Solar panels can now save homeowners more than €24,000, with costs covered in just seven years

Homeowners who add solar panels to their homes could make net savings of more than €24,000 over 25 years after installation costs, a new survey reveals.

The Swyft Energy Solar PV Index also shows that a standard 12-panel system can completely pay for itself in seven years.

With average Irish electricity market prices approximately 53% higher than in 2021, plus the addition of export tarriffs and VAT removal, the repayment period has dropped by almost half, from 12 years in 2021.

“The figures show that, on average, Irish householders could make net savings of €24,327 over the next 25 years by installing solar PV (photovoltaic) panels now,” said Adrian Casey, CEO of Swyft Energy.

“This is very welcome news when you consider that inflation is still squeezing everyone’s budgets, despite having fallen recently.”

The latest Index also highlights how any house can become a mini power station, generating an income for its owners.

Unused power can be sold back to the national grid and energy suppliers currently pay rates starting at 20c per kilowatt for electricity exported to them.

Even more financial benefits are delivered if a household solar PV panel system includes a battery.

By charging this at the lowest-cost night rate, the average 25-year net savings climb from €24,327 to over €30,000.

“The Index spells out in black and white the direct savings – but solar panels can also lead to other financial benefits,” said Mr Casey.

“One clear opportunity is their ability to improve a house’s BER (building energy rating) which can unlock access to green mortgages.”

These mortgages offer lower interest rates for properties with a BER between A1 and B3.

Mortgage broker said that solar panels can help borrowers cut the cost of monthly repayments.

 “Lenders actively encourage homeowners to make their properties more sustainable,” said its CEO, Martina Hennessy.

 “Although the impact on a BER of adding solar panels is different for every property, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland specifically recommends solar panels as a way to boost BER ratings.

 “Green mortgages are not just for buyers – current mortgage holders could potentially benefit by switching from their existing arrangement.”

 To date, over 60,000 Irish homes have made the switch, all of them helping Ireland to meet its target of generating 8GW of electricity using solar PV by 2030.

One switcher said moving to solar panels was a “no brainer”.

“Following the reduction in the VAT rate to zero, solar panels became a no brainer,” said Swyft Energy customer Pat O’Sullivan, of Ballintemple, Co Cork.

“We have a 2500 square foot A1 rated house (no gas), which used on average 5500 kilowatt-hours per year.

“We installed 12 panels and a five kilowatt battery at a cost of just over €10,000. We switched to a night electricity rate and programmed the underfloor heating and hot water, washing machine, dishwater, etc. to start at 2pm and finish at 8pm – our usage has remained the same but the savings are over €1800 per year.

“Solar power is an investment in our future financially, with a good return over its lifetime.”

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