Electric Ireland launches into residential Solar PV market
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

Electric Ireland has launched a solar PV offer making it the first energy supplier to do so in the residential market. As part of a €5,000 package, the supplier is offering residential energy users installation of six solar panels and a new app to show energy savings in real-time. Electric Ireland claims that this offering can lead to a saving of up to €250 per year on the average household electricity bill.

Good news for eco-minded homeowners as Electric Ireland’s new solar panel offer will allow customers the opportunity to generate their own electricity and reduce energy bills, while helping the environment.

Any excess power generated through the solar panels will be diverted automatically to heat water, which offers further savings, greater energy efficiency, and customers can avail of a special custom-built app that allows the tracking of usage and savings in real-time.

Paul Stapleton, General Manager at Electric Ireland had this to say on the launch:

“As the first energy supplier to offer residential solar PV in Ireland, we are reaffirming our commitment to providing customers with quality, affordable, smart and energy efficient home solutions. Through this offering, homeowners can both enjoy the benefits of clean energy and reduced energy bills thanks to the transfer of unused power into the home’s hot water system. This Solar PV launch is another important offering for our customers, and another step on our journey towards building a sustainable and greener country for all.”

How much does it cost to install?

The cost of installing 6 solar panels, which will take up an area of 10 square metres, as well as a solar energy monitor is €4,480 including VAT.

Should you wish to install a diverter (which will automatically heat your hot water with any excess electricity generated) it will cost you an additional €510 (including VAT).

You will also be able to use the solar home energy monitor app for free for 6 months, €5 a month thereafter.

So, all-in, you’ll spend €4,990 to get up and running with the solar panels, diverter and app. The only ongoing expense after that will be €60 a year to keep the app running.

What are the benefits?

Electric Ireland provides a list of benefits to using its solar energy, among which are:

  • A 6-panel array takes up an area of just 10 square metres and you will not need to apply for planning permission

  • Generate your own clean and renewable electricity

  • Reduce your CO2 emissions

  • Automatically heat your hot water with any excess electricity generated

  • Increase the value of your home

  • Improve your home’s Building Energy Rating (BER)

  • Installation typically takes one day

  • Solar PVs, once maintained, can last more than 20 years

How much could I save?

The all important question; if you are going to go through with a €4,990 investment, you are going to want to know how much money you are going to save in the long run.

Electric Ireland has stated that based on using more than 85% of the electricity you generate through Solar PV, you could save up to €250 a year on your energy bill. This means it would take 20 years to pay off your investment.

And if you are an Electric Ireland customer, you need only supply a 20% deposit and then pay the balance off over a 36 month period thereafter, interest free. Bad news if you’re a non-customer though; as in that case you must pay 100% of the cost up front.

How do the savings compare?

Based on standard rates, electricity from Electric Ireland currently costs €1,136 per year for an average customer, but you could save up to €226 by comparing and switching providers. So, if you are looking for the cheapest way to get Electric Ireland’s Solar PV offer, what should you do?

Well, the first thing you should do is compare the market and make sure that you are on the cheapest price plan available to you. But bear in mind that if you switch to a provider other than Electric Ireland, you would have to provide the €4,990 for the solar panels up front.

If you are already an Electric Ireland customer you only need to provide around €1,000 initially, and your yearly bill would come to €886 once the savings from the solar panels are factored in. 

In fact, you can achieve even further savings by ensuring that you are on the cheapest price plan each year. 

You can compare gas and electricity prices here.