Grants for solar panels and battery systems

Introduction

The Solar PV scheme gives grants to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a battery energy storage system at your home. This means you can generate and use renewable electricity in your home and reduce your electricity costs. The Solar PV scheme is a pilot scheme administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

You can use the SEAI’s domestic solar PV calculator to see how much you can save by installing a solar PV system.

SEAI recommends that you insulate your home before considering a solar PV system, as insulation is the easiest way to reduce your energy costs. There are a number of grants available to help with insulating your home, see our documents:

Rules

Solar photovoltaic systems

Grants are available to homeowners to help buy and install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. A domestic solar PV system consists of solar panels mounted on the roof of your house (or in the garden) which generate electricity to power electrical devices in your home. A system of up to 2kW in size (six to eight solar panels) is suitable for most homes. This will generate enough electricity to cover approximately a third of your electricity needs.

Battery energy storage systems

Battery energy storage systems are also covered by this grant. They are used for larger solar PV systems, so that the excess electricity generated during daytime hours can be used at another time. This new technology is only installed in certain suitable homes.

This scheme does not cover solar water heating systems, which use the heat of the sun to heat up the water that is stored in your hot water cylinder. However, the SEAI provides grants for solar water heating under the Better Energy Homes scheme.

Eligibility

Solar PV systems installed on or after 31 July 2018 are eligible for the scheme. However, you must apply for the grant within 6 months of getting the work done. You are only eligible for the grant once per technology.

Energy generated from your solar PV system should be used in your home, and the system should be of a suitable size for this. See the Solar PV Grant Application Guide (pdf) for further technical specifications, as well as information on insurance, contracts, inspections, grant limits and how to apply.

Your solar PV system and the installation works must comply with the requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Installers (pdf). The work must be completed by one of the registered companies listed on seai.ie. The company will ensure that the work is signed off by a Solar PV Scheme Registered Installer.

The work must be finished before you can get a grant and you must have either paid your contractor or agreed a payment plan.

SEAI publishes detailed information about the Solar PV Grant.

How to qualify

To qualify for a grant you must:

  • Be the owner of a home built and occupied before 2011
  • Use new materials and products that were not already covered under another grant programme
  • Use a registered comany from the SEAI’s registered list of companies
  • Have the electrical work completed by a Safe Electric Ireland electrician
  • Apply to be connected to the electricity distribution system using the ESB Networks NC6 form (pdf)
  • Have a Building Energy Rating (BER) carried out after the work is completed
  • Agree to participate in SEAI research about the scheme

Planning permission

You will not need planning permission to install solar panels at your home as long as you meet certain conditions, which are outlined in the planning section of the Solar PV Grant Application Guide (pdf). Generally, you will not need planning permission if the solar panels take up less than 12 square metres (or less than 50% of the area of the roof), which is about the size of a 6-panel system. However, ask your local authority for guidance about planning permission if:

  • Your home is a protected structure
  • You home is located in a protected area, for example, an architectural conservation area
  • The proposed works do not meet the conditions listed in the application guide

Choosing a contractor

Before choosing a company from the registered list, the SEAI recommend that you:

  • Get a number of quotes and compare the offers.
  • Request and check the company’s references.
  • Formalise the relationship with your chosen company by drawing up a contract detailing the required works, prices, timescales, payment terms and warranties.

Rates

The grant covers materials and labour, unless you are a contractor doing the work in your own home. In this case only the cost of the materials is covered.

If the cost of the systems and work (including VAT) is less than the maximum grant amount, you will get a grant for the actual cost.

The maximum grants are:

System Rate
Solar PV system €700 per kWp up to a maximum of 2kWp

(kWp means kilowatt-peak, which is a measure of the peak output of a solar PV system)

Solar PV and battery energy storage system

€700 per kWp up to a maximum of 4kWp for the solar PV system and €1000 per battery system

If your proposed system is larger than what the scheme covers, you can get the maximum grant available for the system you install. For example, if you want to install a 3kW solar PV system, you can get a grant of €1,400, which is the maximum grant for a 2kW system (2 x €700 = €1,400).

How to apply

You can apply online or by post. If applying by post, you should contact the SEAI to get an application form and send it back to them – see ‘Where to apply’ below.

When applying for the grant you will need to provide details about the installation, including the system’s size. You will also need to provide your address and the MPRN number from your electricity bill.

Your installer will give you the documentation you need to claim the grant, including the signed Declaration of Works form. You should keep these documents for your records. Your installer will also complete and upload a number of documents about the work to the SEAI website. SEAI has a solar PV completion checklist (pdf) that lists the documents needed.

SEAI will then process your payment, which will be paid by EFT into your bank account. It may take up to 6 weeks for the grant to be processed and paid.

SEAI publishes detailed information on the Solar PV scheme, including a guide to help with your application (pdf).

Where to apply

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

SEAI Head Office
Wilton Park House
Wilton Place
Dublin 2
Co.Dublin
D02 T228

Tel:01 8082100
Homepage: http://www.seai.ie/
Email: info@seai.ie


Page edited: 13 November 2018