If you’re thinking about switching to solar energy in your home, then you may be wondering if you need planning permission for solar panels. And rightly so, considering the recent changes in the regulations.

We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the current regulations, as well as the benefits of solar power and the grants that are available to property owners in Ireland.


The benefits of solar power


Now more than ever, financial and environmental concerns are at the top of most people’s priority lists — and solar power offers a solution to both at the same time.

Solar power is the best clean energy option we have right now and it’s a great example of how technology can help us in the fight against climate change.


Renewable and sustainable


One of the greatest benefits of solar energy is that it is a truly renewable source of energy. As long as the sun exists, we will have access to solar power — and it’s not going anywhere for at least 5 billion years!

In addition, it is not a finite energy source like fossil fuels. By utilising solar power we can greatly reduce our dependence on coal, oil and natural gas.




By generating your own electricity, you will rely less on the utility suppliers — meaning that you should see a significant reduction in your bills. How much you save depends on the types and sizes of the panels you install.

In addition, advanced solar battery technology has made it possible to store excess energy which, in some cases, you can then sell back to the grid, putting even more money back into your pocket.




Solar power is the ultimate environmentally-friendly energy source as it does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions or water pollution.


Low maintenance


Once installed, solar PV panels are very easy to maintain and should last between 25 and 30 years. They simply need to be cleaned from time to time to maintain high levels of productivity.


No noise pollution


Another major benefit of solar energy production is that it does not create any noise, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbours!



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Do I need planning permission for solar panels?


Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of solar power, let’s take a look at the updated regulations surrounding planning permission.


Do solar panels require planning permission?


The short answer is no — in most cases, you do not need planning permission to install PV panels. In previous years, planning permission was required for panels bigger than 12 square metres on homes and 50 square metres on businesses.

However, as of October 2022, several roadblock restrictions were lifted and property owners are now free to install as many solar panels as they like without planning permission and with no restrictions on size.


Are there any restrictions?


As long as property owners adhere to construction safety regulations, they can put up as many solar panels as they like.

A handful of restrictions apply in the following cases:

  • Properties that are close to airports, aerodromes, helipads, and emergency and military facilities are limited to 300 square metres for the planning exemption to apply
  • Properties within airport zones also require planning permission if the system is intended on being bigger than 300 square metres, while properties outside of the airport zone don’t require any exemptions
  • Properties that are listed as being of architectural or heritage importance (panels may still be installed as long as they do not interfere with the character of the building)


Are there grants available for solar panels in Ireland?


Yes, there is a Solar Electricity Grant available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), and the lifting of restrictions surrounding planning permission also removes some of the initial costs for property owners.

This once-off grant helps to cover the purchase and installation costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for your home or business. These panels capture the light from the sun and convert it into electricity that can power your home appliances.

To find out if you qualify for a grant, check the eligibility criteria here.


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Other energy-saving and home-improvement tips


As well as installing solar panels to harness energy from the sun, there are lots of other ways you can make your home more energy efficient.

Here are some simple tips that you can implement starting today:

  • Swap traditional light bulbs for LED or CFL bulbs, which use 85% less electricity
  • Choose ‘A’ rated appliances where possible
  • Line-dry your clothes where possible and avoid using the tumble dryer if it’s not necessary
  • Use a thermostat to keep your home at a consistent temperature
  • Insulate your hot water supply with a lagging jacket or pipe insulation
  • Turn appliances off when not in use (leaving devices on standby still uses electricity!)
  • Don’t boil a full kettle for one or two cups of tea
  • Wash your laundry at cooler temperatures and use shorter cycles
  • Turn lights off when you’re not in the room


Start your solar power journey with Alternative Energy Ireland


Alternative Energy Ireland is 100% Irish-owned and has been bringing renewable energy to homes and businesses across Ireland since 2007.

We pride ourselves on the expertise, workmanship and customer care delivered by our team and the excellent reputation we have built over the years.

Our friendly, experienced team is on hand to talk you through our range of renewable energy products — including solar, heat and ventilation systems — and help you cut down on your energy bills.

To learn more about how you can combat the rising cost of living while creating a more energy-efficient home, get in touch with us today!