Why isn't electricity cheaper?


I have about 3.5Kw of PV and right now it provided 100% of the energy requirements between 2 hours after sunrise until 2 hours before sunset on most sunny days.
My next project is to install a windturbine with about 1Kw generating capacity, this should generate sufficient power for lighting most evenings then the batteries will come later.
I’m not planning to go off-grid, but I do want to be able to generate and store/consume up to 90% of my power requirements.


Have you looked at storage yet? A single large powerwall would do me, but the cost is still prohibitive (I’ve 6kw, so in the brighter months we switch to using the washing machine during the day. Like you, we cover everything for most of waking hours, heat as much water as we need with some of the excess and export to the grid; even on a cloudy day, it’ll generate 1.5kw, more than enough to power the house and heat water).


Most of the residential suppliers are increasing their prices this summer by ~8%
However the PSO Levy is due to decrease by 45% pa from October bonkers.ie/blog/gas-electri … -decrease/.


Grant of up to €3800 to install a solar PV and battery storage system in homes built before 2011


Interesting. I’m looking at their maths here

1.5kWp: 200 a year savings x 9 years = 1,800 + 1,050 grant = 3,850 installation cost?

3kWp: 330 a year savings x 13 years = 4,290 + 2,100 grant = 6,390 installation cost?


Thanks for that! that might make things worthwhile…


I think you had a typo there. It’s 14 years payback. That’s a long time for something that could break down or become obsolete.


Well, there’s very little to it. The panels are solid state, there some wires that go to the inverter. It’s screwed to the roof. The inverter could go, I guess, but it would have to be badly installed to do so. So I think break down is unlikely. As for obsolete, I hemmed and hawwed for 10 years before getting PV, during which the price halved, but the efficiency barely moved. I think the price could drop further, but that’s not really obsolesence, that’s opportunity cost.

I’ve had mine for 2 and a half years and have saved about a fifth of the net cost (less home improvement tax rebate), but everything I have is electric and I work from home (so heating is on all the time).


I think you’re looking at it the wrong way, does it really matter if someone makes a better panel with a better efficiency rating, so long as your set up still works who cares

That said if you were sure PV prices were going to fall by a big amount in the next while it might make sense to wait before you buy

Also every time the price of grid electricity rises your 14 year payback gets cut, assuming you paid for the set up in cash, so IMO someone with PV has just paid for their future electricity in advance at a lower fixed rate than everyone else


Since I already have the panels, batteries are the next bit. What’s available? And at what cost? I hate the coy thing about prices that everyone on the internet in Ireland does - POA = Price Out of me Arse.


That’s kind of factored in already. The up front money also has a cost. If you cost it at 4% the payback time goes from 14 years to 24 years. But assuming the value of the saved electricity also goes up each year we can offset one against the other.


Yeah, but where can you get 4% for any duration? Then you have to take the annual savings and carry them forward too, so a saving of 500 euro at 4% at the end of year 1 for 13 years, 500 euro at 4% for 12 years etc. I believe the quoted payback is generally at current prices without the cost of money taken into account.

And what price smug? :wink:


You don’t have to actually get it. It might be an avoidance of interest on another loan that you could otherwise have paid off.

… which makes sense, as we said, because the value of the payback increases along with the cost of the money.


Ah yes, the famed falling costs of PV. I swear they are the same price since forever for home installations
When they drop to 1/2 there current price ill bite


Someone (probably Coles2) provided materials costs a good while back. I think they were a lot lower than the typical installation cost. That suggests a classic “Irish” component of the price which is resistant to cuts, especially with SEAI grants to mop up.


Smart meters to be rolled out across Ireland in 2019-2024
*The first 250,000 smart meters will be installed in 2019.
We will pay €5.50 pa for 20 years in order to cover the costs of smart metering.

Anyone know who first qualifies for this Big Brother tech next year? Is it geographic, demographic, or what?


Why are we paying for the smart meters? Surely not having to pay loadsa lads walking around taking readings will save the cost of the meters.


Because no doubt the ESB will still employ the meter readers. Nobody will be let go in such a unionised org.


Is the meter reading unionised? I knew a lad who used to do it on a casual basis when he was a student and his father worked in the ESB. The last time I saw my own meter being read it was done by a guy in his own car with no uniform who was in and out like his life depended on it. I just assumed he was a private contractor being paid by the reading given that impression.


nytimes.com/2018/09/26/busi … p=WT.mc_id

Zinc-Air batteries look promising and cheap