How to Pay for Solar
By Morgan Pierce
Updated April 7, 2023
If you are one of those who has decided it’s time to switch to solar and deprive the fossil fuel producers of some of their “power”, here are a few things you need to know about how to pay for solar.
Oil producers react with anger to “solar energy providers’ plot” to deprive them of profits: Vote to decrease production.
Coming, as it did, just the day after April Fool’s Day, the decision by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ member states to cut oil production had many people saying, “They’ve got to be kidding.” The decision will inevitably lead to higher prices for home heating oil and for petrol at the pumps. The OPEC+ countries can continue to push their advantage while consumers remain reliant on fossil fuels.
Saving with Solar
Generating your own solar electricity will save you money. For the average household, the Irish government estimates savings of a minimum of €327 per year. Depending on the cost of other forms of energy (for instance, the kind supplied by those greedy guys at OPEC), or the number of solar panels your home can accommodate, the savings could be much more. Don’t take our word for it, try out this calculator provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority, the government’s independent source for information on renewable energy.
The old adage that sometimes you have to spend money to save money is also true about solar energy.
Many families will be able to cut their need to purchase electricity from other sources by 40% through the installation of an “array” of six or seven solar panels. At SolarSmart, we estimate that the cost of installing one of these effective user-friendly systems at just over €8,000.
Those who own larger homes, with more roof space, might want to consider larger systems, and it’s always advisable to shop around to get the best quote. The Renewable Installers Register identifies installers – including SolarSmart’s teams – who have received accredited training.
We know that for most us €8,000 is a lot of money. For once, though, the government has our backs. Given the critical need to act now to address climate change, there are grants available to help cover the cost of making our homes more energy efficient.
In real terms, that means a grant of €1,950 is available to help finance the basic €8,000 solar energy system described above. And for larger installations the grant rises to €2400.
That’s all well and good, you may be saying to yourself, but where do I come up with the rest of that €8,000?
There’s good news on that front too.
For those of you lucky enough to have some savings, the cheapest way to finance the rest of the cost is by dipping into that. The thing about fitting your home with solar is that instead of waving that money goodbye, you’re investing it in something that is going to pay for itself and save you money over time.
For the rest of us, however, the best option available is to consider a “green loan”. These loans, which often come with better than average interest rates, are intended specifically to help consumers with environmentally friendly home improvement initiatives – like insulation and solar.
Bank of Ireland, AIB and An Post are all currently offering green loans at competitive rates. Whether you need to fund the balance of a standard solar energy installation – or one substantially larger – these loans can help make solar a viable option.
See, OPEC, we’re not such April Fools as you had hoped….
Make it hassle-free with SolarSmart
Whether you choose us as your supplier or one of our competitors, at SolarSmart we believe solar energy should and can be a valuable part of Ireland’s green energy future.