How Can I Get Solar Panel Grants 2023 in Ireland?
With climate change making life that bit more difficult, many people in Ireland are looking to solar panels to help keep their bills low and their energy green. Solar panel grants in Ireland have been available for a while now, but how do they work and how do you apply? In our comprehensive solar panel grants guide, we go through the entire process!
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are an alternative way of generating renewable electricity for your home other than reliant on an energy supplier to supply your property. Solar panels come in many different sizes and shapes as well as utilising different methods of generating electricity from sunlight, and a huge range of benefits. Solar panels can be installed at your property on your roof so they can catch the sun in the optimal way according to where you live. Solar energy is a vital part in helping the environment along with wind energy and offshore wind farms.
What Types of Solar Panels Can You Get in Ireland?
There are three types of solar panels that are available in Ireland however not all of them are covered by the solar panel grant. It’s definitely worth looking into all the different types of solar panels to decide which is best for you:
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
Photovoltaic solar panels (PV) utilise the photovoltaic effect to convert sunlight into electricity. produce electricity via solar cells, although this electricity can also be diverted to heat hot water cylinders. A typical PV solar panel usually costs around €4,000 or more in Ireland.
- Thermodynamic Solar Panels
Thermodynamic solar panels produce hot water instead of directly converting sunlight to electricity. With thermodynamic solar panels, an extremely cold (-22°C) liquid refrigerant is circulated through the panel. This liquid absorbs ambient heat from the air outside the panel and from the infrared rays emitted by the sun. Thermodynamic solar panels cost upwards of €4,500.
- Solar Thermal Panels
Solar thermal panels directly collect heat from the sun, working on the principle that black surfaces attract heat. Somewhat similar to a dark car, where the heat inside the car can far surpass the temperature outside upon significant exposure to sunlight. They’re slightly cheaper than the other two solar panels, costing between €2,800 and €3.000.
Although all three types are available in Ireland, the solar panel grants are generally only available for photovoltaic solar panels.
How Does the Solar Panel Grant Work in Ireland?
The solar panel grant - also called the Solar Electricity Grant - is a once-off funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for buying and installing a photovoltaic panel on your property to help Ireland reach its Paris agreement targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emission. The grant is open for all homeowners and landlords who are looking to install photovoltaic solar panels for their property. The SEAI offers a range of other grants for helping homeowners improve the efficiency of their homes, including for electric cars, home electric car chargers, and insulation.
Who Receives the Money for the Solar Panel Grant?
After you’ve been given approval for the solar panel grant, you will need to provide bank details so that you can receive the money for the grant via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). This means that the solar panel grant will be paid directly into your bank account and you will use that to pay the registered company.
The grant money is subject to regulations! You must use the solar panel grant money only for paying for your solar panels upfront or as a long-term financing commitment with a registered solar panels installer. You can get into serious trouble if you use the solar panel grant for anything else!
What Do I Need To Qualify for the Solar Panel Grant in 2023?
In order to receive the solar panel grant, you will need to make an application and have it approved by the SEAI. In order to qualify for the application, you’ll need to make sure you match the criteria that is set out by the SEAI or most likely or not you’ll be refused.
What Do I Have To Do Before I Apply for a Solar Panel Grant?
Before applying for the solar panel grant in Ireland, you need to make sure that you fulfil the minimum requirements for making an application:
- Home Ownership
You need to be the homeowner or the landlord of the property you want the solar panels for. The property needs to have been built and lived in before 2021. The grant is not open for tenants who are renting.
- Use a Registered Company
In order to go forward with the solar panel grant, you need to be planning to use a registered solar panel company and not another third party in order to qualify. You can check on the SEAI for all the registered solar panel companies that are available to you.
- Get Your Safe Electrical Certificates
You’ll need to arrange for all the electricity work to be done by a Safe Electric Ireland electrician. After you’ve finished the installation, you must also get a BER rating assessment of the property.
- Get Connected to the Electricity Distribution System
You will also need to apply for a connection to the Electricity Distribution System to ESB Networks. You’ll need to complete the ESB Networks NC6 form and send it off.
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How Much Will I Get from the Solar Panel Grant in 2023?
The amount that you receive for the solar panel grant depends on a lot of factors. However, the most important is the peak output of your new solar panel system. This means that the amount of power that your solar panel generates at peak times will determine how much you’ll receive in the grant:
|Kilowatt Peak (kWp)||Grant Amount|
Source: Citizen Information
Last Updated: 22/06/2023
What Does the Solar Panel Grant Cover?
The solar panel grant will cover both the labour and the material for the solar panels to be installed in your property. For many of the grants, the maximum amount is lower than the average price for PV solar panels (around €4,000) so the grant is intended to foot part of the bill for the over costs. It’s important to bear in mind that you might need to fund a little bit more yourself to get the best solar panels for your property. It won't cover a solar panel battery if you decide to install one as well. The grant doesn't cover any solar panel repairs you might need further down the line.
Can I Get a Thermodynamic Solar Panel Grant?
Unfortunately, the only solar panels that are covered by the SEAI solar panel grant in 2023 are PV solar panels. There aren't currently any thermodynamic solar panel grants or thermal solar panel grants for your home. In these cases, you will need to pay them out of pocket. You could see if the home energy efficiency grant, which allows you to upgrade the efficiency of your home, might offer something that improves your thermodynamic solar panels' efficiency.
How Do I Apply for the Solar Panel Grant in 2023?
To apply for the solar panel grant, you will need to fill in an online application with the SEAI. The website is quite intuitive and you’ll find all the information you need to complete the application on there, but you will also need to make sure that you have a couple of details to hand before you start.
What Do I Need To Hand While Applying?
You need to make sure that you have a few important details about your property and your connection to the grid to hand before you start making the solar panel grant application. It’s a lot smoother to have this information beforehand rather than scrambling around to find it while filling in the application!
- Your email address
- Your MPRN number
- The year your property was built
- Your chosen register solar panel company
- Details of the solar panel product you’re installing
You will be prompted for all these details when filling in your application but you should be prepared beforehand just in case.
What Is the Solar Panel Grant Application Process?
After you’ve got all the information necessary, you’ll then need to fill in the online application. This is a seven step process that you’ll need to complete in order so you can move onto the next step:
- Appoint Solar Panel Installer
Firstly, you will need to get quotes from registered solar panel installer companies so you can find out how much you will be looking at paying in getting solar panels installed at your property. You should make a note of all the quotes and pick the best one for your budget and property.
- Apply for Solar Panel Grant
Next, you will need to fill in the solar panel grant application form online. Here is where you’ll put in your bank details so you make sure they are correct before you continue. You should wait for approval on the grant amount before you begin installing the solar panels.
- Solar Panel Installer Applies to ESB Networks
Your solar panel installer will then apply to ESB Networks to confirm the connection to the electricity distribution network. This can take around 4 weeks so you should be patient and wait before you start installing.
- Install Your Solar Panels
After you’ve received approval and have heard back from ESB Networks, you can then start installing your solar panels. Here is where you will either make your payment to the solar panel installer or agree to financing the solar panels in the future with an agreement.
- Get the BER Rating
Then, after your solar panels have been installed, you will need to get your BER rating. Your BER rating is extremely important so you must contact a BER rating assessor as soon as possible to make sure you get your property assessed. If you don’t, you might lose out on the solar panel grant.
- Solar Panel Evidence Submitted
Your solar panel installer will then send on the documentation you’ll need for getting the solar panels approved. They will also send a copy to the SEAI for them to have a look at before giving you the grant.
- SEAI Process the Grant Claim
Once all the documentation has been received, the SEAI will process your solar panel grant application and will decide whether you qualify. If you’re successful, the SEAI will pay the grant into your bank account which usually takes around 4 to 6 weeks.
If you get your solar panels through a DIY solar panel kit, you won't be eligible for the solar panel grant.
How Long Do I Have for the Solar Panel Grant?
After you’ve had your grant amount confirmed, you will have a period of 8 months for the work to be completed until it expires. It’s very important that you plan carefully using your solar panel grant since if you don’t use it within those 8 months, you won’t be able to apply for it again. It’s really important to plan out everything carefully before having your solar panels installed.
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