The solar panels are finally in and generating power!

It's been a very long road to get to this point, but the solar panels are now on my roof, there is a sufficient hole in my roof to get the cables in that no longer leaks thanks to the extremely fast return of the roofing guy, all the wiring is complete, and the panels are finally generating electricity!

A screenshot of the eSAJ app, which is an app for tracking solar panel energy generation. It shows that that there had been 0.7 kWh of energy generated for the day, with 1 kW being generated at the time of the screenshot being taken, and a 2.4 kW load on the house.

Of course, we're now in the depths of winter so they aren't generating a much electricity. But something is happening, and we seem to be generating roughly 10% of daily usage per day which I'm pretty happy with.

And I'm exporting a small amount of energy, which brings me to something I just learned.

Taxes on microgeneration exports

For reasons best known to themselves, the Irish Government have decided that you should pay income taxes on energy that you sell back to the grid beyond €200 in profits per year (increasing to €400 in 2024) This makes sense, since you are generating income on the exports, so long as you ignore the following facts:

Anyway, that's something to consider. Since I already have to pay an accountant to help me figure out my taxes each year it's not going to annoy me too much. But it is definitely something that should change - or the minimum amount of credit you can receive before being taxed should be dramatically increased to the point that no private individual doing microgeneration for their home could hit it.

The final step before I can put all of this paperwork behind me

The last thing I need to resolve before I can call this solar panel installation complete is getting the €2,400 grant (it's €2,400 as of 2023, but will start to reduce from 2024). In order to get the grant I need to get a new BER (Building Energy Rating) certificate. I will send that certificate to the SEAI and then they will hopefully give me €2,400. A friend put me in touch with a BER assessor, and he is doing his write-up now after a one hour site-visit.

The only barrier right now is getting something called a Designer Form for my heat pump, which was installed by the previous owners of the house. That designer form will have all the information about the heat pump, how long it runs for, how much energy it uses, and a signature from the person who designed the system.

I'm waiting to hear back from the original installers who will hopefully be able to dig it out for me.

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