How to Sell Your Electricity Back to the Grid & Earn Money?

Raj Singh
March 5, 2023

If you're a homeowner in Ireland with a solar panel system, you may be wondering what to do with any excess electricity you generate. Fortunately, you can sell it back to the grid, which can help you save money on your energy bills and contribute to Ireland's renewable energy goals. 

This blog post will discuss the options for selling electricity back to the grid, the benefits, the process, and things to consider before deciding.

Options for Selling Electricity Back to the Grid

Net Metering

It is a system in which the excess electricity generated by a solar PV system is sent back to the grid and credited to the homeowner's account. This means that the homeowner only pays for the net energy they consume. Any excess electricity generated by their solar panels can be used to offset their future electricity bills.

Feed-in-Tariff

It is a program in which homeowners with solar PV systems are paid a fixed rate for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) electricity they generate and send back to the grid. In Ireland, the feed-in-tariff rate for solar PV systems up to 12kW is currently 14.5 cents per kWh. This means that homeowners can earn money by generating their own electricity and selling the excess back to the grid at a fixed rate.

How to Sell Electricity Back to the Grid? Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Install a Grid Connection

Before selling electricity to the grid, you need to have a grid connection. This involves installing a special meter that can measure the amount of electricity you generate and the amount you use. Your electricity supplier or distribution network operator can provide you with more information on how to get connected.

Step 2: Register with Your Electricity Supplier

Once you have a grid connection, you must register with your electricity supplier as a small-scale generator. You'll need to provide them with details of your installation, including the capacity of your system and the type of renewable energy you're generating.

Step 3: Apply for Connection and Export Licenses

You may also need to apply for connection and export licenses from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). This will depend on the size of your installation and the amount of electricity you plan to export.

Step 4: Install a Smart Meter

You may need to install a smart meter to measure the amount of electricity you generate and export. This will allow your electricity supplier to track your generation and export levels and pay you for the electricity you sell.

Step 5: Sell Your Excess Electricity

Once your system is up and running, you're registered with your electricity supplier, and you have the necessary licenses, you can start selling your excess electricity back to the grid. Your electricity supplier will pay you for the electricity you generate and export.

Benefits of Selling Electricity Back to the Grid

Lower Energy Bills

By selling excess electricity back to the grid, you'll receive payments that can help offset your energy bills. This can be especially beneficial during the summer months when solar panels generate the most electricity.

Contributing to Renewable Energy Goals

By generating and selling your own renewable energy, you're helping Ireland reach its target of generating 70% electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Return on Investment

Investing in solar panels can be expensive, so selling excess electricity back to the grid can help you recoup some of your costs over time.

Environmental Benefits

Generating renewable energy and selling it back to the grid helps reduce Ireland's carbon footprint, which benefits the environment.

Energy Security

By generating your own electricity and selling excess back to the grid, you're contributing to Ireland's energy security by reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels.

Is it Worthwhile to Sell Excess Electricity?

Selling electricity back to the grid in Ireland can be a worthwhile option for those who generate excess energy from their renewable sources. While the earnings may not be substantial, it can still provide a passive income stream and contribute to a more sustainable energy future.

Before deciding to sell excess electricity, it's important to consider the cost and potential benefits, as well as the required equipment and legal regulations. Additionally, it's important to understand the options available for selling excess electricity, such as net metering and feed-in tariffs, and to evaluate which one best suits your needs.

How Much Can You Earn by Selling Electricity to the Grid?

The earnings from selling electricity back to the grid in Ireland depend on various factors, such as the size of your renewable energy system, the amount of electricity generated, and the current feed-in tariff rate.

For instance, if you have a 5,000 kWh solar PV system and the feed-in tariff rate is €0.135/kWh, you can earn €675 per year. However, it is crucial to note that this is just an estimate and that the actual earnings may vary based on the specifics of your system and energy usage. Additionally, feed-in tariff rates are subject to change, so it's essential to check with your utility company or the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) to get the current rate.

How Will You Be Paid?

How you will be paid for the electricity you sell back to the grid will depend on the program you are registered with.

If you are registered for net metering, any excess electricity you generate will be credited to your account and can be used to offset any electricity consumed from the grid later. You can apply the credit to your next electricity bill or accumulate it for future use.

On the other hand, if you are registered for the feed-in tariff program, payments will be made by the utility company at the agreed-upon rate for the amount of electricity you generate and sell to the grid. These payments will be credited to your account and can be used to offset any electricity consumed from the grid at a later date.

Things to Consider Before Selling Electricity to the Grid

Selling electricity back to the grid can be a great way to offset your energy bills and earn extra income, but you should consider a few things before getting started.

Initial Costs

While selling electricity back to the grid can save you money in the long run, it does require an initial investment in solar panels or other renewable energy sources. Be sure to factor in these costs when deciding whether it's worth it.

Maintenance

Like any other system, solar panels and other renewable energy sources require regular maintenance to perform at their best. Ensure you're willing and able to take care of your system to maximise your earnings potential.

Electricity Usage

Selling electricity back to the grid is only beneficial if you generate more electricity than you use. Take a close look at your energy usage and consider whether investing in renewable energy sources makes sense.

Market Fluctuations

The price you're paid for your exported electricity may fluctuate based on market conditions, so it's important to keep an eye on energy prices to ensure you're getting the best possible rate.

Paperwork

Selling electricity back to the grid requires paperwork and contracts with your electricity supplier, so be prepared to spend some time and effort getting everything set up.

Start Earning from Your Solar Panels Today!

Selling electricity back to the grid in Ireland can be a smart way to earn extra income while reducing your carbon footprint. You can turn your solar panels into a profitable investment with the right setup and process. 

However, it's important to consider the regulations, pricing, and payment process of selling electricity back to the grid. If you want to explore this option, NuSolas Energy can help you navigate the process and maximise your solar energy investment. Contact us today to learn more.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make money selling solar energy?

Yes, you can make money by selling excess solar energy back to the grid through net metering. However, the amount you earn will depend on various factors, including your solar panel system's size and efficiency, and the rates offered by your utility company.

How much money can you make from solar panels?

The amount of money you can make from solar panels depends on several factors, including the size and efficiency of your solar panel system, the amount of sunlight your location receives, and the rates offered by your utility company for excess energy.

How do I sell electricity back to the grid?

To sell electricity back to the grid, you'll first need to install a solar panel system and connect it to the grid. You'll also need to set up a net metering agreement with your utility company, which will allow you to send excess energy back to the grid.

Can I sell solar power to generate income?

Yes, selling excess solar power back to the grid can generate income. However, the primary financial benefit of solar power comes from the savings on your electricity bill, rather than the income generated from selling excess energy.

Is it worth selling power back to the grid?

Selling power back to the grid can be worth it, as it allows you to earn money or credits for excess energy that your solar panel system generates. However, the financial benefits will depend on various factors, including your solar panel system's size and efficiency, and the rates offered by your utility company.

How does selling back to the grid work?

Selling electricity back to the grid typically involves a process called net metering. This allows households that generate excess electricity through solar panels to send this surplus energy back to the grid, often in exchange for credits or payments.

Can you make money selling solar energy?

Yes, you can make money by selling excess solar energy back to the grid through net metering. However, the amount you earn will depend on various factors, including your solar panel system's size and efficiency, and the rates offered by your utility company.

How much money can you make from solar panels?

The amount of money you can make from solar panels depends on several factors, including the size and efficiency of your solar panel system, the amount of sunlight your location receives, and the rates offered by your utility company for excess energy.

How do I sell electricity back to the grid?

To sell electricity back to the grid, you'll first need to install a solar panel system and connect it to the grid. You'll also need to set up a net metering agreement with your utility company, which will allow you to send excess energy back to the grid.

Can I sell solar power to generate income?

Yes, selling excess solar power back to the grid can generate income. However, the primary financial benefit of solar power comes from the savings on your electricity bill, rather than the income generated from selling excess energy.

How do I sell electricity back to the grid?

To sell electricity back to the grid, you'll first need to install a solar panel system and connect it to the grid. You'll also need to set up a net metering agreement with your utility company, which will allow you to send excess energy back to the grid.

Is it worth selling power back to the grid?

Selling power back to the grid can be worth it, as it allows you to earn money or credits for excess energy that your solar panel system generates. However, the financial benefits will depend on various factors, including your solar panel system's size and efficiency, and the rates offered by your utility company.

How does selling back to the grid work?

Selling electricity back to the grid typically involves a process called net metering. This allows households that generate excess electricity through solar panels to send this surplus energy back to the grid, often in exchange for credits or payments.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
About Author
Raj Singh
Founder @ NuSolas

A seasoned professional in the solar industry, Raj Singh is dedicated to illuminating Ireland with the power of the sun. His passion for renewable energy and commitment to sustainability shine through his work in the solar industry.