Solar panels are a great way to generate your own clean and renewable electricity, reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bills. But how much do solar panels actually save you in Ireland? And what are the factors that affect your savings?
In this guest post, we will answer these questions and help you understand how solar panels can benefit you financially. We will also share some tips on how to maximise your savings and get the best return on your investment.
How Solar Panels Save You Money?
Solar panels save you money by generating free electricity from the sun that you can use to power your appliances, lighting, heating and cooling systems. By using solar energy, you reduce the amount of electricity you need to buy from the grid, which lowers your electricity bills.
The amount of money you save depends on several factors, such as:
- The size and efficiency of your solar panel system
- The amount and timing of your electricity consumption
- The orientation and tilt of your roof
- The weather and climate conditions
- The feed-in tariff or net metering scheme available in your area
Let’s look at each of these factors in more detail.
The Size and Efficiency of Your Solar Panel System
The size and efficiency of your solar panel system determine how much electricity it can produce. The more panels you have and the higher their efficiency, the more power you can generate. However, this also means that your initial cost of installation will be higher.
To find the optimal size and efficiency of your solar panel system, you need to consider your electricity needs, your roof space and your budget. A professional solar installer like Going Solar can help you design a customised system that suits your specific situation.
The Amount and Timing of Your Electricity Consumption
The amount and timing of your electricity consumption affect how much of the solar energy you can use directly and how much you need to export to the grid or store in a battery. The more you can use your own solar power, the more you save on your bills.
To maximise your self-consumption, you need to match your electricity demand with your solar production. This means using more electricity during the day when the sun is shining and less at night when it is dark. You can also shift some of your loads to off-peak hours, such as running your dishwasher or washing machine in the morning or evening.
The Orientation and Tilt of Your Roof
The orientation and tilt of your roof affect how much sunlight your solar panels can capture. The more sunlight they receive, the more power they produce. In Ireland, the best orientation for solar panels is south-facing, as this maximises their exposure to the sun throughout the year. The best tilt angle is around 30 degrees, as this optimises their performance in both summer and winter.
However, if your roof is not south-facing or has a different tilt angle, don’t worry. You can still install solar panels on other orientations or angles, as long as they are not shaded by trees, buildings or other obstacles. You may need to install more panels or use higher-efficiency panels to compensate for the lower output.
The Weather and Climate Conditions
The weather and climate conditions affect how much sunlight reaches your solar panels. The more sunny days you have, the more power you can generate. However, even on cloudy or rainy days, your solar panels can still produce some electricity, as they can use diffuse light from the sky.
The temperature also affects the performance of your solar panels. Contrary to popular belief, solar panels work better in cooler temperatures than in hotter ones. This is because high temperatures reduce the efficiency of the solar cells and increase their resistance. Therefore, Ireland’s mild climate is actually favourable for solar energy production.
The Feed-in Tariff or Net Metering Scheme Available in Your Area
The feed-in tariff or net metering scheme available in your area determines how much money you can earn from exporting your excess solar power to the grid. A feed-in tariff is a fixed rate that you get paid for every unit of electricity you export. A net metering scheme is a system that allows you to offset your electricity bill by deducting the value of your exported electricity from the value of your imported electricity.
In Ireland, there is currently no national feed-in tariff or net metering scheme for residential solar customers. However, some electricity suppliers offer voluntary export tariffs or credits for solar power. These vary depending on the supplier and the contract. You can compare the different offers and choose the one that gives you the best value for your solar power.
Alternatively, you can invest in a battery storage system that allows you to store your excess solar power and use it later when you need it. This way, you can increase your self-consumption and reduce your reliance on the grid. However, battery storage systems are still quite expensive and may not pay for themselves in the short term.
How to Calculate Your Solar Panel Savings
To calculate how much you can save by installing solar panels, you need to estimate the following:
- Your annual electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh)
- Your current electricity tariff in euros per kWh
- The size and cost of your solar panel system in kilowatts (kW) and euros
- The annual electricity production of your solar panel system in kWh
- The percentage of your solar power that you can use directly (self-consumption rate)
- The percentage of your solar power that you can export to the grid (export rate)
- The feed-in tariff or net metering scheme available in your area in euros per kWh
Once you have these estimates, you can use the following formula to calculate your annual savings:
Annual savings = (Annual consumption x Electricity tariff) – (System cost / System lifetime) – (Annual consumption – Annual production x Electricity tariff) + (Annual production x Self-consumption rate x Electricity tariff) + (Annual production x Export rate x Feed-in tariff)
Let’s look at an example to illustrate how this works.
Suppose you have a 4 kW solar panel system that costs €10,000 and has a lifetime of 25 years. It produces 3,500 kWh of electricity per year. You use 50% of your solar power directly and export 50% to the grid. You have an annual electricity consumption of 5,000 kWh and pay 0.20 euros per kWh for your electricity. You also receive a feed-in tariff of 0.10 euros per kWh for your exported solar power.
Using the formula above, your annual savings would be:
Annual savings = (5,000 x 0.20) – (10,000 / 25) – (5,000 – 3,500 x 0.20) + (3,500 x 0.50 x 0.20) + (3,500 x 0.50 x 0.10) Annual savings = €1,000 – €400 – €300 + €350 + €175 Annual savings = €825
This means that you would save €825 on your electricity bills every year by installing solar panels. Over the lifetime of your system, you would save €20,625.
Of course, this is just a simplified example and your actual savings may vary depending on your specific situation and assumptions. To get a more accurate estimate of your solar panel savings, you can use online calculators or consult with a professional solar installer like Going Solar.
How to Maximise Your Solar Panel Savings
As you can see from the example above, there are several ways to maximise your solar panel savings. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your solar investment:
- Choose a high-quality and efficient solar panel system that suits your needs and budget.
- Install your solar panels on a south-facing roof with a tilt angle of around 30 degrees and no shading.
- Monitor and maintain your solar panel system regularly to ensure its optimal performance and longevity.
- Use more electricity during the day when your solar panels are producing power and less at night when they are not.
- Shift some of your loads to off-peak hours or use timers or smart devices to control them automatically.
- Invest in a battery storage system if you can afford it and if it makes sense for your situation.
- Compare different electricity suppliers and choose the one that offers the best value for your solar power.
- Apply for any grants or incentives that are available for solar panel installation in Ireland.
Why Choose Going Solar for Your Solar Panel Installation
If you are interested in installing solar panels on your home or business in Ireland, you should choose Going Solar as your trusted partner. Going Solar is a leading solar panel installation company that has been serving customers across Ireland since 2010.
Going Solar offers:
- A free consultation and site survey to assess your needs and provide you with a tailored quote.
- A wide range of high-quality and efficient solar panel systems from reputable brands.
- A professional and experienced team of installers who will install your system quickly and safely.
- A comprehensive warranty and after-sales service to ensure your peace of mind.
- A competitive price and flexible payment options to suit your budget.
- A friendly and helpful customer service that will answer all your questions and guide you through the process.
Going Solar is more than just a solar panel installation company. It is a mission-driven company that aims to help you go green and save money. By choosing Going Solar, you are not only investing in your own future, but also in the future of the planet.
Ready to Go Solar?
If you are ready to go solar and enjoy the benefits of solar energy, contact Going Solar today. You can call them or visit their website to request a free quote.
Going Solar will help you find the best solar panel system for your home or business and install it for you with minimal hassle. You will be amazed by how much you can save by going solar.
Don’t wait any longer. Go solar today and join the thousands of happy customers who have chosen Going Solar as their solar partner.
How much do solar panels cost in Ireland?
The cost of solar panels in Ireland depends on the size and type of the system, the installation fees and the grants or incentives available. On average, a typical 4 kW solar panel system costs around €10,000 before grants and €8,000 after grants.
How much can I save with solar panels in Ireland?
The amount of money you can save with solar panels in Ireland depends on several factors, such as your electricity consumption, your electricity tariff, your solar panel system size and efficiency, your self-consumption rate, your export rate and your feed-in tariff. On average, a typical 4 kW solar panel system can save you around €825 per year on your electricity bills.
How long do solar panels last in Ireland?
Solar panels are designed to last for at least 25 years in Ireland. However, they may last longer if they are well maintained and protected from extreme weather conditions. The performance of solar panels may degrade over time, but this is usually very gradual and not noticeable.
How do I get a grant for solar panels in Ireland?
You can get a grant for solar panels in Ireland from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The SEAI offers a grant of up to €2,400 for homeowners who install solar panels and battery storage systems on their homes. You can apply for the grant online or through an approved installer like Going Solar.
Do I need planning permission for solar panels in Ireland?
You do not need planning permission for solar panels in Ireland if they meet certain criteria. For example, they must not exceed 50% of the roof area or 12 square metres, whichever is smaller. They must also not protrude more than 15 cm above the roof surface or extend beyond the roof edge. If your solar panels do not meet these criteria, you may need to apply for planning permission from your local authority.
What are the environmental benefits of solar panels in Ireland?
Solar panels are one of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy production in Ireland. They use renewable energy from the sun and do not emit any greenhouse gases or pollutants. By installing solar panels on your home or business, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change.