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The Energia guide to solar panel installation
Solar panel installation
PICTURE: Solar panel installation
MAY 15 2024
Solar energy has really taken off in Ireland, and for good reason.
Solar panels capture the sun's energy and convert it into electricity for use in your home or business. It's clean, renewable, and best of all, the energy generated by solar panels is free. Even in the damp, cloudy Irish climate, solar panels operate efficiently all year round, including during the winter. Solar panels still work with indirect sunlight, making them a viable option for Ireland’s fickle weather. 

It is possible to install solar panels yourself. However, for the best results, you should hire a professional solar panel installer. 

This complete guide covers everything you need to know about solar panel installation, from the installation process to costs and permissions.

Table of contents:
  • Solar panel installation process
  • Solar panel installation costs in Ireland
  • Where solar panels can be installed
  • Planning permission for solar panels
  • How long the installation process takes
  • Grants available for solar installation 
Solar panel installation process

If you use a professional installer, the whole process usually takes a day or two. 
  1. The first step involves installing solar panels on the roof of your home or business. 
  2. Next, the inverter is added. The inverter connects solar electricity to your household unit. It can be located indoors or outdoors. However, keeping the inverter indoors in a cool, well-ventilated area is best. A meter is also installed to monitor and record electricity production and consumption.
  3. You may also want to install a solar battery. This storage device stores excess solar energy and can be used when needed. 
  4. The final step involves testing the solar panels to ensure everything works well. 
And that’s it in four easy steps. Solar panel installation is simple and straightforward. Your solar panels start working immediately, generating electricity and reducing your dependence on the grid. 

Solar panel installation cost

The average cost of solar panel installation in Ireland is between €6,000 and €16,000. This includes the cost of the panels, inverters and professional installation. 

Much depends on the size of your home, the number of panels needed and the condition and orientation of your roof. 

However, government grants can help – more on that later. And with our latest smart solar bundle package, customers on any Energia Smart tariff are eligible for €750 in savings on solar panel installation. 

Where can you install solar panels?

The best place to install solar panels is on the roof of your home or business. South facing roofs are the most optimal in Ireland given the positioning of the sun at its peak.  

You can install solar panels on a flat roof, but angled ones work best. Panels on flat roofs are usually tilted towards the sun to help maximise energy production. 

You can also put solar panels on outbuildings like sheds or garages. However, the building roof must be strong enough to handle the weight of the panels. And the outbuilding will also need an electricity supply. 

Some people install panels in gardens or fields using a suitable frame. Just make sure the panels face towards the south and aren’t shaded by nearby trees and buildings. 

Do I need planning permission to install solar panels?

In most cases planning permission is not required for most solar installations in Ireland. 
However, there are some exceptions for protected structures or those in Architectural Conservation Areas. If in doubt, check with your local planning authority. 

How long does it take to install solar panels? 

With a professional installer, your solar panel system will be up and running in a matter of days. And because most of the work is outside, there’s little disruption to you and your daily routine. 
Depending on the size of your home, installing the solar panels takes just one or two days. Roof hooks are used to attach the panels so that the roof structure is maintained. 
A qualified electrician must complete all the necessary electrical work. Often, this is done at the same time as the solar panel installation. If not, it only takes a day to connect your solar system and start generating your own power. 

Solar PV supports

Government grants are available to help with the costs of solar panel installation in Ireland. Furthermore, no VAT is payable on solar installation in homes. 

Administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the solar PV grant scheme offers help with installation costs. Currently, residential schemes are capped at €2,100. 

However, the government recently announced an extension to the scheme to make businesses eligible for help. Now, small shops, manufacturing facilities, public buildings, sports clubs, and community organisations can apply for funding of between €2,700 and €162,600.  

Check out the SEAI for more information on eligibility and how to apply.  

Here at Energia, we handle the solar panel installation process from start to finish, including navigating and claiming via the grant schemes. 

Contact our expert team and start your journey to sustainable solar energy today. 

Want to learn more?
Read the rest of our solar guides!