Get Free Solar Panel Quotes

Find out how much solar panels would cost you

Do you need solar panels for your home or business?

Complete a Short Form — Receive Free Quotes — Compare & Save
As featured in:
Business Insider

Why get solar panels?

  • Generate free, green electricity
  • Reduce your electricity bill by up to 64%
  • Get paid for what you don't use

Solar panel subsidies and government grants in Ireland

  • Irish residents can get help to install solar panels from the government
  • The Solar PV Scheme can be applied for online
  • You’ll need to get a solar PV installer in place first
  • You then have eight months to complete the installation to get the grant
  • As a bonus, solar PV also qualifies for 0% VAT in Ireland

One of the best ways to save money on your electrical bills while also doing your bit for the environment is to install solar panels in your home. While expensive initially, solar panels will pay for themselves in the long run through savings you make on electricity you don’t pay for.

Thankfully, the Irish Government has launched grants and incentives to make the cost a little bit more bearable. So, if you live in Ireland and want to upgrade your home with solar panels, this article has all the information you will need to get help apply.

So, let’s find out how.

Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North, County Clare, Ireland - credit Sean Kuriyan / Unsplash

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland – credit Sean Kuriyan / Unsplash

What is the Solar Electricity Grant?

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland‘s (SEAI) Solar PV Grant, sometimes called the Solar Electricity Grant, is designed to support Irish homeowners looking to install solar PV panels on their properties. The grant aims to help cover the costs associated with installing solar PV systems, making solar energy a more accessible and affordable option for the masses.

How much can you claim?

The amount you can claim through the scheme depends on your installation’s size. Depending on the system’s kWp output, your can get up to a maximum of €2,100 from the SEAI’s allocated €380M fund through the Solar PV Grant.

Grant approvals are valid for exactly eight months, so once approved, you shouldn’t hesitate to get the work started.

The sooner you start the process, the better, as the PV installation company and surveyors must also submit the necessary paperwork before this deadline.

How do you know if you’re eligible?

To qualify for the grant, you must own a home built and occupied before 2021 and ensure that a qualified and registered contractor carries out the installation. Your home must also have not previously received any SEAI grants for solar PV.

The grant will only be accepted if the solar PV has not started, and you mustn’t have bought any PV materials yet. In other words, it cannot be applied retroactively for currently actioned or completed works.

Like any grant, it is also a good idea to check SEAI’s official website or contact them directly for the most current details and to understand all the specific terms and conditions associated with the Solar PV Grant.

How do you apply for the Solar Electricity Grant?

As advised by the SEAI, you should first find a solar PV installation company near you. Once that is done, you can officially begin the application process.

To do this, you can visit the official grant application page.

Once there, you will be guided through the application process using the online form. Note, you will need an email address to set up an account and to get the ball rolling.

That being said, you can also apply using a paper-based application form.

You must know your full address and bank account’s IBAN and BIC for either application process.

You’ll also need your electrical meter’s Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN). This is the 11-digit number found at the top of your electricity bill.

You will also need to know, roughly or exactly, the build date of your home. The application will also need to know the name of your chosen solar PV installation company (hence, finding them first) and the intended size of the solar PV system you want to install (your chosen PV installer will be able to tell you this).

What is the Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland?

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is a government organization that promotes and facilitates the growth of sustainable energy throughout Ireland. Its mission is clear: improve energy efficiency, promote renewable energy sources, and reduce carbon emissions.

To this end, the SEAI is a key player in shaping the future of energy in Ireland. The organization can help Irish citizens by providing guidance and assistance in transitioning to cleaner energy solutions.

One of the SEAI’s main focuses is promoting the country’s adoption of solar energy. For this reason, the agency offers several incentives to encourage both residential and commercial adoption of solar energy technologies.

These initiatives include grants, detailed guidance, and technical support to make solar installations more accessible and affordable for everyone. One of the flagship SEAI schemes is the Solar Electricity Grant.

This is explicitly designed to help homeowners who want to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The grant aims to help with the upfront costs of purchasing and installing PV systems, making solar power a more viable option for a wider population.

The SEAI also offers valuable resources on best installation and maintenance practices and advice on maximizing the efficiency and benefits of solar energy systems.

For businesses, the SEAI provides customized solutions that assist in incorporating solar power into existing energy systems, complementing the energy efficiency measures already in place.

0% VAT on solar panels

One of the coolest things about the Solar PV grant, or solar PV installations in general, is that the work attracts a 0% value-added tax (VAT) incentive. If you have attempted to pay for the entire installation, this will immediately save you 13% (the previous VAT rate) of the total cost.

This was first launched in May of 2023 and can only be claimed in a single contract of works or invoice from the installation company.

For obvious reasons, the incentive’s idea is to further promote the adoption of solar PV uptake by Irish nationals. 13% savings is not to be sniffed at, and the savings can be substantial for high-ticket-value objects like solar PV installations.

How much can I save through 0% VAT?

As you can imagine, an immediate 13% savings on a solar PV installation can add up to considerable savings. While the total you’d save depends on the system’s size, it could be as much as €1,000. 

Let’s assume a 2-kWp system would cost at least €6,000 to give you an idea of the savings involved. Based on this (though note the initial cost could be more depending on the system installed), you’d previously have to pay €780 in VAT.

To get the 0% VAT benefit, you’ll need to submit the final invoice from your PV installer once the work is complete. In most cases, the invoice will likely reflect the 0% VAT, given the nature of the job anyway.

Considering you can then get €0.32c per KWh for selling back excess electricity, this immediate saving and regular income from your investment will reduce the payback period for installation from 7 to 6.2 years.

“This will result in a significant reduction in the installation cost for households and, I believe, will encourage more people to use this innovative technology,” explains Michael McGrath, Irish Minister for Finance.

While this move will help consumers, it will also help the environment. [More than] 50,000 homes have solar panels, with 17,000 solar installations connecting to the grid, which took place just last year. This is expected to increase further as prices come down and solar becomes more mainstream,” Irish Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said. 

Solar water heating grant

Like solar PV systems, solar water heating (technically called solar thermal systems) is also eligible for SEAI grants. As the name suggests, these systems use the sun’s power to heat water for your home.

A typical system will be designed to provide at least 50% of your annual hot water needs. In most cases, these systems will require a specially designed solar water heating hot water cylinder to store the heated water in your home and prepare it for use.

These can be standalone or, as is usually the case, a mixed cylinder for solar-heated water and a traditional hot water tank connected to your boiler. Such systems can considerably reduce the cost of producing (and maintaining) hot water for your home.

Homeowners, including private landlords, whose homes were constructed and occupied prior to 2021 are eligible to apply for the grant. The eligibility criteria are based on the date of installation of the electricity meter.

It is important to note that this criterion differs from other grant measures, which require the home to have been built before 2011. There are some technical compliance checks needed prior to being accepted for the grant, but a registered and qualified installer will be able to guide you through this process.

Can I get solar power grants if I live in Northern Ireland?

In short, no. Northern Ireland is not part of the Republic of Ireland, so residents do not have access to the Republic of Ireland government grants or schemes. Please check our guide to government solar panel grants in the UK for more information.

That being said, businesses in Northern Ireland can apply for funding to cover 20% of a solar panel installation. Also, as of May 1st, 2023, solar panels, like in the Republic of Ireland, attract a 0% VAT incentive.

However, they may be able to get some advice from Northern Irish Energy about cutting their energy bills and using solar energy.

Summary and next steps

  • Installing renewable energy generation technologies like solar panels is a great way to reduce electrical bills. Moreover, you can also sell any excess power you make back to the grid.
  • While generally costing 1,000s for a solar PV system, Irish citizens can apply for grants to help with the cost of installation. They also attract 0% VAT.
  • The application process is fairly straightforward, but you must have found an installer first
  • To find a solar panel installer near you, fill out our simple form to get some quotes.
  • If your application is accepted, you’ll have 8 months to complete the installation or it will be voided.
  • Once the installation is complete, you will get the full grant paid into your account.
Written by:
Christopher is an Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) specialist with extensive experience advising consumer and trade clients on energy efficiency and sustainability.
Reviewed by:
Roland is Editor of The Eco Experts. He is passionate about solar power, reducing plastic waste and technology that can help humanity overcome some of its greatest challenges.
Back to Top