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Save With Solar!

solarpowerGiven that Ireland has so much rain and cloud, the notion that the sun could save us money on our heating seems laughable, but installing solar panels to a building can save up to 70% on water heating costs.

Solar panels are used to convert light into electricity. They are made up of a collection of solar cells spread over a large area. The more light that hits the cell, the more electricity it produces.

The trick when installing solar panels in Ireland is to use ones that don’t rely purely on direct sunlight and can be powered just by daylight. In fact, some scientists call them photovoltaics, which basically means “light-electricity.”

Aside from saving you money, solar panels are an environmentally-friendly fuel option. In Ireland, we currently have one of the highest C02 emissions in Europe, but solar panels can significantly reduce these emissions and in turn help the environment. With this in mind, the government have made grants available to people who install this energy saving initiative.

Available to homeowners through the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland), the grant requires that homeowners employ an SEAI-approved contractor in order to fit the panels. This means that it’s in all suitably qualified tradesmen’s interests to get on that list.

Since the grant is dependent on the panels contributing a minimum required amount of renewable energy per square metre of floor area this is not a job you can wing. In fact: “It is the responsibility of the contractor to discuss both the specification and the appropriate sizing (including hot water storage) of the solar water heating system with the customer prior to final system selection.”

As if more selling points were needed for this fantastic energy source any homes that have solar panels dramatically improve their BER rating. Energy efficient homes sell for significantly more than those with a low BER so it is a worthwhile investment.

Sources

http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/power/1-what-are-solar-panels.html

http://www.seai.ie/search/?cof=FORID%3A11&cx=014846897744094602938%3Axqfkgfiaboa&ie=UTF-8&q=solar+panel+grants&sa=SEARCH

http://energycentre.ie/solar-panels

http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_energy_homes/Code_of_Practice_and_Technical_Specification.pdf