 maximum annual savings on electricity bills for a 4kWp system. (They used 3412 kWh of solar generation and assume just 40% of PV-generated electricity will be used in the home). However – they also assume that any unused power will be sold back to the grid which could result in total overall benefits of €1090 a year. (We have used Irish electricity prices in our calculations (based on Autumn 2023 prices of 43c per unit )

Tip: Another quick way to cut your electricity bills is to switch suppliers.
See our page on the Cheapest Electricity Prices in Ireland to see how average users could cut bills by as much as €700 in one year.

Selling Spare Electricity Back to Your Supplier

Before February 15th 2022, any surplus electricity that was generated by domestic solar panels was diverted back to the grid for free. Since Feb 2022 – householders in Ireland can get paid for any spare energy. (Tax free on the first €200 a year.). This is known as Micro-generation. There is no charge to connect a Micro-generator to the ESB network.
You need a smart meter to enable the credits to be calculated.

Each electricity supplier sets their own “Feed-In-Tariff rates, with rates (Mid 2023) ranging from:-

  • 24 cents per kWh at SSE Airtricity
  • Electric Ireland 21c
  • Flogas 20c / kWh
  • Energia 18c

Some Examples Of Possible Savings By Using Solar Panels :

6kW of solar panels on an Irish roof could typically generate as much as 5115 kWh of electricity per year.

If 40% of the electricity is used on-site, and your electricity supplier offers €0.24 per kWh for the unused 60% , then you can:

  • Save €880 by producing electricity for your own needs. (43c per kWh)
  • Earn €736 for your exported electricity
  • Total potential Benefit €1616 per year in total

4kW of solar panels on an Irish roof can typically generate as much as 3400 kWh of electricity per year.

If 40% of the electricity is used on-site, and your electricity supplier offers €0.24 per kWh for the unused 60% , then you can:

  • Save €585 by producing electricity for your own needs. (43c per kWh)
  • Earn €489 for your exported electricity
  • Total potential Benefit €1074 per year in total

Figures are estimates based on a south-facing, 30-degree roof slope and no shade. The generation will be lower with a higher angle roof or if the roof is not south facing or if there is shading .

The payments on feedback tariffs could fall or rise – and the price of electricity could rise or fall – and this will affect the calculations.

( Note- Sales of electricity over €200 a year may be subject to income tax.)

Using Batteries with Solar Panels

Even bigger annual savings can be made by using batteries to store any excess electricity generated during a sunny day. The stored power can be used later in the day or the next day.
Another benefit of having batteries is that the system can be programmed to top up the battery with power from the grid at a time of day when unit electricity rates are cheaper. So if you opt for a smart tariff – you can get unit rates for around half the price of peak time rates. Some smart “time of use” tariffs have rates as low as 12.25 c per kWh during some nighttime hours. You can then use the battery power to run appliances during the day instead of paying 43c or more per kWh.

A 5kWh battery would add around €3000 to the price and a 10kWh battery would add about €5000 to the price. But a larger battery would mean you could store more “free” solar electricity and more of the cheap rate electricity. However, the extra cost may mean that it could take several more years to reach payback time.

A full 10Kwh battery would be enough to provide 10 “units” of electricity – which would allow you to run the following things:

  • Run a 9.8kwh electric shower for about 1 hour
  • Heating a 210-litre water tank from 15° to 60° with an immersion heater.
  • Boil a full kettle 50 times
  • Keeping a fridge-freezer (300 watts) on for about 25 days
  • Keep a 5 watt LED light bulb on for 2000 hours

Another good way to use any excess electricity from solar PV is to heat your hot water tank (if you have one) via a diverter for your immersion heater. It will cost a bit more for installation (around €600) – but if you opt for it you’ll probably get better value from your solar electricity system.

Solar Panel Grant Rules

All homeowners, including private landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before the end of 2020 can apply for solar panel grants.
You must use a registered contractor from the SEAI’s Renewable Installers Register for Solar PV.
Grants are paid after the work is completed.

Once an applicant has received Grant approval, they have 8 months to complete the works and submit the declaration of works. These timelines must be adhered to ensure your grant payment. After 8 months the grant will expire and will be declined.

You can find out more about solar grants and  apply here

More information about grants for Heat Pumps

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