What is Microgeneration — Solar PV in Ireland

January 18, 2022

Jim Mc Eneaney

What Is Microgeneration For solar PV? Will I Get Paid For My Solar Electricity?  

Microgeneration is the general term used to refer to small-scale solar PV generation of electricity as well as other renewable technologies, such as wind and combined heat and power (CHP). This type of generation allows domestic users to produce their own electricity on site, as an alternative or supplement to electricity imported from the grid from their chosen electricity supplier.

We have always sized solar PV systems to the anticipated electricity demand of your home but it has been confirmed that from early 2022, microgeneration is set to take a step forward with the introduction of the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) for all solar PV users. This means that while the majority of the energy produced will be used to power your home, from time to time, when there is surplus electricity from your microgeneration you can export this to the grid and receive a payment for it in return. By reducing your dependency on the national grid and increasing the volume of solar PV supplied to the grid from your home or business you can actively contribute to a greener, cleaner Ireland while reducing your own energy bills.

If you’re interested in microgeneration for your home, see our Solar PV page.

However, if you already have a microgeneration install there are a few things you need to know.

  1. We Have Completed Your NC6 form

For homeowners and businesses who want to receive payments ESB Networks first need to be notified of your microgeneration install so they can start recording your export to the grid. Do not worry, this has been completed on your behalf by the Activ8 Solar Energies team.

  1. Check your meter type

It’s important to note what type of meter is installed in your home as this will impact what type of payment you can expect to receive for exported electricity. It’s also important to note that this part of the process is not under the control of ACtiv8 Solar Energies – this is under the control of ESB Networks.

  • If you have a smart meter already installed, you will be paid based on your actual export data. There is no requirement for you to have Smart Services activated on your Smart Meter e.g. a Smart Tariff from your supplier etc. This does not affect measuring of export data.
  • If you have a 24-hour non smart meter (MCC01) currently you will need to wait for your smart meter installed to receive the export payment. ESB Networks are working their way through all eligible customers and will exchange your meter within 4 months. Once your smart meter is installed you will be paid based on your actual export data.
  • If you have any other meter type than a 24 hour or smart meter, until you become eligible for a smart meter your export payments will be based on a deemed export value. As you transition towards eligibility for a smart meter, you will also move towards actual export data. For more information on the roll-out of smart meters, please contact ESB Networks.

Types of payment for solar panels excess electricity exported to grid

If you meet the eligibility criteria (completed NC6 form and smart meter installed), you will be paid a measured Clean Export Guarantee for the export at a per kWh basis.

  • The measured Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) is the government policy name for the export tariff that all energy suppliers will pay to customers for their solar electricity exported to the grid. The rates will be set by each supplier on a per kWh basis and is intended to reflect the value of the export to the grid. This means your actual export to the grid will be measured and you will be paid accordingly.
  • A Deemed Clean Export Guarantee assumes that the majority of the electricity generated is being used in the home and, in the absence of a smart meter to record actual consumption, the surplus energy exported is decided based on a calculation set by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). Activ8 Solar Energies and your chosen supplier have no role in determining the export value for these microgeneration customers.

How is the deemed export calculated?

The calculation of the deemed export is based on the following factors and has been set by the CRU. Click the formula below for the PDF on how this is calculated.

Deemed Export Quantity = MEC X Capacity Factor X Export Factor X Provision Interval

  • MEC: Maximum Export Capacity. This will come from your NC6 form submitted to ESB Networks
  • Capacity Factor: A calculation from the CRU set at 9.7%
  • Export Factor: A calculation from the CRU set at 35%
  • Provisional interval: A calculation used for solar installations that takes account of how microgeneration works in practice during the day and from season to season.

It’s important to note that payment of the measured and deemed Clean Export Guarantee is entirely separate from the current SEAI Solar PV grant you have received (or may be considering). If you are considering solar PV with Activ8, you may be eligible for the SEAI Solar PV grant and now, for the first time ever, you’ll get paid for the excess electricity you generate but don’t use and therefore send/sell back to the national grid.

When can you expect to receive a payment?

We will try our best to share news and updates from electricity suppliers in Ireland on when they will deliver the first payment and the details surrounding how each supplier will deliver this.

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