Solar Panel Grants in Ireland [Update January 11th, 2024]

Since the conclusion of 2021, homeowners in Ireland have been witnessing a remarkable surge in the prevalence of solar panel grants and renewable energy support. Thanks to several state initiatives, becoming a solar PV owner in Ireland has never been more financially advantageous.

In the past year alone, the Ministry of the Environment has released data that substantiate claims of over 17,000 solar panel installations occurring, contributing to a cumulative count of roughly 50,000 Irish homes equipped with some form of solar technology.

In Ireland, the task of facilitating, promoting, and establishing guidelines for sustainable energy solutions falls upon the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEAI).

Having been established in 2002, the SEAI has witnessed the growth of renewable energy from approximately 15 Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (KTOE) annually in 2005 to around 85 KTOE in 2021. Over this period, coal, oil, peat, and gas have all experienced declines in their total annual KTOE consumption within Irish residences.

Solar power stands out as a renewable energy source, offering a direct contrast to the aforementioned energy sources that emit fossil fuels, thereby contributing to environmental degradation and climate change.

Despite the encouraging uptake of renewable energy sources, particularly solar PV arrays, a significant number of individuals remain unaware of the benefits that the SEAI has consistently provided to homeowners. Through a range of initiatives, the SEAI has instigated a paradigm shift in the realm of sustainable energy solutions. In this exploration, we will delve comprehensively into the diverse schemes that the SEAI offers for home and business owners who are considering installing solar technology or have already embraced it.


Solar PV and Its Benefits


Solar photovoltaic panels, often abbreviated as PV panels, are arrays designed to harness the sun's radiant energy and convert it into electricity, providing power for homes and businesses in daily operations.

These panels are equipped with silicon semiconductors. When sunlight strikes the panel, it generates a direct current (DC) of energy, which is then directed through an inverter. The inverter transforms this DC energy into alternating current (AC) electricity, suitable for integration into the home's power grid, effectively replacing other conventional sources of electricity. Additionally, any surplus energy can be stored within the solar array's lithium-ion battery pack, available for utilization during off-peak periods, such as nighttime.

The primary measure of solar photovoltaic output is kilowatt-peak (kWp). Roughly, 1 kWp translates to approximately 100 kWh per year. On average, 30-watt residential panels in Ireland have the capacity to generate between 1.2 and 1.5 kWh daily.

In comparison to less sustainable sources of electricity, solar power presents an exceedingly attractive option. Opting for solar power not only enables individuals to actively reduce their carbon footprint but also insulates them against escalating non-renewable energy costs, while granting a level of self-sufficiency not attainable through other means.

Through embracing home-based solar power generation, Irish homeowners have the opportunity to save money while concurrently minimizing their environmental impact. According to Alternative Energy Ireland, a solar panel array generating 3,000 kWh could potentially slash homeowners' annual electricity bills by up to 70%.

With the Irish government aiming for approximately 80% renewable energy sources by the close of the decade, a target of 8 GW of solar capacity has been established for Ireland by 2030. While this objective might seem ambitious, a range of programs exists to ensure the transition unfolds as seamlessly as it has for thousands of Irish residents in recent years.

SEAI Solar PV Grant Scheme


Having highlighted the unquestionable advantages of transitioning to solar PV panels, the focus now shifts to the challenge of setting up your own array in a manner that is not only efficient and cost-effective but also adheres to regulations.

As mentioned earlier, the SEAI plays a pivotal role in promoting and advancing renewable energy sources, including solar power. Fortunately, the SEAI has streamlined the process and made it more financially accessible than ever to embrace solar technology.

The SEAI's Solar Electricity Grant serves as a program designed to alleviate homeowners of a portion of the installation expenses related to solar panels. This grant offers financial support based on the array's energy output, with larger systems receiving more substantial compensation.

Outlined below are the grant amounts provided by the SEAI, categorized according to the kWp rating of each specific array:

€800 per kWp up to 2kWp
  • €1600 for 2kWp solar panels
+ €250 for every additional kWp up to 4kWp
  • €1850 for 3kWp solar panels
  • €2100 for 4kWp solar panel
Total Solar PV grant capped at €2100.


Considering that the typical cost of solar panels in Ireland falls within the range of €6,000 to €18,000, the remarkable benefits offered by the scheme become evident. Nonetheless, as with any endeavor, a set of eligibility criteria and important factors come into play before one can partake in this groundbreaking initiative.


Solar Grant Eligibility


Just like any other government scheme, the SEAI's solar PV grant is subject to specific conditions. To qualify for the grant, the property in question must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The dwelling should be in a home constructed prior to 2021.
  • The installation must be carried out by an accredited party approved by Electric Ireland.
  • The applicant should be a permanent resident of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Utilization of materials not covered by any other SEAI grant program is necessary.
  • The installer must be registered and connected to the ESB grid.

Furthermore, the SEAI offers Home Energy Upgrade grants, providing homeowners the opportunity to receive financial assistance ranging from €700 to €6,500 for upgrades like insulation and heat pumps. A comprehensive list of these grants can be accessed on the SEAI website.

Moreover, an additional €1,200 grant can be allocated for solar hot water systems. It's important to note that solar thermal collectors are capable of converting solar heat into hot water, rather than electricity. Numerous studies have highlighted that thermal collectors can fulfill up to 70% of the average Irish home's annual hot water requirements.


Applying for your SEAI Grant


 Once you've confirmed that your proposed solar PV blueprint aligns with all the necessary requirements, you're ready to proceed with your application for the scheme.

Contrary to expectations, the grant application process is closely coordinated with the installation itself. Upon successfully navigating the application procedure, homeowners can anticipate the disbursement of the grant funds within a span of 4 to 6 weeks.

In the following section, we will delve into the essential steps needed to maximize the benefits provided by the SEAI's solar PV support program.


Alternative Solar Panel Grant Schemes


In July, Green Party leader Eamonn Ryan, in collaboration with counterpart Simon Coveney, introduced legislation aimed at substantially expanding the avenues available for businesses to access solar grants.

The revised business grant initiative is set to provide support for installations with capacities of up to 1000 kWp, equivalent to approximately 2,500 rooftop panels. This represents a significant increase compared to the prior limit of 6 kWp. Within this scheme, businesses will have the opportunity to secure grants ranging from €2,700 for smaller arrays to a maximum grant of €162,500 for larger system sizes.

Moreover, state-sponsored programs have played a pivotal role in boosting solar adoption in rural Ireland. Launched in 2022, the Targeted Agriculture Relief Scheme (TAMS) established a grant ceiling of €90,000 for farmers. This amount has demonstrated its capability to cover up to 60% of the expenses associated with installing panels on farms.


Solar PV System Installation and Requirements


Upon making the decision to proceed with panel installation, the initial step is to establish contact with a registered installer. A comprehensive list of providers accredited by the SEAI is accessible on their official website.

Once the installer has been identified, homeowners can proceed to apply for the grant either directly through the SEAI website or via traditional postal means. It's important to bear in mind that precise details concerning the proposed array's dimensions, alongside planned project dates, are essential for submitting a successful grant application. Notably, the SEAI grant maintains a validity window of eight months.

Before initiating any work, the installer must formally inform the Electrical Services Board (ESB) of their intention to establish a grid connection. Subsequent to completing the preceding steps, the installer can then proceed to install the panels at the agreed-upon cost.

Additionally, it's crucial to highlight that a post-installation Building Energy Rating (BER) assessment is a pivotal aspect of the process. This assessment aims to provide insight into the home's electrical efficiency both prior to and after the installation. Just as with the installer selection process, homeowners are required to enlist the services of an accredited BER assessor to conduct this evaluation.

Following the completion of the installation, the installer is responsible for submitting all pertinent documentation concerning the installation to the SEAI. Assuming all steps have been executed in accordance with the stipulated guidelines, the SEAI grant payment can be anticipated within a timeframe of 4 to 6 weeks. 


Benefits and Impacts of SEAI Solar Grants


The establishment of solar PV infrastructure stands as a pivotal component within the Irish Government's ambitious roadmap, aiming to source 80% of the country's electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

For many, the eco-friendly essence of solar technology stands as the foremost motivation for embracing this transition. Unlike conventional power generation methods such as coal, gas, and even peat, solar panels stand as a zero-emission technology.

Furthermore, it remains no secret that both the European Union and the Irish Government are resolute in their efforts to discourage the usage of non-renewable resources. Opting for a solar solution not only insulates homeowners for the future but also brings the assurance of the autonomy that solar panels can bestow.

Secondly, the potential savings tied to Solar PV technology present an undeniable proposition. With an average wholesale electricity cost of €0.2741 per kilowatt-hour, Irish homeowners contend with some of the highest residential electricity prices in Europe.

An average Irish household consumes around 4,200 kW of power annually. In contrast, an average 32kWp array can generate approximately 2,700 kW. This translates to generating clean power on one's own premises, effectively reducing over half of the home's conventional, non-renewable energy production.

A vivid example of the advantages of solar adoption is evident in the Wicklow Wolf Brewery situated in Co. Wicklow. In 2022, the 1,580-square-foot facility installed a 120-kW system, a move that has garnered substantial acclaim due to the brewery's announcement of achieving a notable 60% reduction in its annual energy expenses.


Microgeneration and The Zappi EV Charger


At Wattcharger, we firmly recognize that renewable energy stands as the cornerstone of our future. Consequently, we consistently offer guidance to our customers regarding optimal practices to uphold sustainability.

Enter Myenergi's Zappi charger, a beacon of sustainability. As the pioneering Electric Vehicle Charger designed to function solely on renewable energy sources, Zappi employs an app that empowers homeowners to precisely manage the amount of electricity sourced from solar panels or other renewables.

For those who possess solar panels and hold an interest in EV charging, or vice versa, we encourage you to connect with us through the tool provided below. This interaction will unveil the avenues available to curtail your ecological footprint while simultaneously augmenting your savings.

Speaking of optimizing savings, the nascent Microgeneration Support Scheme (MSS) instituted by the government intends to compensate homeowners for surplus energy contributed back to the grid. This reimbursement is referred to as a Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) and can be easily arranged through your service provider.


Solar Grants FAQ


Enhanced Content: Understanding the SEAI Solar Grant

The SEAI Solar Grant is a financial assistance program designed to alleviate some of the financial constraints of solar panel installation. The grant amounts vary, spanning from €900 to €2,400, contingent upon the size and output of the system.

Applying for the SEAI Solar Grant

Upon securing a registered installer, the requisite documentation can be dispatched to the SEAI via post or directly uploaded on their website.

Timeframe for Receiving the SEAI Solar Grant

Assuming all the necessary steps have been meticulously followed, homeowners can anticipate the grant funds to be disbursed within a span of 4 to 6 weeks following the completion of the installation.

Cost of Solar Panel Installation

The cost of residential solar panel installation in Ireland is influenced by the array's size and capacity. Generally ranging between €6,000 and €18,000 prior to the application of the SEAI grant, these installations offer a range of cost options.



Blog Author: Adrian Dorney