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 In Solar Advice, Solar Panels

Looking for information on grants can become an all consuming task. It’s possible to spend hours mired with questions, not just about what the grant pertains to, but the relevance of what you find yourself reading. Have you looked at all the correct resources? Are they reliable? And importantly, is the information current?

It can be daunting and let’s face it, dull work. So, you’ve guessed it, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with an overview of the incentive currently in place, in Ireland, that covers PV solar panels. The Solar Electricity Grant.

If you don’t already know, the term solar panels is used interchangeably to describe A. solar photovoltaic (PV) panels which produce electricity and B. solar thermal collectors, which are responsible for providing hot water. The Solar Electricity Grant we’re discussing here, covers the former, PV panels.

Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s ask the most basic question. Why would you want to install PV panels in the first place?

  1. You reduce your bills: Based on an average size system of 3.5kWp, a household can make annual savings of around 400. Taking into account the 25+ year lifespan of solar panels and you can see quite plainly that the savings are astounding. 
  2. You improve your BER rating: Through installing a solar panel system, you are investing in a more efficient energy source and positively impacting your BER rating which will add value to your home should you ever decide to put it on the market.

This is something you’ll see mentioned again a little later on, as it is also an important part of ensuring that you are eligible for the Solar Electricity Grant.

If you’re not 100% on what a BER rating is, or how it’s calculated, you can read more about it on the SEAI website

  1. You become more sustainable: Not only does using clean, solar energy help save you money and improve your BER rating but it also reduces your carbon footprint through reducing your greenhouse emissions.
  2. Get paid. Due to be rolled out in the ROI in Summer 2021, excess electricity supplied to the grid through a Feed in Tariff (FIT) will be paid for. The Government’s Climate Action Plan published in June 2019 set this out and now the EU directives are directing the government to do this. What does this mean? If you produce electricity that you don’t use, you will get paid for it. In the words of Jerry Maguire’s Rod Tidwell “Show me the money!!!”

That’s just four of the topline benefits you’ll experience should you choose to install a solar energy system. For more detail, you can read our most recent blog on 10 Interesting Facts About Solar Panels You Probably Didn’t Know

Now that we’ve covered that basic question, let’s dive into the ins and outs of the grant available to you should you decide to move forward, avail of the offer and improve your home’s efficiency (don’t do it before reading this!).

Where do I get the grant?

The grant is offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). 

What does the Solar Electricity Grant cover?

The award available is to assist towards the cost of both buying and installing a PV system and/or an energy battery storage system (BESS). 

Am I eligible for the SEAI grant?

  1. You MUST own a dwelling that was built and occupied before January 2011 and that has not previously received a SEAI grant for solar pv or battery technologies.
  2. The home’s energy rating MUST be BER C or better following the installation. 

If you can tick those two boxes, yes, you are eligible. It’s that simple.

I’m eligible, how much can I get?

For the PV panels themselves, €900 is available to you per kWp (kilowatt-peak) up to 2kWp. If you decide to install a battery (if appropriate to do so) alongside it, you’re eligible for an additional €300 per kWp up to 4kWp plus 600 towards the battery itself.  

If you do that math, the grant, should you install both solar panels and battery is capped at €3,000 or, without the battery, €1,800.

So now what?

Now that you know whether you’re eligible and what you could be entitled to, you need to know what the next steps are;

Firstly, you need to find and appoint a registered SEAI solar PV company and agree to a formal contract. 

Keep in mind that a lot of solar panel providers are simply sales offices who outsource the installation work to third parties. At Caldor we oversee the entire process, from the initial phone call, through to a complementary site visit, which is all about planning a system bespoke to your needs. Once we know what’s required, we provide you with a quote and contract to look over. We also assist you with the SEAI grant and arrange the BER as part of our plan. In short, we look after you completely.

Once you have a contract in place, you need to apply for the grant offer here. Do not start the work before you receive your grant offer, which is then valid for 8 months.

At this juncture, you should also ask your registered installer to request that ESB connect your new PV system to their network by submitting an ESBN NC6 form. Again, this must happen before installation commences as it can take up to 20 working days for the application to be processed. However, if you’ve not already guessed it, at Caldor, we do all of this for you as standard.

If you’ve got to this stage, you’re now ready for the physical installation of your PV system to take place. Once it’s completed, you will want to get a post-works BER which is required to avail of the grant and is included in the grant amount. In addition, your installer will need to provide you with a declaration of works and submit electronic evidence to that effect, directly to the SEAI. 

Don’t be overwhelmed, while this might sound like a lot, as a registered and approved SEAI installation provider, we are well versed with the PV grant requirements and will work with you and walk you through each step, seamlessly. If you have a question about any aspect of the process, we’re here. Once the steps have been adhered to, you’ve reached the point where it’s a simple waiting game. The SEAI will process your claim which can take up to 6 weeks (possibly longer if an inspection is required) but that’s it. It’s time to kick back and reap the rewards.

You don’t have to just take our word for it, check out our 5 star reviews on Google. 

If you would like to talk through the PV solar panel options available to you or your eligibility, get in touch here

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