Activ8 Solar Energies ISO 9001 Accreditation

 

We are delighted to announce that we have officially secured ISO 9001 accreditation through the National Standards Authority of Ireland.

This accreditation, ISO 9001 is awarded to companies for exceptional Quality Management Systems, strengthening our reputation within the Irish solar industry for our dedication to quality of service. This is backed up by our stringent process management that guarantees our consistent quality of service with each and every customer, install and project that we undertake.

Acquiring this accreditation was extremely important for us as a company, making sure that we became the only dedicated solar installers in Ireland to receive the ISO mark of quality. It was a lengthy process in conjunction with the National Standards Authority of Ireland, but an important process for everyone here, as it now sets us apart from others in the industry.

It gives our current customers further peace of mind as to the pedigree of their install, the stability of our guarantees and the standards to which our customer service will deliver, if they ever need us. It should also go a long way towards helping any prospective customers make up their mind as to with whom they wish to deal with. We hope this helps establish Activ8 Solar Energies as the industry leader in quality. Quality of survey, design, fit, install and overall service.

For our CEO Ciaran Marron, over 12 years in business, it echoes the slogan of the company;

"We do not follow standards, we set them!"


Activ8 Solar Energies Feature in Irish Examiner

Activ8 Solar Energies National Coverage

We were recently featured in the Irish Examiner with the newspaper highlighting poor representation at the COP 21 in Paris, but more importantly, showcasing Irish consumers willingness to go green.

We here at Activ8 Solar Energies, can testify to this after a successful 2015 and big plans for 2016. There are a number of things showing how willing Irish consumers are in terms of adopting solar energy on a domestic level, with growing adoption within the commercial market also growing steadily. In line with this commercial growth, it is rumoured that incentives are coming down the line to help support the enticing farm and commercial solar developments that have been seen support by many of our European counterparts.

The main reason that Irish consumers are investing in the solar thermal market, apart from the green approach of supporting the environment, is that ultimately, it is an investment that is good for the pocket!

HRI Scheme Success

One of the major successes of the current government and in turn a success for the Irish people and their adoption of renewable energies, has has been the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme. It was launched with a successful setup allowing people to claim back tax for work that was carried out on their home. In our case, one popular approach that fits the criteria perfectly, is the installation of solar panels.

Despite the HRI scheme being a well-known initiative in Ireland, its suitability for helping people make the switch to renewable energy sources is not widely publicised, although through our brand awareness and national coverage through our multiple office sites, we have successfully helped consumers make this switch under the criteria within this scheme.

Going forward, the government need to highlight the pledge Irish people are already making to tackle carbon emissions. As more people make the switch to solar and other renewables, Ireland increases the chances of hitting its emissions targets, thus helping to address the ongoing global climate crisis in line with new targets set in Paris.

Read the piece, in full on the Irish Examiner website by clicking here.

Happy New Year to all of our current customers and we look forward to hearing from those who want to bring solar technology to their homes in 2016.


A Guide to passing Part L with Solar PV

With Part L Solar PV installations slowly growing into a staple of what we do here in Activ8 Solar Energies, we have created a page on our website completely devoted to Part L.

Here we describe how we can help with the process of specifying, co-ordinating and fitting Solar PV to help your newbuild comply with Part L.

This page is very much directed to the architects, consultant engineers and quantity surveyors who are looking for more information on the products used along with the direct contact information of our Part L and PV division for any advice needed. As a consumer, feel free to point your consultant engineer, architect or BER assessor in our direction for guidance and a quality installation solution.

Remember, not all PV is installed equally, the Republic of Ireland is far behind in the safety and quality standards which are regulated in the UK and Northern Ireland by a specific microgeneration governing body called MCS, luckily we have picked up this experience through our Northern Ireland based company, Solar NI.

If you would like to know more, please get in contact with us.


Ireland's Commitment to Change at COP21 Summit Challenged

Could Ireland Have Committed to More Change at COP21 Paris?

On Monday of this week, as we got ready for another week of work in the world of renewable energy, our Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, addressed many of the world's leading nations' leaders in Paris at the COP 21 global summit on climate change.

It was a moment in which Enda could have made all of us in the renewable energy industry in Ireland proud. That includes all of our customers and everyone making genuine efforts to source and use energy from renewable and sustainable means. It includes everyone who takes pride in simple things like recycling. It includes a lot of people in Ireland. But he failed to declare Ireland's strong intentions for climate change into the future.

Instead of standing and proclaiming Ireland's willingness to do everything possible so that Ireland would reach its renewable energy targets, he simply didn’t deliver. He cited Ireland's current targets for 2020 as being “unrealistic” and “unreachable”. Although he mainly referred to the difficulties facing the agricultural section in Ireland with regards to carbon emissions, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that incentives have worked in other industries.

You only have to look at the current solar energy grants scheme that has worked very well for our targets, our businesses and most of all, the Irish public who have been able to avail of renewable energy technologies in their home. Looking to agriculture, there is the opportunity to install medium-scale solar PV systems on farm buildings through the TAMS II scheme, but measures such as this should be more heavily supported if Ireland are to be seen as being serious about offsetting the emissions caused by our ever-increasing agricultural production.

The Irish Economy and Climate Change

Getting back to the topic at hand, Ireland is in a strong position currently thanks to our growing economy. Evidence of this was seen in the generous nature of the most recent budget. It would have been possible for the government to increase incentives and really push an agenda of change in relation to climate change and our 2020 targets, with a view to reaching our 2030 targets also.

Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and we, like many others, were left disappointed. But with this week's COP 21 global summit on climate change unfolding, we felt that it was the time for Enda Kenny and his party to show the Irish public its future plans in relation to climate change and a chance for them to showcase to the world how Ireland could once again be a leader of change as it has done in the past.

The only real commitment to come from Mr. Kenny was The €175 million promised over the next five years, which is no more than existing Irish Aid spending repeated into the future.

We, like many others, will continue to drive the renewable energy industry in Ireland and are hopeful that Mr. Kenny scraps the notions that our recession restricted us in this regard. Plenty of poorer nations than Ireland, such as India, have been admirably powering themselves forward through the heavy backing and support of solar power. In fact, Ireland are the 8th highest polluter amongst developed countries in the entire world and we are 4th in Europe [1].

It is time for change, climate change!

[1] "World carbon dioxide emissions data by country: China speeds ahead of the rest" - The Guardian.


HRI Scheme - Everything you need to know | Activ8 Solar Energies

Activ8 Solar Energies' Definitive Guide to the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme

In 2013, the Irish Government launched the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme which gives a Tax Credit of 13.5% off the price of home improvement works carried out on your home. And with Activ8 Solar Energies as a Qualifying Contractor, solar panel installations meet the home improvement criteria perfectly, making now the right time to take advantage of the scheme and save some money.

The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme allows for a VAT clawback of up to €4,050 on the 13.5% VAT rate applied to home renovation work costing between €5,000 and €30,000 so long as it was/is carried out between October 2013 and 2016, with the Irish government having extended the scheme twice now, due to its popularity and success.

Why has the HRI Scheme been so successful?

The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme has proven to be a huge success as it offers consumers an excellent opportunity to improve their homes while making savings on their tax liabilities, with the amount being given back to them in tax credits over a two-year period.

It only makes sense that this tax credit from the HRI Scheme further helps with long-term savings as customers then save money on their energy bills after they’ve installed solar panels in their home. To this end, customers are essentially making a double saving and in reducing expenditure in a steady and sustainable way.

Eligibility

Owner / occupiers of a main home or landlords of rental properties who pay Income Tax under PAYE or self-assessment and whose Local Property Tax and Household Charge obligations are up to date, are eligible. The homeowner or landlord must be on Revenue's Local Property Tax Register as an owner or joint-owner of the main home or rental property.

How Activ8 Solar Energies Help:

In order for Activ8 Solar Energies to register the customer's work details to HRI online, we need the local property tax (LPT) number of the property where the work is being carried out. Activ8 Solar Energies register the details of works to HRI online. After the work is completed and payments are made, we then enter payment details to HRI online.

What the Homeowner must Do:

After the work has been carried out and paid for the customer then needs to go onto the revenue site - www.revenue.ie

  • Within the "my account" section: You will see - Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)
  • Click on this link, where you will be brought to homeowners login for HRI.
  • Here you put in the following personal details:
    - Tax reference number (PPS number)
    - Unique property ID (Local property tax number)
    - Secure pin (Pin from your local property tax) This pin should be on a letter of some sort from the revenue in regards to payment of your local property tax.
  • Then you just simply log in.
  • Once logged in, you should see the works we have completed for you in term the price of the system and the date of payment.
  • Once you are happy with these details there should be a button to press stating "CLAIM" or "CLAIM NOW" and you just simply press it and that is your claim completed.

 

Further Information on the HRI Scheme & SEAI grant:

www.activ8energies.com
www.revenue.ie
www.seai.ie


Ireland's Renewables Cut Carbon Emissions to record low in 2014

SEAI Release 2014 Data on Carbon Emissions

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently released new data revealing the extent to which the production of renewable energy in Ireland has helped cut the carbon content of electricity production. The exact figure revealed amounts to a total of 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided in 2014 as a direct result of the embracing of renewable and sustainable electricity.

 

Ireland's Renewable Growth

The figures released show just how far Ireland has come in the last 25 years as far as the renewable energy sector is concerned. Here at Activ8 Solar Energies, we and all of our customers can be proud of our contribution to the changing face of Ireland's renewable energy landscape and culture of sustainable power. This change in how we consume our energy saw the carbon intensity of electricity generation fall to a record low of 457 grams of CO2 per kWh of electrical output, only half the level that was measured in 1990. When you consider the growth of the Irish economy since then and the increased need for electricity and energy on our island due to a growing population and new businesses setting up shop, these statistics becomes even more impressive when taken into context.

SEAI chief executive Brian Motherway feels that the results are an “extremely positive” step for the country of Ireland. Speaking about Ireland's reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and embracing of sustainably renewable energy solutions, he said:

“This comes ahead of an international climate change agreement at COP21 that will put the world on track to a low-emission, climate resilient and sustainable future,”

He continued:

“We can see how Ireland is moving to a low-carbon economy, with clean and renewable energy increasingly used to provide electricity in our homes and businesses.”

On the back of the new data, the SEAI says that renewables are now one of the single biggest contributors to carbon dioxide emission reductions in Ireland.

 

Renewables & The Irish Economy

The SEAI has also revealed that the growth in renewables resulted in a substantial €250 million saving on fossil fuel imports in 2014, keeping more money in Ireland and furthering our nation's own economical output as a result.

So, as we already knew, it pays to go green, both as a homeowner and as a country.

 

 


Solar PV - Have The Irish Government Missed The Point?

Solar Energy Generation & Job Creation

We have seen the new budget announced recently, with a plethora of giveaways, incentives and promises of job creation. As a company, we work both north and south of the boarder. Through Activ8 Solar Energies we have created a sustainable business model in the solar thermal industry, with thousands of installs and continued business growth throughout the downturn. We have seen other companies come and go in the tough economical climate of the recession. In Northern Ireland we work as Solar NI, installing solar PV (electric solar) systems, where we have been gaining traction in a new territory while helping to create 16 new jobs in Newry, Co. Down within 1 year of commencing trading.

Our Neighbours in Northern Ireland

Through an incentive which has been in place for a number of years now in Northern Ireland, home owners are incentivised for the units of green energy produced on a yearly basis. Guaranteed for 20 years, this along with a small payment from the electricity companies for any energy sold to the grid, makes PV a very good seller. It pays for itself completely within 5-8 years and is guaranteed for 20, leaving it a no-brainer in terms of a long term sustainability measures for a home owner. An average home owner can expect to save anywhere from €600 to €800 on energy costs. A small grant similar to that of solar thermal could see a considerable growth of the Solar PV industry.

Take Northern Ireland for example, where the current solar industry directly employs 750 people from a population that is only a quarter the size of the Republic of Ireland's. Employment would be created by SMEs and spread widely across the country. The spread of these jobs to match regional demand could serve as a welcome boost to the rural areas of the country. These areas have been the hardest hit by the recession, especially in comparison to urban centres such as Dublin and, to a lesser extent, Cork. Employment and prosperity opportunities in these areas would offer the demographic who are leaving the country in large numbers an incentive and opportunity to stay in their home towns and help rebuild communities which have been decimated by the recent recession. So, in real terms, you could expect to see up on 3,000 jobs directly contributed to the Solar PV trades created by a solar PV incentive or grant, never mind the increased consumer spend and VAT intake for the government's coffers.

The Solar Power of Ireland

When you also tale into consideration that the Republic of Ireland has higher average solar yields than our Northern Irish counterparts, it makes even more sense to invest in Solar PV. Let us compare ourselves to our perceived sunnier continental friends; would it surprise you to know that south of a line from Dublin to Kenmare, Ireland’s potential for solar electricity generation is as good as that of Germany’s?

The Irish Examiner, last year, discussed these compelling statistics. It explained how Germany has installed tens of thousands of megawatts of solar, currently generating over 6% of its electricity with plans to go to 20%, whereas we have yet to install even 1 megawatt. This at a time when we need to increase the amount of renewable electricity we produce, reduce our CO2 emissions and decrease our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

So for now, solar thermal is the only show in town, with a reasonable pick up from the general population due to the current grants which are available. Solar thermal represents a strong return on investment along with a considerably improved standard of living for those who currently use kettles (i.e. virtually every Irish person!) and electric showers for their hot water needs during the 6-8 months in the year where you don’t actually need your central heating. Here at Activ8 Solar Energies, we currently employ approximately 80 staff and have seen our way through the poor economic times on the back of quality product, service and back up that has seen us gather many happy customers.

But we feel we could raise our country wide employment to double that with a simple, cost neutral incentive by the government. In our opinion, they may have missed a trick.