As of the 15th of February 2022, you get paid for any surplus energy you generate and export back to the grid from your home solar PV system.
This one change alone can make a homeowner with solar 14.8% better off due to the feed-in tariffs you get paid.
This is called the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) Tariff, though sometimes you'll hear it called the Clean Export Tariff and Micro-generation Support Scheme too.
Each energy supplier sets their own rates for what they'll pay homeowners for the electricity they supply back to the grid.
|SSE Airtricity||14 cents / kWh|
|Pinergy||21 cents / kWh|
|Energia||18 cents / kWh|
|Electric Ireland||14 cent / kWh|
|Bord Gais||not yet released|
|Flogas||20 cents / kWh|
Yes, but you have to buy from them too. You can only have one electricity company who you both buy from and sell to. So, if you want to avail of another electricity supplier's better feed-in tariffs, then you'll need to change over to make them your electricity supplier.
No is the short answer. Most solar installations will export between 10% and 40% of the power they make back out to the grid (depending on your own PV system design and usage).
If you have a battery installed, the surplus energy charges your battery first. But even with a battery, on a sunny summer's day, chances are you'll have that full, and the surplus energy you generate gets diverted back to the grid.
Up to now, households have not been receiving payment for this electricity they supply to the grid.
It has a huge effect. The financial benefits from adding solar panels to your home were always good, but this has moved them up another level.
Here are the numbers for a typical 3-bedroom house here in Ireland. We've done the numbers both before and after the feed-in tariffs were introduced to show the improvement it's made.
|Old Figures (before feed-in tariffs were introduced)||Current Figures (including feed-in tariffs)|
|Cost to Homeowner||€5,880||€5,880|
|Payback period||5 years 1 month|| 4 years 4 months |
Nine months faster to payback
|Net Lifetime Savings||€43,804|| €50,290 |
That's an extra €6,486, which is a 14.8% improvement
No problem. Firstly here's the before and after financials:
You can also use the buttons below to download the full examples as PDFs.
Before 15th Feb 2022, there was no feed-in tariff in Ireland. This meant that if you generated more electricity than you could use, you gave the excess away for free to the grid.
In early 2022, the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) introduced a new arrangement that allows micro-generation customers to get paid for the excess energy they export to the grid.
Under this new initiative, all homes and businesses that generate their own electricity will receive a payment for the surplus electricity which they export to the grid. This payment, known as the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff, is available to both new and existing micro-and small-scale generators who fulfil the eligibility criteria.
Since the 15th of February 2022, your electricity supplier has counted and recorded any surplus energy you have diverted back to the grid. But, you will not receive payment yet. This is a new initiative, so your supplier has been given time (until June 2022) to put all the necessary arrangements in place to manage it. They haven't been given a deadline to start making payments.
But, they have been advised, 'within a reasonable timeframe after June 2022' to communicate to the customer:
When to expect the initial payment
Details of back payments
And in what form the payment will be received. The supplier may offer back payments in the form of a credit to your account
It means you are coming onboard the solar PV train at the right time. Here are the benefits that have not been possible before.
Benefit from every unit generated - before February 22nd, all surplus that was generated by homeowners was given away for free once it was diverted back to the grid. Now you either use or get paid for every unit of solar electricity from your panels.
Earn extra income - every time you generate a surplus, you are earning. You now can consider installing a larger solar PV system than you need for your own consumption as a way to earn extra income.
Faster Return on Investment - selling your surplus solar power means you will speed up your payback period. This has not been possible before.
Smaller up-front investment - in the past, people felt compelled to include a battery pack in their solar PV panels installation. The idea of sending all the surplus energy back to the grid with no direct benefit didn't sit right with them. But, the initial investment for batteries is quite expensive. People can now rest easily if they do not choose to install a battery pack.
New smart meters are rolling out across the country. These add three main new features:
Smart meters allow utility companies to charge peak hours rate (usually just 2 hours / day: 5pm - 7pm). For most people there'll be 3 rates - night rate, day rate and peak rate.
Smart meters measure the amount of electricity your solar panels send to the grid.
Smart meters have a sim-card in, and automatically send meter readings to your utility company.
If your smart meter has not been installed yet then your utility company will just give you an average rate until your smart meter is fitted.
From January 2022, those who qualify for the CEG payment will also enjoy a tax exemption on the first €200 they sell to their supplier. For the vast majority of people who have solar panel installations below 6kW, there will be no need to declare their income from the CEG.
Non-domestic installations (e.g. on farms and community centres), that are between 6kWp and 50kWp, will get the Clean Export Premium (CEP) tariff. These non-domestic solar installations, if , will get €0.135/kWh in 2022.
This is capped at 80% of generation capacity, to encourage self-consumption. This means if you have a farm with a 10kWp solar array installed, then you will get paid for the amount you are exporting back to the grid up to maximum of 8kW at any particular time.
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