Solar Power for the Home – Does it Really Work in Ireland?
Caeva O'Callaghan | January 27th, 2020
Famously, we don’t get a lot of sun here. Does that mean that solar power is a waste of time and money – or can it really make a difference on energy costs and even home insurance premiums?
In this article, we’ll cover questions like:
- Is it worth getting solar panels in Ireland?
- Will solar power save money on energy bills?
- How does solar power affect home insurance?
Solar panels are among the most common and affordable forms of renewable energy available in Ireland. If saving money, doing your bit for the environment and harvesting a bit of free energy sounds good, they might be for you.
In Ireland, yes, they’re definitely still worth it – but it helps to know a little more about them first.
What are solar panels?
Solar panels are devices that fix to the top of your roof which absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar panels ensure you always have hot water on tap, will speed up dishwashers and washing machines with a hot feed, and it will raise the BER rating of your house.
Because sunlight is free, there are no running costs and solar panels often pay for themselves within just a couple of years.
Solar panels cost €5,500 on average to install in a standard sized family home, including VAT and labour costs. Grants are also available, including €1,200 from SEAI to assist with your solar thermal installation.
Does solar power work in Ireland?
Yes, very well. The latest systems are able to work in daylight, so you’ll have hot water even on an overcast day in Ireland.
At the beginning of the solar revolution, solar panels were not amazingly powerful or efficient. Now technology has moved on, solar panels are able to harvest energy even in the winter months.
Although you can expect your energy production to drop when it’s grey and rainy, the effects shouldn’t be noticeable. It’s safest to have a backup, just in case.
Saving energy for a rainy day
You can use solar energy immediately, or store it in large batteries. They are charged by excess solar energy so you can use your renewable energy source at night.
The downside to this solution is that it’s quite expensive. You’ll be using 100% renewable energy, but the batteries are an extra investment.
A more cost-effective solution is to use solar energy during the day, and take energy from the grid during the night. Connecting your solar system to the grid is ideal because you probably use more energy during daylight hours. When you’re sleeping, the grid can keep your home ticking over.
Solar panels and home insurance
The good news is, most home insurance providers consider solar panels as part of the permanent fixtures of your home. This means getting insurance shouldn’t be a problem. Always make sure before you buy, and consult an expert if you need.
However, you do need to confirm solar panels are okay with your insurance provider, as they may affect the cost of your insurance. This is because your home will be more expensive to rebuild.
Generally speaking, solar power is very safe and solar power poses little to no risk in your home. However, damage can happen through no fault of your own. If you want peace of mind that they’ll be protected, consider spending more on accidental damage cover.
It’s also possible that installing solar panels may change the value of your home. This may also affect the cost of your home insurance. Lower electricity bills and improved energy performance is an attractive idea, so you’re looking to sell, solar panels might be up your street.
Solar power is a great solution if you care for the environment and want to save some money on energy bills. The good news is, solar panels are unlikely to affect your home insurance more or less than any other modification to your home.
Talk to the team at QuoteMe.ie with any of your House Insurance questions.
One of the key benefits of calling an insurance broker for your home insurance is that you can ask us any questions you have regarding your home insurance policies and get immediate expert advice from an independent trained professional. So, if you have any queries regarding your solar panels and how they may affect you home insurance please call us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.
You can also get an instant home insurance quote online. We compare the Irish insurance market to get you the right cover for your individual circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you soon.