Solar panel installations in Galway rise 80% in 2024

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The number of homeowners carrying out energy efficiency property upgrades and having solar panels installed in Galway has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in 2024.

SEAI figures show that 454 homes in Galway received a grant to help with the installation of solar panels in the first three months of the year.

That represents an 80% year on year increase on the 252 solar PV installations carried out in the same period last year.

One reason for this is a large number of applications made late in the year ahead of the solar PV grant being reduced by €300 at the start of January.

The average cost of having solar panels installed on a home in Q1 2024 was €11,368, with the majority of homeowners receiving the full grant of €2,400.

Overall, 897 property upgrades were carried out with the assistance of SEAI grants across all schemes in Q1 2024.

This is a 40% year on year increase on the same period in 2023, and the third highest number of upgrades carried out in the country after Dublin and Cork.

There were 350 property upgrades carried out through the Better Energy Homes Scheme (+104%), 66 low income households had fully-funded upgrades completed through the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme (+8.2%), and 26 households were upgraded to a B2 of better BER through the One-Stop-Shop Scheme (+136.4%).

Dr Ciaran Byrne, Director of National Retrofit at SEAI said, “From a results perspective 2024 has started off well, with almost all key metrics recording increases on the corresponding period in 2023.”

“Retrofitting activity in the quarter is primarily driven from applications received in Q3 and Q4 of the previous year and these were relatively strong.”

“The overall number of property upgrades completed and B2 upgrades completed increased considerably, with a sizeable portion related to continued high demand for the Solar PV scheme.”

Nationwide over 11,700 property upgrades were completed, up 18% year on year, and over 5,050 homes were upgraded to a BER B2 or higher, up 53% year on year.

A total of 6,005 homes had solar panels installed in Q1, up 51% on 2023, and 4,857 applications for a solar panel grant were made, a 3% year on year increase.

Over 15,450 applications were processed across all schemes, down 1% year on year, and expenditure on SEAI home upgrade grants reached €73 million, up 29% year on year.

Dr Byrne continued, Overall, we can see that the cumulative number of applications across all schemes was essentially flat compared to the same time last year.”

“This points to the need to continue the implementation of the National Retrofit Plan to overcome barriers to retrofit and further drive demand and delivery.”

“Wider potential impacts on the sector also need to be acknowledged such as the challenge of scaling the sector in the face of a labour market approaching capacity.”

“Conversely, the availability of a significant low-cost loan offer will increase the propensity of people to engage in domestic retrofits.”