With energy prices rising and the general cost of living squeeze, getting solar panels installed is a good idea. I first looked at getting some installed last year but for various reasons I delayed. Quite a big mistake with hindsight.
I have been lucky enough to have them installed now. I got my 5Kw system for €9000 minus the €2400 grant so a net price of €6600. The payback time on these is highly dependent on the price of electricity and the amount of energy generated, how much I can use and the feedback tariff.
The calculations vary from person to person but they will always make sense to install. This was my calculation.
The calculation uses 22c a kWh. This is very cheap in todays climate. Forward electricity prices were over 50c kWh at one point. The quoted payback time of 9 years is probably going to be a lot less. I didn't get a diverter either as I have a combi boiler so no tank to heat up.
We may get through the winter of 2022 without any rationing or rolling blackouts but it can't be ruled out in the future. With Russian gas unlikely to ever come back to Europe, energy is going to be expensive forever. There may come a time
If you have ever studied economics, you know that everything should be thought of in terms of opportunity cost and the forefeited alternative. So for me, I had to ask myself where else could I invest €6600 and get a post tax 12.1% return. There isn't really anywhere else to put my money to get that return.
Interestingly, Michael from the Irish Fire Podcast worked out he would be ahead even if he took out a loan at 6%. He had the benefit of getting the panels before the price spiked but still, its a great investment and worth getting a loan out for.
Battery or not?
One common question is ‘should I get a batter?' Its a simple maths problem. All you need to do is work out the difference between the feed in price and what you pay to the grid. On the ones I've looked at, its about 10c. So a 5kWh battery, can hold 50c worth of electricity. If you can get 6000 cycles from your battery, you can save €3000. A battery will cost more than that unfortunately.
I didn't opt for a battery, instead I will sell back to the grid. The guy in the video below worked out a battery is worth it for him though. Bear in mind, if there is a power cut, your battery will not work. Its a safety feature as people working on the lines don't want to get electrocuted fixing broken lines.
How much for solar panels today?
Prices vary a lot from installer to installer and also due to the price of the raw materials. These are usually priced wholesale in dollars so the weakened Euro has increased the price.
Any information I provide today is probably going to be out of date. I recommend looking at places that are regularly updated.
Boards.ie solar panels quotes This is a great resource as you can post your quote and get feedback. You can see what type of quotes other people are getting and compare. That high quote you got might end up being a bargain after all!
Facebook Solar PV Owners – Irish Solar PV & Battery systems owners group. Handy Facebook group about solar PV.
Where to get from?
I got mine from Eco Green Resources. They gave me the best price and Bernard was very knowledgeable. They are based in Tipperary
My next best choice was Nusolas The guy was knowledgeable and also said he would beat any quotation. They are based locally in Shannon.
Boards also have a list of installers that post
Remember, the cheapest is not always the best. Different hardware has different costs. I would definitely get quotes from EGR and Nusolas if you live in Limerick.
If you can get solar panels installed then they are probably the best investment you can make. I would not hesitate to recommend getting them installed.
Ben has a BEng (Hons) in Computer Science and 20 years of experience in online marketing, specialising in SEO, lead generation and affiliate marketing. After spending over a decade as an igaming affiliate, he has decided to concentrate on GA4 training and SEO Audits.