For many people, going solar has to make financial sense. There are three ways you will save money and make money by going solar.

SAVINGS – by using the clean electricity your solar system produces, you will buy less electricity from the grid and make savings on your bill. As grid-supplied electricity prices increase, the savings you make will also increase.

INCOME – under the NIROC’s scheme (Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates) you will be paid for every unit of clean electricity you produce from the solar on your roof. That’s right, you will be paid for every unit of clean electricity you produce, whether you use it in your home or export it to the grid. These payments are made every year, TAX FREE for 20 years.

A LITTLE MORE INCOME – when your new solar PV system is installed and registered with NIE, they will install an export meter for free. This enables you to receive a further payment for every surplus unit of clean electricity you produce from the solar on your roof.


The rate of NIROC and export payments is reviewed annually. The following rates apply from 1st October 2015 until 30th September 2016:

NIROC: 11.73p per kWh

Export: 4.01p per kWh


Here’s a worked example of how the savings and income stack-up. We’ve used the SSE Airtricity Home Electricity Saver 24 Direct Debit and e-bill tariff, which is the cheapest option we can find:

If you buy your electricity from Budget EnergyPower NI or Electric Ireland the savings you will make by going solar could be up to 11% higher than the figures quoted below.

You’d need approximately 30m2 of roof area to install our 4kWp Premium+ system. When installed on a typical south-facing roof slope, the system should produce 3,380kWh (units) of clean electricity over a typical year. Let’s assume you use half of the clean electricity, and export the surplus half to the grid during the first year of operation:

  • Your savings would be £258.74 (1,690kWh x 14.11p)
  • Your NIROC’s income would be £396.47 (3,380kWh x 11.73p)
  • Your export income would be £67.77 (1,690kWh x 4.01p)
  • The net benefit of savings and income from going solar would be £722.98 in the first year of operation.

Of course, it makes financial sense to use all of your free, clean electricity (it’s better to save 14.11p than earn 4.01p), and still get paid for every unit of clean electricity you produce.

To help you optimise the financial benefits of going solar and find a best-fit solution, Planet Solar make informed recommendations based on your individual profile. We do NOT automatically recommend you install the largest system your roof can accomodate.

Our proposal document will include a detailed income and savings projection over 20 years, which is the guaranteed term of the NIROC’s scheme. We will also take the time to explain these figures so you are entirely comfortable with how they are worked out.

After we have installed, tested and commissioned your solar PV system, we will help you complete and submit the NIROC’s application paperwork. You will be asked to read your PV generation meter (which we supply and install with every system) once a year in order to receive the annual payment. This is a service we provide on behalf of some of our customers.

Every project we undertake is unique. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect a payback of 6-9 years when installing a Planet Solar PV system, and 30+ years of lower running costs at home.