Solar panels cost around €5,000 to €18,000 for houses in Ireland. A grant can bring this down to €3,200 – €15,600. Here are some specific examples of what you might expect to pay (ex-grant):
- €5,700: ~2 kW of solar panels
- €10,000: ~5 kW of solar panels
- €18,000: ~9 kW of solar panels + power diverter + battery
- €1,800 extra: For blackout protection
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels?
€5,000 – €15,000 is a wide price range. What explains the variation? Well, here are the main factors in the cost of solar panels in Ireland:
How Many Solar Panels?
This is the biggest factor. 2 kW of panels can put a dent in your electricity bill. However, a family with a heat pump or electric car could easily use 9 kW panels. The number of panels is the top reason, but not the only one…
Solar Panels Quality and Cost
Top-quality solar panels come with a price premium. So here’s a run-down of solar panel quality and cost:
- Dubious quality: Brands without a track record. Or no brand at all. These often produce less power than specified, especially as the years go on. Not worth the risk.
- Good quality: Good quality solar panels don’t have to be super-expensive. You can also get decent warranty cover at a medium price.
- Premium quality: These cost around €250 extra per kilowatt and tend to have high efficiency and the best aesthetics. Premium panels are likely to be manufactured in Europe or South Korea, and come with long guarantees backed by the most reputable companies.
Battery or No Battery?
A battery lets you store surplus solar energy to use at night. They cost roughly €1,500-€4,000, depending on capacity and quality. Batteries are appealing because they let you cover a very high proportion of your electricity needs with solar energy. However, the financial return on batteries is slow. With the smart export guarantee now rolling out, I recommend that most people skip the battery and invest in some extra panels and a power diverter instead.
If you’re in an area that gets frequent power cuts, then you might want to consider blackout protection. Blackout protection keeps your lights and some small appliances on even when the power goes down. It requires you to install a compatible battery and have some special wiring done on your house. Wiring for blackout protection typically costs around €1,800 extra.
Power diverters are a cost-effective way to utilise surplus solar electricity for water heating, with prices ranging from around €220 to €500. It’s well worth spending a little extra for a reliable brand such as the MyEnergi Eddi, because some other models have a tendency to fail prematurely.
Inverter Quality and Features
An inverter transforms DC electricity from your solar panels into AC electricity for your house. As with panels, inverter quality varies. Moreover, inverters have a higher failure rate than panels. This makes it important to get a good-quality inverter with a strong warranty. In addition, some inverters come with handy features like remote monitoring. The difference in price between a good-quality and a poor-quality inverter is around €300-€800. Whatever about the panels, don’t skimp on your inverter. Fronius, Enphase, and SMA are some examples of reputable inverter brands.
Solar Panel Installation Workmanship
It’s well worth paying extra for good-quality workmanship. Firstly, correct installation is essential to guarantee long and productive life for your panels. Secondly, good tradespeople will route cables neatly or out of sight, and place your panels in a neat and tidy arrangement. Most importantly, good tradespeople will never take shortcuts on safety.
Value for Money And How To Find The Best Solar Panel Quote For You
Some solar installers simply offer better value for money than others – so don’t just assume that more expensive equals better. In fact, it’s a minefield out there, with some installers offering excellent quality products and service at keen prices, while others charge twice as much for inferior products! Luckily, EnergyD is here to help you find the best quotes from top-quality solar installers around Ireland. If you’re ready for some quotes, then enter your Eircode below now:
Real World Data on Solar Panel Prices in Ireland:
Rules of thumb are one thing… but if you want solid data, then this is the section for you.
In December 2022, EnergyD did a study of solar panel prices on the Irish market. To get a broad sample (not only installers on our network), we scraped through two months of public social media posts to find quotes that customers were sharing online. And finally, we reverse-engineered the pricing structure to give the results below…
Irish solar installers, on average, quote:
- €5,000 base price
- +€1,100 per kW of panels
- +€570 per kWh of batteries
- +€600 for a power diverter
Below, you can see a chart of solar system sizes and price (only no-battery systems are shown for clarity).
NB: These are the average prices that installers quote, not rules about what prices should be. You are free to shop around for better-than-average value for your money. And there’s nothing wrong with paying more than the averages listed here, if the quality and workmanship you’re offered are worth the premium.
Is it Getting More Expensive to Install Solar Panels?
After years of dramatic declines in cost, the typical price of solar panel installations in Ireland rose during 2022. There are three main reasons for this:
Higher wholesale prices for panels: This was a global trend driven by a shortage of a key material called polysilicon.
Higher operating costs for installers: The costs to hire electricians, fuel a van, and rent a warehouse are all higher than in 2021.
Surging demand for solar: As electricity prices surge, more people want solar. So installers are less pressured to compete for on price.
However, it’s important to keep the bigger context in mind: While prices in 2022 a were higher than in 2021, solar panels are still much cheaper than they were five years ago. Plus, the increases in solar panel prices have been nothing near as extreme as the increases in electricity prices.
Conclusion: What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Ireland?
Overall, there are four main factors in the cost of solar panels. First is the number of panels. This determines the overall electricity generation of your solar energy system, so more is better, especially with the new smart export guarantee. Second is whether you choose to install a battery or not. My advice is that it generally makes more sense to invest in extra panels than a battery. Third is the quality of the hardware. You should choose good quality hardware, but you don’t have to get the most expensive panels. This is because there are many good-quality panels for sale at a medium price point. Fourth is the workmanship of the installers. It’s well worth paying for high-quality workmanship to ensure a long, safe, and productive life for your solar panel system, as well as a neat installation that will look good on your home.