Save your pocket and the planet by going solar! – CCPC

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May 9, 2024

If you are eager to introduce solar energy into your home, there has never been a better time than now! The Government abolished VAT on the supply and installation of solar panels in May 2023, and with grants and green loans available, it may cost less than you think.

What solar panels are

Solar panels are panels designed to absorb the sun’s rays as a source of renewable energy. You may well have seen them on the rooftops of houses in your local area. They not only help our environment, but also reduces your electricity bills.

There are two types of solar panel available:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) – turn sunlight into electricity
  • Solar thermal – use sunlight to heat the water in your home

Shop around for quotes

If you’ve decided to go solar, first get at least three written quotes before you decide on a supplier/installer. Make sure you ask them for quotes rather than an estimate. An estimate has no legal standing whereas a written quote is binding once there are no changes to the job.

Make sure you get a full breakdown of all costs. You should have a clear agreement in writing before the contractor starts. A written contract signed by both parties will protect you if things go wrong.

Top Tip

Apply to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for a solar electricity grant. The SEAI provides grants to homeowners who are upgrading their homes to make them more energy efficient. Find out about the grants available for solar panels and how to apply.

Solar contractor – your rights

Always ask around for recommendations when looking for a tried and trusted tradesperson. The SEAI provide a list of registered solar panel companies.

When hiring a tradesperson to install your solar panels, you enter a contract for service. The Consumer Rights Act 2022 provides you with stronger rights when buying services. If your contactor does not provide the proper service, you should always try getting them to fix the issue first.

Financing your solar panels

If you’re considering borrowing to fund your solar panels, a green loan may be right for you. Banks and financial providers now offer a range of green loans designed to encourage you to ‘go green.’

When taking out a green loan, you will still have to pay interest and it’s important you compare interest rates. Use our popular loan comparison Money Tool to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Do you know?

You can work out how much you could save having solar panels by using the SEAI’s solar electricity calculator. It gives you a timeline for when you can expect to see payback on your investment.

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