How solar panels caused a ripple effect of sustainability for the Kents

Emer McDonnell
30 January 2024

Heat pumps and high bills

Thomas and Eileen Kent started their green energy journey by installing a heat pump in their house. The pump is a really sustainable source of energy, but running it can bump up the price of electricity bills. Their five person household, with three kids under ten, was spending around €3600 on electricity. They needed a way to offset some of this. Thomas did his homework, and decided Pinergy Solar Electric was the perfect partner to provide his family’s solar installation. 

Using solar panels to make your own electricity 

The Kents knew adding solar panels to their home energy system would let them make their own electricity. They could then use this instead of electricity from the grid, meaning their bills would go down. One sustainable change usually causes a ripple effect, and when Thomas and Eileen added the panels to the heat pump, it turned their house into a micro-generating system. 

Pinergy Solar Electric came out to survey the house, and recommended a set of ground mounted panels. The sloping site was a tricky spot for the install, but Pinergy’s technical team solved the problem by setting the panels at a 5 degree angle. 21 panels were installed 75m away from the garage, exposing them fully to the sun and still leaving plenty of space around the family home. 


Microgeneration, reduced costs, and changed habits

Since the panels were put in last June, they’ve supplied 67% of the family’s electricity, hitting Thomas and Eileen’s target of offsetting their energy costs. The whole family’s habits have changed too. When the sun is out, the Kents take that as a green light to run appliances. The Pinergy team set the household up on the monitoring app, which, along with the installation of a new Smart Meter, lets them know exactly what electricity they’re using. These all help keep costs down. 

The Kent house is built on Thomas’ parents’ land, but Eileen’s father has panels too. Microgeneration has become a source of pride for Thomas, and friendly competition: “It’s like checking the news. I look at it every day to just check out the power that we are using, and I compare it to the father-in-law!” And best of all, the Kent family knows they’re doing even more than before for the environment. “One reason was to save money, but it was more about doing our part to be sustainable.”