Installing Solar Panels: Solar PV Installation in Ireland

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Solar panel installation might seem really technical but in fact if you have the right installers and follow the right steps, it can be easier than you think! Some people might also be wondering if you can do a solar panel installation yourself and how much you might save. In our solar panel installation guide, we’ll walk you through how the solar panel installation process works!


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Where Do I Begin with My Solar Panel Installation?

solar panel

A solar panel installation might seem like a tall ordeal when you get started with your transition to renewable energy, but in fact it’s relatively simple. The hard bit comes right at the beginning where you will need to get your property assessed for the type of solar panels you want installed as well as the dimensions of your property. Researching beforehand can also save you a lot of headaches further down the line!

What Types of Solar Panels Are There?

There are three main types of solar panels you can have installed in Ireland. Each has a slightly different way of utilising sunlight to convert it into solar energy for your property and they can vary greatly in terms of costs. The three main types you can get in Ireland are: photovoltaic, thermodynamic, and solar thermal.

  1. Photovoltaic Solar Panels
    Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are the preferred option in Ireland. Unlike the other two, PV panels will work even in low sunlight situations since they convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect meaning the only time they don’t work is at night. Photovoltaic solar panels usually cost upwards of €4,000.
  2. Thermodynamic Solar Panels
    Thermodynamic solar panels create hot water instead of converting sunlight directly to electricity. With thermodynamic solar panels, a cold liquid refrigerant is circulated through the panel. This liquid absorbs the heat from the air outside the panel and from the infrared rays emitted by the sun. Thermodynamic solar panels cost upwards of €4,500.
  3. Solar Thermal Panels
    Solar thermal panels directly collect heat from the sun. It’s 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.

Find Out More in Our Solar Panels Guide!

Who Can Do a Solar Panel Installation?

handyman with spanner

The truth is anyone can do a solar panel installation and you do not need to be specially qualified to hook up your solar panel system to your electricity to benefit from solar energy.

However, if you don’t have experience with solar panels or as an electrician, it’s much wiser to let someone who’s been properly trained to do the installation for you, though it doesn’t matter who you hire to set them up.

Although you can hire anyone, if you want to take advantage of the SEAI grant scheme for solar you will need to hire an SEAI approved solar panel installer.

Where Can I Find a Solar Panel Installer Near Me?

There are a number of SEAI approved solar panel installers who provide solar panel installation for everyone throughout Ireland. You can also use a company who isn’t on the approved list, but it’s generally better if you want to avoid the high upfront cost. Here’s a table of the main solar panel installers in Ireland:

List of Solar Energy Suppliers in Ireland
CompanyPV?Thermodynamic?Solar Thermal?
Electric IrelandYesNoNo
Solar ElectricYesNoNo
Alternative Energy IrelandYesNoYes
NRG PanelYesYesNo
Green House Renewable EnergyYesNoYes
LVP RenewablesYesYesNo
PureVolt SolarYesNoNo


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What Are the Risks of a Solar Panel Installation?

question mark

Making any additions to your property might have you worried that a solar panel installation might lead to problems in the future when it comes to your house’s value. There are some risks both making the addition as well as the actual solar panel installation itself.

Do Solar Panels Need Planning Permission?

You won’t need to get planning permission for a solar panel installation. Since solar panels are a small addition to your property, they don’t come under the reasons why you would need to get planning permission. Planning permission is generally needed if you’re planning to:

  • Build an extension of more than 40 metres squared
  • Change the way the land is used

Solar panels don’t fall into this category so you should be fine to go ahead without planning permission. If you have a protected property or are in a protected area, you should make contact with your local authority just in case.

What Risks Are There During a Solar Panel Installation?

One of the main reasons you should let a professional handle your solar panel installation is because it can be a dangerous job. With professional installers, you can avoid most of these risks:

  • Falls
  • Electrocution
  • Muscle strains

When you have your solar panels installed, there will still be some risks that you should think about before going through with your solar panel installation. These can be higher risks to your property than would without solar panels.

  1. Damage from Weather Conditions
    Your solar panels can get damaged if there’s any extreme weather such as storms or hailing. Although most modern solar panels are reinforced against weather damage, it is still a possibility and can cause short circuiting.
  2. Decreased Fire Service Access
    With solar panels being located on the roof, this could reduce the access for the fire service if you have a fire. You should make sure that when you get your solar panels installed that you have a fire safety assessment after installing them.
  3. Electrical Fire Risk
    Given they are an electrical appliance, there is an increase in the risk of having an electric fire if something goes wrong with a solar power component. This could be due either to the solar panels themselves being damaged or an issue with the solar battery if you choose to get one installed.
  4. Theft
    The risk of theft and vandalism can also be increased if you have solar panels installed. This can lead to further damage to your property if you don’t take the right measures to protect your home after a solar panel installation.

What about solar panel insurance? Generally speaking, your insurance premiums won’t change after getting solar panels installed. Since they are now part of most home insurance packages nowadays, you shouldn’t experience an increase. However, if the solar panels increase the value of your home then this might impact your premiums in some way or another.

Can I Do a Solar Panels Installation Myself in Ireland?

house with solar panel

As mentioned above, you can do the solar panel installation yourself. However, it is very much advised that you don’t if you are not a trained electrician due to the risks outlined above. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can carry out your own solar panel installation without any problems in terms of permission or licensing.

How Do I Find an Electrician To Install Solar Panels?

You don’t need to have a specific solar panel licensed installer to install your solar panels and you can hire a normal electrician to install them for you. However, you will not usually find an electrician who will also supply the solar panels for you so you will need to buy them separately. You will also not be able to access the SEAI solar panel grant.

Is It Cheaper To Install Solar Panels Yourself?

Since you won’t be able to get the SEAI solar panel grant for your solar panel installation, it is unlikely that if you do it yourself without a registered solar panel installer that it will come out cheaper. However, you might be able to find solar panels that are cheaper that you can buy separately and then hire an electrician for less. You shouldn't do any solar panel repairs yourself unless you're using a specifically DIY solar panel kit.


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How Long Does a Solar Panel Installation Take?


How long a solar panel installation takes to complete will depend on the type of property you want to install the system for since the size will be the biggest factor. If you have a larger property, such as a farm or business, it will naturally take longer than if you were installing them on a small house.

How Long Does an Average House Solar Panel Installation Take?

The rated capacity is essentially the quantity of solar panels you will be installing so the bigger the property, the more panels you’ll need. For the average house, for example a 3-Bed Semi-Detached, you will generally need solar panels of a rated capacity of 4.10 kW. This will usually only take a day or less to get them fully installed and working.

For houses, it is unlikely that your solar panel installation will go on longer than a week and is usually done on the same day. However, your property might have awkward wiring or other problems that might mean the installation takes a little longer!

How Long Does a Farm Solar Panel Installation Take?

For farms, naturally the solar panel installation can take a little longer. In order to power a farm, there needs to be a lot more of them and they can take a little more planning to get them right. However, even with farms, the solar panel installation process shouldn’t take longer than a week!

You also might struggle with finding farm solar panel installers however larger companies like Electric Ireland will have them on offer and might also offer you a discount if you’re already a customer. You should note that it is possible that you might need planning permission if you’re installing solar panels for your farm so remember to contact your local authority to make sure you have everything required.

What Are the Solar Panel Installation Costs in Ireland?

Solar panel installation depends on many factors that vary for different house sizes and roof shapes, but if one fact is certain, solar panels are very expensive items in Ireland. The solar panel installation cost in Ireland is often accounted for in the overall cost of the panel, so you usually don't have to pay anything extra when you get one installed. Here's a table listing the costs of solar panels with an SEAI Grant:

House Size Rated Capacity kWh per Year Cost After Grant CO2 Saved
2-Bed Terraced 3.28 kW 2,964 kWh €5,423 994 kg
3-Bed Semi-Detached 4.10 kW 3,724 kWh €5,617 1,000 kg
4-Bed Detached 4.92 kW 4,715 kWh €6,011 2,000 kg
6-Bed Detached 6.56 kW 5,915 kWh €6,789 2,000 kg

Source: Purevolt
Last Updated: 19/10/2023

How Can I Get a Solar Panel Installation Grant?

You can get a solar panel grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) that can discount the high upfront cost of a solar panel. This can really since solar panels can be very expensive and it can be quite daunting before going to pay for one. The SEAI have solar panel grant amounts that vary with the amount of solar panels you want to install and is based on peak kilowatt hours:

Kilowatt Peak (kWp)Grant Amount
1 kWp€900
2 kWp€1,800
3 kWp€2,100
4 kWp€2,400

Source: Citizen Information
Last Updated: 14/07/2023

How Do I Qualify for the SEAI Solar Panel Grant?

In order to qualify for an SEAI grant for your solar panel installation, you will need to make sure that you comply with the following requirements:

  • Be a homeowner
  • Use a registered company; you can’t install them on your own
  • Get you electricity safety certificates
  • Get connected to the Electricity Distribution System through the ESB

Find Out More in Our Solar Panel Grants Guide!

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