Cabinet on Wednesday approved an additional €350,000 to subsidise the installation or replacement of solar water heaters amid a surge in demand for cheaper, green energy.

The initial incentives scheme for €600,000 was announced in May. Funds were exhausted within two months, prompting the energy ministry propose additional financing in view of the huge interest.

The ministry said that as a result of the additional funds, the scheme can now cover an additional 500 households, bringing the total to 1,800. The extra money will be covered from savings in the budget of the renewable energy fund.

The scheme is part of the ministry’s strategic plan for a quick transition to green energy. It was launched earlier this year with significant changes to previous schemes so as to improve effectiveness.

Changes include subsidising only integrated solar heater systems (cylinder and solar panels) which are installed by certified technicians.

The new scheme also offered higher subsidies – to €450 per home from €350 last year, while for houses in mountainous areas the sum is €900, compared to €700 last year.

The plan covers integrated water heating systems (cylinder and panels) which adhere to the following specifications:

– Solar panels have Solar Keymark certification

– The hot water cylinder is energy class B or higher if it has a capacity of up to 200 litres or energy class C or higher for a capacity greater than 200 litres.

Only solar system installations are eligible which are performed by certified installers registered in the Register of Small-Scale Installers of RES Systems – Category D: Installers of Solar Thermal Systems.

It is noted that solar hot water production systems can provide 70 per cent of the annual need for hot water for a home, without any operating costs and with minimal maintenance, significantly contributing to the reduction of electricity costs.

The scheme has no retroactive effect, and the grant is given only for equipment that has been purchased and installed after the date of announcement of the plan. It will remain open until October 1, 2022, or until the final submission of 1800 applications.

All information about the plan, including the guide and application process, can be found on the RES and FDI Fund website: