As of July 2022, Irish homeowners can sell their surplus solar electricity to electricity suppliers. Each supplier is free to offer a different rate. So here’s our table of the highest solar export rates. Note these rates are subject to change:
|Rank||Supplier||Payment (per kWh)||Notes|
|1||SSE Airtricity||€0.14||Rate reviewed twice yearly; credited to accounts in November and May|
|2||Pinergy||€0.135||Export rate fixed for remainder of 2022; expensive electricity import rates|
Solar export payments per year for households in Ireland
Your annual earnings from exporting solar to the grid will depend on two factors. First, how much solar electricity you export to the grid. Second, the rate that your electricity supplier pays per unit of electricity exported.
Our table shows how much you can earn based on your export volume and electricity supplier:
|Electricity Supplier||1,200 kWh (small)||2,500 kWh (medium)||5,000 kWh (large)|
|SSE Airtricity (€0.14)||€168||€350||€700|
Remember these amounts refer to earnings from selling electricity to the grid. The main goal of installing solar is generally saving on electricity that you would otherwise have had to purchase. So the total annual benefit of solar is much higher than what you see in the table.
Why have so few suppliers announced their solar export payment rates?
Many of Ireland big electric companies have yet to announce their solar export payment rates. For example, Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis, and Energia have not announced solar export payment rates as of 2022-07-05.
These companies haven’t given a clear explanation of why this is. But three reasons are likely:
- They’re waiting to see what feed-in tariff their competitors offer first. They can then come along with a slightly higher (say €0.005) offer to snag the business
- Their offer will be really low. They want to keep this information hidden as long as possible, so they don’t lose customers any sooner than they have to. Perhaps they’ll make their announcement at a moment when the media and public are busy with other news.
- They’re just not on top of things
We’re updating the league table of export payments regularly. However, if we’ve missed an offer then please email email@example.com, and I’ll add the info to the table.
Should you switch suppliers to get the highest solar export payment?
All electricity customers should switch electricity suppliers regularly to keep getting the best electricity prices. This goes for customers with solar as much as anyone else. The only difference is that now you should consider both the price you pay for electricity and the price you get for selling electricity.
It’s definitely worth weighing solar export payments as a factor when choosing an electricity supplier. But you also need to consider the rate you pay for electricity that you consume. Weigh both of these factors when choosing an electricity contract.
It’s not currently possible to buy electricity from one supplier and get the feed-in tariff from another.
When will more electricity suppliers announce solar feed-in tariff rates?
Unfortunately, there is no set date by which electricity suppliers are obliged to announce their rates. And big companies including Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis, and Energia have not stated when they will announce their export payment rates.
If your electricity supplier is dragging their heels about the solar export payment then it’s time to consider switching. Switching electricity suppliers takes only half an hour and can save you hundreds of euros per year. And that’s before you add in earnings from selling electricity to the grid.
Can solar export payment rates change?
Yes – export payments can and probably will change in the future. In particular, rates will probably loosely track wholesale electricity prices. These rates have been high during early 2022. A resolution to the European gas squeeze would bring prices down. On the other hand, carbon pricing may keep upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, and thereby solar export payments over the coming years.
No matter what the price is, customers generally do best by regularly changing electricity suppliers.
How do I sell solar electricity to the grid?
Selling surplus solar electricity to the grid is simple. All you need are solar panels and a suitable contract with an electricity supplier from the league table above, and a smart meter (usually). For details, read our article about solar export payments/feed-in tariffs in Ireland.