Electric Ireland and microgeneration: Our expert answers your questions

Electric Ireland Microgeneration Product Owner Aoife Gallagher pictured here


Electric Ireland customers with a registered renewable energy device, such as solar PV, micro-hydro, micro renewable CHP or micro-wind , can soon avail of the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG), which is a payment under the Microgeneration Support Scheme

This means that Electric Ireland customers will soon be able to avail of credit back on their bills when they export excess electricity back to the national grid.   

Aoife Gallagher is Electric Ireland’s Microgeneration Product Manager, and as an energy engineer, is best-placed to answer some of your frequently asked questions around microgeneration.  

 


Q. Aoife, in its simplest terms, what is microgeneration?

Microgeneration means generating electricity on a very small scale such as from solar PV panels on your roof. Micro-generators, such as PV panels, provide electricity for some, or all, of your electricity needs. Any unused surplus electricity spills onto the electricity grid. The new Microgeneration Support Scheme means that going forward, people with microgenerators will receive a credit for this spilled electricity.  

 

 

Q. This is obviously good news for our customers, who will receive a CEG payment.

This credit is a further financial incentive for people to install renewable microgeneration such as solar PV panels. Relying more on clean, renewable energy, such as solar PV, means customers are reducing their carbon footprint while reducing their electricity bills.

Q. Why is solar PV the most popular method of renewable energy in homes?

 

PV is the most established, most affordable renewable microgeneration option. PV panels generate clean energy to power electrical devices and when combined with a diverter, can also heat your water by powering your immersion. Installation is quick and simple. 

 

Q. Is there a recommended number of panels a household should install to get the most from solar PV?

This will vary depending on the needs of the household. Our most popular installation size is 12 panels but our installer will discuss options with you and assess the potential of your roof. 

 

 

Q. How much can Electric Ireland customers save by applying for an SEAI grant to install solar PV? 

Grants of up to €2,400 are available through SEAI. That’s €900 per kWp for the first 2kWp, €300 per kWp up to 4kWp. When you buy solar panels with Electric Ireland, our team will help to walk you through the process of applying for this grant. 

 


Scroll down for Microgeneration: Power to the People video

 

Q. Customers need to submit a connection form such as an NC6 form to ESB Networks to avail of microgeneration. Can you explain this process?

Regardless of the scheme, customers with microgeneration must complete and submit a connection form to ESB Networks. For residential size this is usually an NC6 form. This form lets ESB Networks know that there is a device connected to the grid which is capable of exporting energy to the grid. From a safety perspective, it’s important for ESB Networks to have this information, without this form ESB Networks will not be able to see that you have microgeneration and will not be able to inform your supplier. .  

 

Typically, when solar PV panels are installed, your installer completes and submits this form on your behalf. Electric Ireland will shortly be in contact with all our customers who have correctly submitted this form. 

 

Q. Microgeneration seems like a major step forward for renewable energy in Ireland. How else is Electric Ireland supporting customers for a net-zero future?  

 

Electric Ireland understands these are challenging times for our customers. That is why we are always striving to provide our customers with the tools to take control of their energy usage so they can make informed decisions in their own homes. We have the lowest standard unit rate on the market, which applies to all Electric Ireland customers. 

Last year, we launched our free Interactive Home tool, which houses more than 30 energy-saving tips that our customers can apply in their own homes. Together, if we all make small changes, this can have a big impact on not only the environment, but our customers’ pockets. For more energy-saving tips, visit Electric Ireland’s Latest News.  
 

Electric Ireland customers can find out how we're supporting them on their microgeneration journeys by visiting our Power to the People page. 



Read more: Duncan Stewart talks microgeneration
Read more: 5 ways to manage electricity with a smart meter
Read more: Energy-saving tips for an all-electric home

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