Activ8 Solar Energies Awarded ‘Best Solar Energy Solutions Provider 2020'

Activ8 Solar Energies awarded ‘Best Solar Energy Solutions Provider' in the 3rd annual Irish Enterprise Awards

We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have received this award on behalf of all our hard working staff

It would be remiss of me to receive this award without a tone of caution in writing to our customers and followers as we celebrate this accolade. This award is down to the hard work and consistency of our staff over many, many years. This will be the 14th year of existence for what is Activ8 Solar Energies and while this award is directly attributable to our current staff, their efforts have been built upon the foundations of many previous staff members and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, both current and past.

 

However, with the recent spread of COVID-19, these are uncertain times for businesses, but also for our families. We should all continue to follow expert advice from the HSE and informed government sources, as we are doing here in Activ8 Solar Energies.

 

It is with this recent challenge and also this particular award, that we all look back on the growth of Activ8 Solar Energies over a fantastic 14 years and realise that as Irelands largest solar installer and with the backing of our partners SSE Airtricity that we are in a position to continue to help our customers as much as we possibly can and that we will continue to drive forward the renewable energy efforts in this wonderful country of ours.

 

With that said, I want to thank all of our wonderful staff and wish health upon their families in the near future and the hope that our normal routines will seem to resume just as quickly as they have left us.

 

Kind regards,

Ciaran Marron
CEO
Activ8 Solar Energies


Speaking About Solar PV at ISEA Conference 2018

It was great to be invited to speak at the Solar Ireland 2018 event this week by the Irish Solar Energy Association.

Having worked alongside the ISEA over the past number of years and having spoke at the event last year as a company, it was great to be invited along this year to discuss the solar PV landscape in Ireland in 2018, amongst other things.

It gave me great pleasure in sharing our installation knowledge with the next generation of solar installers.

It doesn't feel like 10 years since I helped our first customer claim an SEAI solar grant. Where does the time go?

Ciaran.


Solar PV Grant For Irish Homes Welcomed

Solar PV Grant With Activ8 Solar Energies & SSE Airtricity

It’s with great pleasure that we welcome the grant announced today by the SEAI. As one of the leading advocates of solar PV in Ireland we have seen many false dawns in previous years. We have sat on many boards discussing the benefits and possible pitfalls of introducing an incentive, as well as speaking at solar events sharing our experience in other markets and countries. Upon Minister Naughten’s announcement earlier this year, the hope was this would not be a false dawn, and as we worked as advisors to the SEAI on the format of the grant, it’s great to see the hard work pay off today.

In brief the grant will work as follows:

Without Battery (Max €1,400)
€700 per kWp up to and capped at 2kWp

With Battery (Max €3,800)
€700 per kWp up to and capped at 4kWp Solar
+
€1000 for battery once sized greater than 2kWhrs

Conditions:

- Buildings built and occupied before 2011
- Post-works BER required
- PV works must be installed after July 31st 2018
- Systems must be grid tied
- Grant is a one-off payment
- 2-year pilot scheme reviewed every 6 months

This theme is all about self-consumption and practicality. Regarding self-consumption, we have found that 2kWp systems can achieve approximately 80% usage of all energy generated, brought close to 100% with battery storage or hot water diverts. By encouraging self-consumption, it means the best value is being obtained by the customer. Regarding practicality, there are schemes around the world still being administered and staffed long after the scheme has closed, hence we welcome the upfront one-off grant payment. This allows for the quick implementation of the scheme and eliminates the grandfather costs when the pilot ends.

We would like to commend the SEAI on their speedy response to Minister Naughten’s call to action. These schemes take a lot of planning and forethought, and the expedited manner in which the members of the SEAI brought this pilot about is a credit to them as an organisation.

Finally, we would like to give credit to our partners at SSE Airtricity for their foresight in all things renewable. SSE Airtricity’s investment in Activ8 further reaffirms their position as the leading supplier of renewable energy to Irish households.

Through our partnership, we are rolling out the following offer to customers -

All current, and new, SSE Airtricity customers who purchase a system from Activ8 will receive €250 cashback from Activ8 on point of install.

Looking at today's announcement, our CEO Ciaran Marron concluded with:
"Having spent the last 12 years in the solar industry, it is not lost on me that we are exactly 12 years away from 2030, a monumental year in our climate change efforts. The announcement today shows our commitment as a country towards our goals in this regard".

For more information on Solar PV and how to avail of the grant, click here.


Stumbling Towards Solar PV Incentives In Ireland

As a key stakeholder in the Irish Solar Industry, this week is a very interesting one indeed.

Today I travel to a number of meetings with many like-minded people within my industry, to see if we can form a strong, stable and exciting incentive to help us move past the label of Europe’s solar laggards.

Tomorrow I travel to Munich, to Intersolar 2018, where I can discuss with our peers in Europe, suppliers and engineers alike on the deemed successes of solar throughout the continent in the past and the products and strategies of the future.

To see where our industry sits at this moment in time we should see the successes achieved both by us and by our nearest neighbours – Northern Ireland. SEAI have done a great job spreading the word of sustainability throughout Ireland, with grants for almost every useful upgrading measure available. To this end, energy conservation and renewable production has almost become glamorous! You need look no further than Diarmuid Gavin on a Sunday afternoon on RTE to realise that triple glazing, insulation and heatpumps are the fashionable things to go for. When it comes to Solar Thermal, SEAI have truly done their part also. We have upgraded thousands of homes through the grant scheme, and thousands of others simply through the knock on effect of testimonials, advocating the effectiveness of established solar homes. Great products, services and savings are infectious, but sometimes need a push to get over the hump of inertia. In this context, Northern Ireland have taken an approach to incentivise Solar PV. From simply driving the road from Dundalk to Castleblayney, you can see the effects from one incentivised region to another.

For those not familiar with the N53, it turns into the A37 (NI) for 5.4 kilometres. As you drive this small stretch of road, you can see what a difference the PV incentive has made. You will see both social and private housing with systems installed, as well as numerous businesses from petrol stations to bars and shops. All reducing the electricity purchased from the grid, saving money and doing their bit for the environment. Then as you move further down the road onto the N53 again you can see domestic customers availing of solar thermal again in the Republic.

A small PV incentive, similar to that which homeowners can obtain for solar thermal in Ireland would put us in a position to catch up with our European counterparts in the renewable stakes. We already have the governing body in place, along with mechanisms to roll this out extremely efficiently. We have checks in place for trade specific qualifications and insurances to ensure the customer is using a properly vetted company. We already have the vehicles in place to do quality insurance inspections to ensure only high quality installers remain on this grant list. We even have an efficient way of trading carbon credits which could also subsidise installation costs in place. Leaving us with 2 roadblocks;

  1. The lack of an incentive in place for solar PV
  2. The lack of planning foresight for Solar PV, as we are still working from exemptions with solar thermal in mind

Change is difficult. Enacting mass change is harder again. Indecision, plodding progress and fear of change is what has us as Europe’s laggards. On a technology that has proven itself throughout European countries for over a decade now. This stumbling progress to date, has left us second from bottom on a list produced by Europe’s largest NGO coalition Climate Action Network (CAN) on Monday just past (18th June 2018) of countries and their progress toward their 2020 goals. However, the aforementioned structures and processes that we already have in place, allows me to look at the current solar landscape and our ability to move forward with solar PV with positivity.

Ciaran Marron
CEO


A Personal Thank You

A Personal Thank You

The last few days have been very active on the commercial front for myself and my family with the announcement that SSE Airtricity has invested in a 40% stake of Activ8 Solar Energies. As a result, I didn’t quite have the chance to sit down and actually take in the momentous occasion. However, the calls and messages I have received from friends and family far and wide have been truly heartwarming.

I firstly want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that a lot of the people doing so have played important roles in helping Activ8 become what it is today. Those closest to me are acutely aware of the journey endured in getting to this point, but sometimes overlook the importance of their contribution through what they’ve said and what they’ve done in helping make Activ8 the company it is today.

With that, Orla and I want to personally thank all of our family and friends from the bottom of our hearts for everything. Equally, I want to thank our current staff for continuing to do their best to help Activ8 grow on a daily and monthly basis in what is a very exciting 2018. I also want to thank all of those who checked in and out of Activ8 HQ in the past, for however long, for their hard work and buying into the Activ8 vision over the years.

I am very excited for what 2018 holds for Activ8 Solar Energies and with the support of SSE Airtricity, the sky sun is the limit.

 

 

 

Ciaran Marron
CEO