Does my roof have to face a particular direction?
Generally speaking, the panels should be on a south facing wall or roof, though you will still get good results if they are anywhere between south-west and south-east.

The panels also need to be mounted at the angle of latitude. In Ireland, this is about 52 degrees on average, though the optimum angle is shallower in summer and steeper in winter.

The difference is quite small, so the quickest and cheapest solution for roof-mounted panels is to follow the slope of the roof
Do I need planning permission for a solar power system?
In order to encourage the take-up of renewable energy, the Irish Government and local authorities are increasingly sympathetic in terms of planning permission and solar power systems.

Currently, the installation of solar PV arrays up to 12 square metres aperture area, or 50% of total roof area (whichever is less), are exempt from planning permission development, subject to the following conditions:
  • A 15cm maximum distance between the plane of a pitched roof and the PV array
  • A 50cm maximum distance between the plane of a flat roof and the PV array, and
  • That arrays should be at least 50cm from the edge of the roof.

Similarly, free-standing arrays (i.e. not building-mounted) of up to 12 square metre aperture area are also exempt from planning permission, subject to the conditions that:
  • Stand-alone arrays must be no more than 2m in height
  • Such arrays must be located behind the front wall of the house, and
  • A minimum space of 25 sq m of useable space must remain for householders own private use.
Listed buildings
These exemptions are unlikely to apply to a listed building. In this case you may still need planning permission for a roof-based system. One solution would be to have a free-standing system away from the building
Is it ESB approved?
Yes. Our PV systems are designed specifically for Irish regulatory and environmental conditions, including the rigorous standards of ESB Networks.

We have experience in working with ESB Networks to connect solar PV electricity generation systems to the national grid. we worked with ESB Networks to install the country’s first ever small import/export meter in the Green Building in Dublin’s Temple Bar.

Our systems have ESB Networks approved inverter controllers – the equipment that enables surplus electricity from your system to be diverted seamlessly to the grid.
Can I sell my excess power?
No, not at this current time
How can PV affect the Building Energy Rating (BER) of my home?
Market research in the UK has shown that properties with a good energy rating and using renewable energy sources achieve better market value. With the recent introduction of the Building Energy Rating Scheme by the Irish government, this trend is without a doubt going to be reinforced. With current trends in the Irish property market the installation of renewable energy and having a good BER rating may be the deciding factor between one house and the next.
What effect will a Photovoltaic installation have on the BER?
The SEI have stated that introduction of micro-generation has the single greatest effect on the energy rating; it is also considered one of the only ways to get up to an A1-rating. The reason it has such a great effect is because when micro-generation is introduced into the building envelope it reduces the Primary Energy rating of the building. The Primary Energy is the amount of energy that the energy supplier, in this case the ESB, has to produce in order to supply the dwelling.

Grid electricity has a very high energy and greenhouse gases content due to the inefficiency of centralized power plant using fossil fuels like peat, coal, oil, etc. and high distribution losses. So for every 1 kW of electricity used in your home 2.7 kW of electricity needs to be produced by the ESB, this 2.7 kW is passed directly onto your homes BER.
Conversely the introduction of 1 kWp of PV has a minus 2700 on the DEAP result, which makes up the BER.

By comparison, photovoltaic energy is produced on site using sunlight, a free clean and inexhaustible source of power. Investing in PV is one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your property.
What effect does PV have on the energy rating of a domestic home?
As mentioned above, PV has a hugely positive impact on the Building Energy Ratings of a house. The primary energy rating of the house is greatly affected.
Consider the new regulations for Final County Council where the maximum allowable energy requirement per meter squared is 60 kWh/m2/yr. on a dwelling of 120 m2. So the building energy rating for this dwelling is A3. The introduction of a Photovoltaic array of size 1.65 kWp will result in a new BER rating of A1.