Solar panels on the roof of a house in Ireland

Solar Panels For Electricity

There used to be only one way to power your home: Pay big bills to your electricity supplier. But solar is changing that. Over the last couple of decades, the cost to install solar panels has fallen by more than 90%! This means you can now slash your bills by switching to solar panels for electricity.

How Do Solar Panels For Electricity Work?

There are two key parts to every electric solar panel system: Photovoltaic (aka PV) solar panels and a solar inverter. The PV solar panels go on your roof where they convert daylight to electricity. Meanwhile, the solar inverter adjusts the voltage for use in your house. See here for all the technical details.

The key components of a home solar panel system: panels, inverter, fusebox, and appliances.
Solar panels and an inverter are the key components of a home solar panel system. These supply power to your appliances through the fuse box

How Much Electricity Can You Generate With Solar Panels in Ireland?

The average Irish household uses around 4,200 units of electricity every year. By comparison, a home electric solar panel system provides 2,000-7,000 units of electricity, depending on the number of panels. So a large solar panel system will generate more electricity than you use. In practice though, most people aim to get around 50-75% of their electricity needs from solar. This provides a good balance between affordability and reduced electricity bills.

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar Panels?

Savings depend on your electricity consumption. For example, if your electricity bill is €800 per year, this might fall to around €300 per year with solar, for a saving of €500. However, a bill of €1,500 could be reduced to around €500 for a saving of €1,000 every year.

You can boost these savings further by being smart about your electricity use. In particular, try to use power-hungry appliances during the day while the sun is out. It’s also a good idea to sign up for day/night electricity metering. This gives you cheaper night-rate electricity to compliment your daytime solar energy.

How Much Do Solar Panels For Electricity Cost?

Good quality and reliable solar panels for electricity cost anywhere from €5,000-€15,000. The solar panel grant brings this amount down to around €3,500-€12,000.

Batteries for Solar Electricity At Night

You can make big savings with solar panels alone – especially if you try to use your appliances mostly during the day. However, installing a battery can help you maximise your savings. This is because a battery lets you use solar energy even after the sun goes down. A battery is usually essential if you want to cover 70%+ of your electricity needs with solar panels.

Solar Panels for Electricity Vs Hot Water

There are two different kinds of solar panels in Ireland: Solar PV panels for electricity and solar thermal panels for hot water. But did you know it’s possible to have the best of both worlds? By installing a device called a power diverter, you can use solar PV panels for both electricity and hot water. The power diverter’s job is to send surplus electricity which would otherwise be wasted into your immersion heater. A great benefit of power diverters if they work with your existing hot water tank (so you won’t lose any space in your hot press!).

Feed-in Tariffs For Solar Electricity

Did you know that from July 2021 you’ll be able to sell electricity from your solar panels to the grid in Ireland? Whenever your panels produce more electricity than you need, you’ll get paid for the excess. This could be a great way to earn some extra money from your solar panels.

Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels for Electricity

Electricity generation is still one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in Ireland. So going solar can make a huge difference to your environmental impact. In fact, a typical solar panel system on the roof of an Irish house will save around one tonne of carbon dioxide every year.

Other Benefits of Solar Panels

There are some surprising extra benefits of solar panels that you might not have known about. Read Are Solar Panels Worth it In Ireland? for more details.

Get Quotes from Ireland’s Best Solar Panel Installers

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