Some households could pocket up to €400 a year from selling on any excess renewable electricity they generate under the new Government scheme, which is currently seeking submissions.
Thousands of households and businesses around the country which have solar panels installed could be able to sell any excess electricity that they generate back into the grid under a new scheme that’s due to be piloted this July.
The Microgeneration Scheme is part of Ireland's Climate Action Plan and was one of the commitments that was made by the previous government in 2019.
The main aim of the scheme is to get more homes, businesses, farms and community groups around the country generating their own renewable electricity through things like solar panels and small wind turbines. However a secondary aim is to allow these premises to sell any excess electricity that they generate and receive a fair price for it.
Eamon Ryan, who is the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications this week announced design options and a consultation process for the scheme, prior to rollout later in the year, and is urging everyone to have their say.
A similar microgeneration scheme was in operation several years ago but was cancelled in 2015 by the FG and Labour government at the time.
However with more and more homes and businesses looking to go green, and climate change an ever pressing challenge, the call for households and local communities to be able to generate and sell their own renewable electricity has gathered pace.
How it might work
Currently homes that have solar panels installed use the energy that they generate to heat and power their own homes.
Solar thermal (ST) collectors heat your water exclusively whereas solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are used to generate free direct current (DC) electricity for multipurpose use.
Those with solar PV panels can sometimes generate electricity that is surplus to their requirements.
Under the scheme being devised, these homes would then be able to sell this energy back into the national grid for use by other homes and businesses.
According to industry experts, this could result in payouts of up to €400 a year.
However homes would have to meet a certain Building Energy Rating (BER) to qualify.
Mr Ryan said:
“It will allow people and communities to become active participants in the energy transition. By producing and selling their own electricity citizens, farmers, business owners and community organisations can save on their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. I urge interested parties to get involved and have their say.”
Currently the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a range of grant options for people looking to make their homes more energy efficient.
One of these is a grant for the installation of solar PV panels on the roof of your home or in your garden to generate your own renewable energy for running your home.
The SEAI estimates that, on average, a solar PV system can save a household between €200-€300 a year on their electricity bill. And this is on top of any money you might earn from selling your excess electricity back into the grid. And of course you'll be doing your bit for the environment too by reducing your carbon footprint. A real win-win.
More info on this grant as well as all the others is available here.
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Do you have solar panels installed? If not, would a microgeneration scheme like this encourage you to install them?
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