What is micro-generation?

Micro-generation refers to the small-scale generation of electricity from renewable sources by households or 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 can be stored in a battery and used, or it can be sold to the grid through your electricity provider.

Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS)

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

This payment is known as a Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) and is available to anyone who exports excess renewable energy to the grid, regardless of who your energy provider is.

The amount of payment you can receive depends on your energy provider. Different rules apply if it is not a home (a non-domestic site) and generating between 6kW and 50kW of electricity.

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.

You must tell ESB Networks that you intend to install solar panels. This is done using a NC6 form (pdf).

Once your chosen contractor has installed and connected your solar panels, they will generate electricity. This will lower the cost of your electricity bill.

When the amount of electricity the panels produce is greater than the amount you have used, you can sell the excess back to the grid through your electricity supplier.

If you have a smart meter, this will measure the amount of electricity you export. If you don’t have one, you will be paid based on a deemed volume assumption set by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

How much can I get for my electricity?

How much money you will receive for your excess electricity depends on:

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

For homeowners (domestic) and non-domestic sites generating up to 5.9kW, you should receive a competitive market rate for your excess electricity.

Non-domestic sites generating between 6.0kW and 50kW will be eligible for the Clean Export Premium, which is a set rate.

Tax exemptions for micro-generation

From 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2025 if you sell your electricity back to the national grid, you are eligible for a tax exemption of €400 per year on the income generated from selling your excess electricity. Previously there was a tax exemption of €200 per year on the income generated from selling your excess electricity.

Do I qualify for the Micro-generation Support Scheme?

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

To qualify as a domestic applicant, your home must:

  • Have solar panels. If you don’t currently have any, you can apply for a grant to install some.
  • Have been built before 2021
  • Have a Meter Point Registration Number (MPRN) from the Meter Registration System Operator (MRSO) and
  • Be registered with an electricity supplier
  • Be generating less than 6kW of electricity

Your home does not need to meet any minimum Building Energy Rating (BER) to qualify, either before or after installing the panels.

More information

Page edited: 5 January 2024