The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Installing Solar Panels in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

At Surge Renewables we know that buying and installing solar into your home or business is a big decision. 

Will it have a positive financial impact? What are the green credentials of actually installing solar? Will it be an eyesore and how long does installation take? 

These are all common concerns we hear on the ground, when our team are out and about installing solar across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 

With that in mind, we thought we would create the Ultimate Guide to buying solar, so we can answer all of your major concerns in one place! 

The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Installing Solar Panels in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Is my home suitable for solar panels?

The suitability of your home for solar panels depends on various factors such as roof orientation, available space, shading, and structural integrity. A professional assessment by our solar team can determine the feasibility of installing solar panels on your property.

How much electricity does a typical house in NI/ROI consume?

The electricity consumption of a typical house in Northern Ireland (NI) or the Republic of Ireland (ROI) varies based on factors like size, occupancy, and energy efficiency. On average, a typical house in NI consumes around 3,200-4,000 kWh annually, while in ROI, it’s around 3,800-4,500 kWh per year.

What are your energy goals and financial expectations?

Your energy goals may include reducing dependence on grid electricity, lowering energy bills, or achieving environmental sustainability. Financial expectations can vary depending on factors like system size, energy consumption, and available incentives, but solar panels can provide long-term savings and a return on investment.

How much will solar panels cost, and what are the available financing options?

The cost of solar panels in Northern Ireland can vary depending on system size, quality, and installation complexity. On average, a residential solar system can range from £5,000 to £10,000 or more.

We would suggest that the price of an average solar system installation will be approximately £5000 and that includes panels, hybrid inverter, battery etc. 

We use Ideal Finance. You can click here for more details, or contact our team to discuss specific options by clicking here. 

What is the quality and efficiency of the solar panels and components?

Solar panels’ quality and efficiency can vary based on the manufacturer and technology used. 

At Surge Renewables we work with UKSOL, expert solar panel manufacturers, to ensure our client’s get the best in terms of both long-lasting quality and high-performance efficiency. 

Are there any local regulations or permits required?

In Northern Ireland, there are no specific regulations related to solar panel installation but it’s important to check whether or not you need planning permission, before moving forward. This is particularly important in conservation areas (such as AONB; Areas of Natural Beauty) and/or on listed buildings. 

In the Republic of Ireland, all solar panel installation regulations and planning permission exemptions were lifted in October 2022. This means you are free to install as many solar panels as you want. 

What maintenance and warranty provisions are offered?

Solar panels typically require minimal maintenance, mainly involving occasional cleaning and inspection. Our Surge Renewables solar panels all come with a 30 year warranty for peace of mind. 

Can you monitor the solar panel system’s performance?

Many solar systems come with monitoring capabilities that allow you to track your system’s performance, including electricity generation and consumption. Monitoring platforms can provide real-time data, historical trends, and alerts for system efficiency or potential issues, helping you optimise your solar investment.

What are the environmental benefits and impacts?

Solar panels produce clean, renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. By generating electricity from sunlight, they contribute to mitigating climate change and improving air quality.

Does Surge Renewables have case studies, reviews, or testimonials we can consider?

We have installed solar panel systems across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, in both residential and commercial properties, and have happy clients across the island. 

We are currently collecting together various testimonials, so in the meantime chat to our team and we’ll provide references if required. 

What is the average payback?

The average payback period for a solar panel system in Northern Ireland depends on various factors, including installation cost, energy consumption, available incentives, and electricity prices. Typically, residential systems can achieve payback in 7 to 12 years, after which the electricity generated is essentially free for the remaining lifespan of the panels.

Can I send electricity back to the grid?

Yes, this is one of the key benefits of switching to solar and every Surge solar installation includes an export meter. 

Do I get paid for sending electricity back to the grid?

Every system we install will include an export meter, and the current export rate is set at 17.6p per KW. Please be aware that this rate is reviewed on October 1st every year, and as a result is subject to change. 

Can I heat my water with solar?

Yes, solar water heating systems can be installed to heat water using the sun’s energy. These systems typically consist of solar thermal collectors that capture sunlight and transfer the heat to a water storage tank. Solar water heating can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional water heating methods.

Will solar power an Air Source Heat Pump?

Solar panels can power an air source heat pump (ASHP) indirectly by generating electricity to meet the heat pump’s energy needs. The electricity produced by solar panels can be used to power the ASHP, which then extracts heat from the air and transfers it to your home for heating purposes, providing a renewable and efficient heating solution.

If you’d also like to find out more about our Air Source Heat Pump solutions, click here

How long do solar panels last, and what is the warranty?

Solar panels are designed to be durable and long-lasting. The average lifespan of solar panels is typically 25 to 30 years or more.

We guarantee our solar panels for 30 years. 

How long does it take to install a solar system, and is it disruptive?

The installation time for a solar system depends on various factors, including system size, complexity, and the installer’s efficiency. For a typical residential installation, it takes approximately 4 hours on average. 

We hope this buyers guide proves useful and answers every question you have, but if we’ve missed something, you’d like more information, or you’re interested in chatting to our sales team you can contact us here!

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