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Domestic pv panels and planning permission

  • 13-06-2019 9:41pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    The sweet spot for me is a system of just over 4 kWh with a battery, this requires 13/14 panels, I would place 8 on the rear roof and 6 on the side roof, none are facing the front of the house/ road, it's a large dormer with its roofs facing three directions, when fitted the panels will look fine, not lost on the roofs.

    The SEAI don't require planning permission approval but if I proceed I'm limited to 7/8 panels to meet the 12 sq metre planning exception that will not work for me.

    What have others done that have had an install of Solar PV panels.?

    Did you apply for planning or will you apply for retention or do nothing ?

    The current planning rules seem out of touch with this new pv panel technology and the green agenda, carbon footprint etc etc.

    I'm inclined to fire ahead with the install, urban area, not City, neighbours are not a problem as panels do not overlook any houses.

    Any thoughts


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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    pale rider wrote: »
    The sweet spot for me is a system of just over 4 kWh with a battery, this requires 13/14 panels, I would place 8 on the rear roof and 6 on the side roof, none are facing the front of the house/ road, it's a large dormer with its roofs facing three directions, when fitted the panels will look fine, not lost on the roofs.

    The SEAI don't require planning permission approval but if I proceed I'm limited to 7/8 panels to meet the 12 sq metre exception that will not work for me.

    What have others done that have had an install of Solar PV panels.?

    Did you apply for planning or will you apply for retention or do nothing ?

    The current planning rules seem out of touch with this new pv panel technology and the green agenda, carbon footprint etc etc.

    I'm inclined to fire ahead with the install, urban area, not City, neighbours are not a problem as panels do not overlook the house at rear.

    Any thoughts

    4kw system.
    The new QCell panels are 330w I think so it can be done with 12/13 panels.
    Next Gen do these ones as I seen them at the SEAI Energy show. Disclosure - they done mine too.


    I have a 3kw system (10 panels). I’ll deal with the planning if and when it becomes a problem.

    Hopefully planing regulations change bitnas I do the planning for a living I can apply myself if needed.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,861 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    pale rider wrote: »
    The current planning rules seem out of touch with this new pv panel technology and the green agenda, carbon footprint etc etc.

    Indeed.

    A lady who had plastered the full front of her roof (road facing) with PV panels was recently ordered to take them down. Probably the exception to the rule though.

    I have no panels that are visible from the road, and I did not apply for PP myself

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    Thanks for replies, That case in Limerick was due back in Court in May, I can find no update, according to the paper this person put 21 panels on the front of a semi d, quite a lot to be fair, mine are spread out across two roofs facing different directions.

    I would fear being turned down as she was if I applied for retention after a complaint was lodged, unlikely as that may be.

    A quick search of planning applications in my County finds just two applications purely for solar pv panels, both approved, there must be many more fitted without planning,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    @pale
    Fcuk it,do it.
    Whoever reports you for breakign the planning, it has to give his/her name and the motives for objections.
    It has to know and see that you did it and broke the planning 12 sqm...
    You can have 12 months to appeal and there find out the person who did it.

    As unkel said above, i take it that it will be more and more cases,more public exposure and some regulation will be changed under that pressure...

    I just don't see anyone objecting to panels on other people houses...just cannot see it if you keep it common sense.
    Except if you plan to build a big solar PV in the middle of no where,well thats a different one.

    Good luck

    PS
    "dont take advice for starngers on boards.ie"


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    Names of any complainant would not be available to me, I think you are mixing this up with objections received to a planning application.

    I agree that any common sense install should attract no adverse comments or genuine complaints to any local planning authority, that said currently anything over 12 sq metres could be an issue, hopefully not for long, some joined up thinking is required, on the one hand 4kw grant with battery etc €3800, on the other you have to have PP for this level, ridiculous.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    rolion wrote: »
    @pale
    Fcuk it,do it.
    Whoever reports you for breakign the planning, it has to give his/her name and the motives for objections.
    It has to know and see that you did it and broke the planning 12 sqm...
    You can have 12 months to appeal and there find out the person who did it.

    As unkel said above, i take it that it will be more and more cases,more public exposure and some regulation will be changed under that pressure...

    I just don't see anyone objecting to panels on other people houses...just cannot see it if you keep it common sense.
    Except if you plan to build a big solar PV in the middle of no where,well thats a different one.

    Good luck

    PS
    "dont take advice for starngers on boards.ie"

    That’s incorrect. Complaints to Planning Enforcement are completely kept private. The details of the complainant cannot and will
    Not be released either under a FOI or if it goes to court.

    That’s why the planning enforcement officers gather their own evidence that they stand over in court should it go that far.

    There’s no such thing as 12 months for appeal or anything you’ve posted to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,287 ✭✭✭ n97 mini


    rolion wrote: »
    @pale
    Fcuk it,do it.
    Whoever reports you for breakign the planning, it has to give his/her name and the motives for objections.
    It has to know and see that you did it and broke the planning 12 sqm...
    You can have 12 months to appeal and there find out the person who did it.

    As unkel said above, i take it that it will be more and more cases,more public exposure and some regulation will be changed under that pressure...

    I just don't see anyone objecting to panels on other people houses...just cannot see it if you keep it common sense.
    Except if you plan to build a big solar PV in the middle of no where,well thats a different one.

    Good luck

    PS
    "dont take advice for starngers on boards.ie"

    While the laws are literally counter productive, they are the laws.

    I had a 4 year battle with Kildare Co Council over a slight overhang of a gutter on our extension, during which time they told me I could be slapped with a €12.7 MILLION fine (some civil servant transposed the law from punts to euros and put the decimal point in the wrong place, so 10,000 punts became 12.7 million euros -- true story).

    Anyway, as I wouldn't lie down (the gutter overhang was over our own wall, ffs!), Kildare Co Council eventually referred it to An Bord Pleanala. Their inspector came out, literally glanced at it and wrote the wrote the whole thing off. It didn't cost us a cent, but it took 4 years to settle.

    In summary, if you want an easy life, don't piss off some useless anonymous jobsworth in the council.


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    n97 mini wrote: »
    While the laws are literally counter productive, they are the laws.

    I had a 4 year battle with Kildare Co Council over a slight overhang of a gutter

    In summary, if you want an easy life, don't piss off some useless anonymous jobsworth in the council.

    That is a horror story, I do want an easy life, would dislike the hassle, that said it appears Im in the minority even thinking about applying for planning, not just with the few replies so far but from an online planning search, maybe I will check other counties online planning applications tomorrow, if the planning costs are more than something nominal then stuff my green efforts maybe I will forget the whole thing


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    n97 mini wrote: »
    While the laws are literally counter productive, they are the laws.

    I had a 4 year battle with Kildare Co Council over a slight overhang of a gutter on our extension, during which time they told me I could be slapped with a €12.7 MILLION fine (some civil servant transposed the law from punts to euros and put the decimal point in the wrong place, so 10,000 punts became 12.7 million euros -- true story).

    Anyway, as I wouldn't lie down (the gutter overhang was over our own wall, ffs!), Kildare Co Council eventually referred it to An Bord Pleanala. Their inspector came out, literally glanced at it and wrote the wrote the whole thing off. It didn't cost us a cent, but it took 4 years to settle.

    In summary, if you want an easy life, don't piss off some useless anonymous jobsworth in the council.

    There must be more to this story.
    Someone must have complained about your extension in the first place?
    Then they must have referred it to ABP.

    There was probably a legal argument over the exemption requirements and the term “within the curtilage of your site”.

    Just because a so called jobs worth is doing their job, doesn’t mean that they deserve the bashing online about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    To be fair to n97 mini ..... we don't know the full story and the emotion is understandable, I got the key point about local Govt officialdom and understand that completely, I'm edging towards planning once nominal costs are involved, I don't care for unnecessary hassle despite my thinking this is a non issue.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,287 ✭✭✭ n97 mini


    kceire wrote: »
    There must be more to this story.
    Someone must have complained about your extension in the first place?
    Then they must have referred it to ABP.

    There was probably a legal argument over the exemption requirements and the term “within the curtilage of your site”.

    Just because a so called jobs worth is doing their job, doesn’t mean that they deserve the bashing online about it.

    Yeah, the wanker who owns the adjoining house next door complained even though he doesn't live there. He complained after I (naively) told him out of courtesy we were building an extension.

    KCC themselves referred it to ABP as I had had consulted with other LA's about the definition of "curtilage" (there isn't one, legally).

    I don't take calling someone a jobsworth lightly, but we had 3 separate "inspectors" call from KCC. The first said to me he saw no issues, but his report stated otherwise. The second said the extension was way over 40m2 (it's 22m2) and the third didn't even get my name right (my name isn't Mr McGrath, or even close). When the whole thing was referred to ABP, KCC sent me the file. They didn't even redact people's names!

    KC, you know your stuff. The whole file, sorry and all as it is, is here any time you want to have a look.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    n97 mini wrote: »
    Yeah, the wanker who owns the adjoining house next door complained even though he doesn't live there. He complained after I (naively) told him out of courtesy we were building an extension.

    KCC themselves referred it to ABP as I had had consulted with other LA's about the definition of "curtilage" (there isn't one, legally).

    I don't take calling someone a jobsworth lightly, but we had 3 separate "inspectors" call from KCC. The first said to me he saw no issues, but his report stated otherwise. The second said the extension was way over 40m2 (it's 22m2) and the third didn't even get my name right (my name isn't Mr McGrath, or even close). When the whole thing was referred to ABP, KCC sent me the file. They didn't even redact people's names!

    KC, you know your stuff. The whole file, sorry and all as it is, is here any time you want to have a look.

    TBH, that sounds like KCC.
    They have sent similar cases like this to ABP as an exercise to get them out of having to make a decision.

    I was involved in one recently, completely exempt works, neighbor was being a [email protected]@ox. KCC said it wasn't exempt and that because we had flashing above our side of the boundary, they rules it outside the curtilage of my clients property.

    I advised to ignore all the warnings and take our day in court as we were in the right. ABP came out and ruled it exempt too.

    KCC should learn from their mistakes.
    Also, serious breach of standards if they released the file with complainants details in full view!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    pale rider wrote: »
    To be fair to n97 mini ..... we don't know the full story and the emotion is understandable, I got the key point about local Govt officialdom and understand that completely, I'm edging towards planning once nominal costs are involved, I don't care for unnecessary hassle despite my thinking this is a non issue.

    Planning should be straight forward, its just the time frame.
    From the day you lodge the planning, assuming you get a grant, its 14 weeks before you can start the installation.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 31,027 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    kceire wrote: »
    Planning should be straight forward, its just the time frame.
    From the day you lodge the planning, assuming you get a grant, its 14 weeks before you can start the installation.

    Does the planning last for 5 years then? How much does it usually cost? I probably won't be getting panels in for a year or two but I wouldn't mind having planning ready to go when I do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 791 ✭✭✭ reklamos


    pale rider wrote: »
    Thanks for replies, That case in Limerick was due back in Court in May, I can find no update, according to the paper this person put 21 panels on the front of a semi d, quite a lot to be fair, mine are spread out across two roofs facing different directions.

    I would fear being turned down as she was if I applied for retention after a complaint was lodged, unlikely as that may be.

    A quick search of planning applications in my County finds just two applications purely for solar pv panels, both approved, there must be many more fitted without planning,


    I'm just wondering what it would take to get this restriction lifted as it does not make sense. Greens did pretty well in last election, also we have below and Ireland is lagging behind.
    https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2019/0613/1055135-carbon-credits/
    https://www.euroheat.org/news/eu-statistics/
    https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/renewable-energy


    Is there anything being done to change this?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    Does the planning last for 5 years then? How much does it usually cost? I probably won't be getting panels in for a year or two but I wouldn't mind having planning ready to go when I do.

    Yes, a granted planning lasts 5 years which can be extended in the final year for a year or 2 citing financial reasons as the reason the works were not implemented.

    Cost wise, it depends if you go with an Architect, Engineer or Surveyor or Technician and where you are located. Its the same process as if you were building a 2 storey extension, newspaper ads, site notice, drawings etc


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    reklamos wrote: »
    I'm just wondering what it would take to get this restriction lifted as it does not make sense. Greens did pretty well in last election, also we have below and Ireland is lagging behind.
    https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2019/0613/1055135-carbon-credits/
    https://www.euroheat.org/news/eu-statistics/
    https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/renewable-energy


    Is there anything being done to change this?

    Lobby Councilors and TD's to amend the Planning and Development Act, specifically the Class that relates to Solar Panel Array exemptions.

    Or at least some guidance to say whether the LA's will accept larger arrays.


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    Having slept on it and I am still conflicted, that said life is too short and this has taken up enough head space.... the planet is dying and needs me so....... I have pulled the trigger and placed my order with my chosen installer so away we go, its my roof(s) after all, I will apply for retention if it becomes an issue.

    I just hope this is changed very soon, one arm of our State ( SEAI ) providing €3800 and another arm ( Local Govt ) charged with enforcement over 12 sq metres, an inadequate size for a Solar array is plain stupid.

    And it will look well when up and not obtrusive or heavily covering both roofs...that my friend is a fact and I'm sticking with it.

    My installer will take them down and store them if it becomes an issue as I file for retention, now that was the push I needed and is excellent customer service in my opinion.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 31,027 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    pale rider wrote: »
    Having slept on it and I am still conflicted, that said life is too short and this has taken up enough head space.... the planet is dying and needs me so....... I have pulled the trigger and placed my order with my chosen installer so away we go, its my roof(s) after all, I will apply for retention if it becomes an issue.

    I just hope this is changed very soon, one arm of our State ( SEAI ) providing €3800 and another arm ( Local Govt ) charged with enforcement over 12 sq metres, an inadequate size for a Solar array is plain stupid.

    And it will look well when up and not obtrusive or heavily covering both roofs...that my friend is a fact and I'm sticking with it.

    My installer will take them down and store them if it becomes an issue as I file for retention, now that was the push I needed and is excellent customer service in my opinion.

    Would be interested in a PM to know who your installer is if you don't mind. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    will wait for the install then happy to share...


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    pale rider wrote: »
    will wait for the install then happy to share...

    Did you get a few companies to price?
    How did they fair out and compare?


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    Yes I did a lot of research and wanted to narrow it down to three surveys, it is a lot of money with a long payback so the quality has to be good day one.

    First off I'll mention those I wanted to get to survey stage.

    The first guy A - He had no technical knowledge and could not answer what I considered basic questions, he had to call a technical support to answer queries, promised to send on spec sheets and didn't and finally asked me to take pictures of the price lists on my phone, this guy represents a company that is advertising smartly through pop ups, they were the most expensive by a country mile, told me he had same system on his roof but when I asked to see the app on his system working well it was down wasn't it..., he was the first I spoke with and I rushed to get to survey, I smartened up after that by screening on the phone.

    The second guy B - I made an appointment with, company recommended on this site, liked their price and guy was an engineer but when I asked about the panel efficiency he quoted me watts then said he didn't understand my question, didn't call back when he said and when I mailed again several days later he called me and told me he was very busy, I cancelled that survey appointment after reflecting a little.

    The next guy C - I met him as he is/was technically strong, did the survey, no rush, answered all my questions, willing to seek out alternate panels of my choosing, lots of installs completed, I was happy enough, curiously his website was not all bells and whistles and it should have been given scope of projects completed, his firm will claim the solar grant so you don't pay gross, I liked that, it was a vote of confidence in the install I felt as these are open to SEAI inspection as you know..

    Last guy D - I spoke to was also clued he, I met him, did survey, also mentioned on this site, I probably would have done the deal with them but the previous guy C did me a great deal and was willing to assist if I hit a planning retention issue, also D failed the history check with the business having changed names, I'm not against doing a check on CRO.ie and I'd see that as important, if they have a good history they might be around and should come back if you have problems later.

    I also learned that it is possible to get almost all the specs I wanted ( except they were Chinese panels ) delivered to my door and at a guess fitting costs of €2000 which seems generous to an Electrician / roofer would have meant a saving to me of €1800 over the price I agreed with C and after the grant.

    The other lesson for those interested is do your own homework, at least some research, I spoke to several people who I didn't progress to survey stage for various reasons, mainly lack of product knowledge.

    There is money in this, there will be plenty of lads/firms chasing this opportunity, the offers will become ever more confusing, buyer beware was my key take away.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Might be an idea to post up specs of the quotes if we can compare. If you don’t mind of course. At least get the opinion of the products from others as there’s a various amount of batteries and panels out there. Some claiming storage capacities higher than reality etc

    I think I know the company with the name change as they have been merging with smaller companies over the last 2 years or so, NGP used to be Solar Panel Ireland when I got mine fitted but exact same staff, same tech guy and same contact numbers for support.

    My only gripe of been an earlier adaptor is that the stuff now is way better. The givenergy productuts are great and you can remote access the battery storage so if you know it’s going to be cloudy you can fill the batter on night rate and use during the day etc. this is what I would have went for if I hadn’t got the trannergy invertor so now I have to get AC coupled batteries and a small invertor to link everything, but then I’ll have full remote access.

    Hopefully it’s not a soltorro system as I know of 3 of those removed this week. I believe at least one poster on here removed his and is sitting on the garage floor awaiting collection.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    kceire wrote: »
    Might be an idea to post up specs of the quotes if we can compare. If you don’t mind of course. At least get the opinion of the products from others as there’s a various amount of batteries and panels out there. Some claiming storage capacities higher than reality etc

    I think I know the company with the name change as they have been merging with smaller companies over the last 2 years or so, NGP used to be Solar Panel Ireland when I got mine fitted but exact same staff, same tech guy and same contact numbers for support.

    My only gripe of been an earlier adaptor is that the stuff now is way better. The givenergy productuts are great and you can remote access the battery storage so if you know it’s going to be cloudy you can fill the batter on night rate and use during the day etc. this is what I would have went for if I hadn’t got the trannergy invertor so now I have to get AC coupled batteries and a small invertor to link everything, but then I’ll have full remote access.

    Hopefully it’s not a soltorro system as I know of 3 of those removed this week. I believe at least one poster on here removed his and is sitting on the garage floor awaiting collection.


    Second that on the soltsro gear, I had it for a few months (a temp system from my installer while he was waiting for the givenergy), and have to say, i ended out disliking it intensely. Poor controls no way of adjusting charge settings, and then that was woefully, using the solarman app, nothing added up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    Spelling errors

    Soltaro data was poor to unreliable, gave lots of contradicting data. The app was poor and there was no option for the user to adjust charging parameters.

    As I said, it was put in as a temp system, and I was glad it was temporary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    The soltaro kit, is sitting in my house waiting for.collection, you might be referring to me, but I know also of at least one other person who has had it removed and replaced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    It is not Soltaro, BTW I would have had a problem having any system fitted temporarily on my roof.

    At this point I am satisfied I have done the best I could and have a great price from a company that has a history of installs including large local new developments, I wont share the specs at this juncture, I have paid my deposit and am satisfied with the level of product and company research I completed.

    I think there can be glitches, this is evolving technology and my choice of system will doubtless look prehistoric in 5 years, then again I have a friend still using his Nokia 6230i that does the job for him.

    I believe that when a very interested person asks for a best and last price then that should be provided and not have the customer referred to a standard pricing offering as I was, one now grumbling and annoying me by sending me several texts that I should have got back to him and roundly rubbishing whatever system I have chosen without knowing the details other than the same panels are being used for both quotes, glad I did not progress with them.

    The process was a right pain really with so much conflicting information being thrown about, it is really important to do your own research, forums are great but this is your hard earned money with a long payback so research and ask questions.

    Where there is profit, and there is in these installs you will have to kiss some frogs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    The inverter is in the attic, it wasnt an issue having it temporary. I'm only giving my experience of that kit, being lucky enough to have experience of both kits from a user perspective.

    Dont mean to be disparaging or questioning your choice or decision on whichever installer are using , your samples make perfect sense and your logic . Just offering advice on my experience of the soltaro.


  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ pale rider


    Didn't take it that way at all wexfordman2, you guys have walked the walk ahead of me but there will be others following along and information sharing is very important.

    The Technical side appears straightforward but you must dig deeper, e.g. guys drilling holes in roof tiles rather than correctly fitting the panels, there is a lot to watch out for and the bells and whistles sales guy that breezes in all confident just might be the right guy with the right system or not, homework is important, do more than read any glossy brochures.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Pale Rider. Best of luck with the install.
    I hope I don’t come across as pushing for info either.


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