What is micro-generation?

Micro-generation is the small-scale generation of electricity from renewable sources by households and small businesses.

You can do this by installing a small generator powered by a renewable source. Some examples of sources of micro-generation include:

  • Solar panels
  • Micro-wind
  • Micro-hydro
  • Micro-renewable combined heat and power (CHP)

This electricity you generate from these renewable sources can be stored in a battery and used, or it can be sold to the grid through your electricity provider.

What is the Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS)?

The Micro-generation Support Scheme allows homes, businesses, farms and community buildings to sell any excess electricity they produce from solar panels back to the grid.

If you sell excess renewable energy to the grid, you get a payment known as a Clean Export Guarantee (CEG).

The amount you get paid depends on your energy provider.

Grants for solar panels

If you own your own home you can apply to the SEAI for a grant towards the cost of installing solar panels.

The SEAI is considering extending their grant support to include other forms of renewable energy, such as:

  • Micro-wind
  • Micro-hydro
  • Micro-renewable CHP

Read more about grants for solar panels in your home and you can find out about grants for solar panels in your business.

How does the Micro-generation Support Scheme work?

If you don’t have solar panels already, you can apply for a solar PV grant to help with the cost of getting them.

You must tell ESB Networks that you plan to install solar panels. You can do this by completing a NC6 form (pdf) or a NC7 form (pdf), depending on the size of your microgeneration system. You can fill the form in yourself or with the help of the person who installed your system.

You should use the NC6 form (pdf) if your microgeneration system is:

  • Single phase electricity and less than 6kW
  • 3 phase electricity and less than 11kW

You should use the NC7 form (pdf) if your microgeneration system is:

  • Single phase electricity and between 6kW to 50kW
  • 3 phase electricity and between 11kW to 50kW

When ESB Networks has processed your form, they will let your energy supplier know that you have installed a microgeneration system. If you have a smart meter installed, your energy supplier will know already.

When your solar panels are installed and connected, they will generate electricity. This will lower the cost of your electricity bills.

When your solar panels produce more electricity than you use, you can sell the excess back to the grid through your electricity supplier.

How is my electricity measured?

If you have a smart meter, this will measure the exact amount of electricity you use and sell. This is automatically recorded every half an hour by your smart meter.

If you don’t have a smart meter, but you qualify for one, you will not be paid for the electricity you sell until your smart meter has been installed. Payments will begin once your smart meter is installed and your NC6 or NC7 form has been processed.

If you don’t have a smart meter and don’t yet qualify for one, you will be paid based on a deemed volume assumption. This is calculated by ESB Networks using a formula set by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

How much can I get for my electricity?

The amount of money you will get for your excess electricity depends on:

  • How much electricity you generate
  • The rate set by your electricity supplier

The amount of electricity that you sell to the grid will generally be shown on your electricity bill. However, some suppliers will send you a separate statement with the information.

Tax exemptions for micro-generation

From 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2025 if you sell your electricity back to the national grid, you qualify for a tax exemption of €400 per year on the income you generate from selling your excess electricity.

Do I qualify for the Micro-generation Support Scheme?

The scheme is available for homes and non-domestic sites, such as farms, businesses and
community buildings.

To qualify, your home must:

  • Have solar panels
  • Have been built before 2021
  • Have a Meter Point Registration Number (MPRN) from the Meter Registration System Operator (MRSO)
  • Be registered with an electricity supplier

Your home does not need to meet any minimum Building Energy Rating (BER) to qualify.

Gov.ie have more information on qualifying criteria for non domestic sites (pdf).

More information on micro-generation

The Commission of Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has a useful questions and answers document on microgeneration (pdf).

SEAI have information on how to apply for the Solar Electricity grant.

If you have questions on micro-generators, ESB Network have an FAQ page.

You can view the Micro-generation Scheme Final Scheme Design (pdf) on gov.ie.

Read more about grants for solar panels in your home and greener homes. You can also find information about supports for businesses going green.

Page edited: 27 May 2024