You wouldn’t think it with Ireland’s cloudy weather but we do get a lot of sunshine throughout the year. Enough, in fact, that you can make considerable savings by installing solar panels at your home. All across the country, contractors are helping homeowners to save on their energy bills with solar thermal panels.
If you have ever considered going solar, now is the time to invest. The Irish Government runs a scheme where you can receive a grant of €1,200 to help with the costs of installing a solar thermal system at your home.
The sun is a natural source of energy. With solar panels, you can covert the light from the sun into heat. With the right set up at home, solar water energy could cover up to 60% of your hot water heating requirements.
So what are the requirements? Your house must have been built before 2006. You should ensure that the contractor is registered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The solar contractor must also use products which have been approved by the SEAI. For all requirements, please visit the SEAI website.
According to Electric Ireland, you can expect to reduce your electricity usage for hot water by up to 1500kWh per year with 3sqm of panels. That equates to a saving of up to €240 annually.
You can also claim back the VAT on the cost of installation through the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme. Read our article here.
The payback period for a solar system can range from 5-7 years.
The great advantage with the solar thermal system is that it still generates heat for your home during the winter or on cloudy days. The solar collectors can still harness enough of the sun’s energy to heat your water. Sunnier days will obviously generate more hot water for your home.
We know it can be a bit daunting selecting a contractor to install a solar thermal system at your home. So here’s our 6 Top Tips to help with the decision making process.
- Ensure your contractor is registered with the SEAI.
- Ask for a guarantee on parts and labour. You should look for a warranty of at least 20 years.
- Ask about the maintenance costs and how often the panels should be inspected.
- Calculate the savings you will make by reviewing the output per square metre.
- Speak to your solar-friendly friends and neighbours for advice on products and contractors.
- Get a number of quotes. Prices do vary and there can be savings to be made.
Going down the solar route can provide significant savings but there is an initial investment that you will need to make. Chill Money can help you make the switch to solar.
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