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Electricity FAQs


How do residential wind turbines work?

A wind turbine, which is installed on top of a tall tower, collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with a home's electrical system.
In a normal residential application, a home is served simultaneously by the wind turbine and a local utility. If the wind speeds are below cut-in speed there will be no output from the turbine and all of the needed power is purchased from the utility. As wind speeds increase, turbine output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine produces more power than the house needs, the extra electricity is sold to the utility. All of this is done automatically. There are no batteries in a modern residential wind system.

Don't I have to take wind measurements for a year or more?

For most residential systems the cost of taking wind measurements is not justified. SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland) has developed a good wind atlas that can be used as a guide when combined with the skills of an experienced evaluator.

Do wind turbines make noise or interfere with TV reception?

Small wind turbines do make some noise, but not enough to be found objectionable by most people. A typical residential wind system makes less noise than the average washing machine. Wind turbines do not interfere with TV reception.

Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?

No. A wind turbine is easily retrofitted to virtually any home without the need to change any wiring or appliances. If you want to get paid for the unit’s you give to the grid a different type meter will need to be fitted by esb networks.
How much do I get for units I supply to the grid and how do I get connected

Submit a completed NC6 form and an “interface compliance test cert” for the inverter to the address below

Submit to:

ESB Network Services Bureau,
PO Box 29, 
Co. Westmeath,

Wait 20 days before proceeding with the install, during this time Esb networks may request more information. If after the twenty days you have received no notice to suspend installation you may proceed with the install of the equipment.

When installation is complete submit ECTI cert to ECTI and they forward this electronically to ESB Networks with a request for an import/export meter.

Once Meter is in submit form to esb customer supply stating you intent to supply.


Intent to connect a micro generator (NCT 6 form)

Application for payment for exported units


Once esb customer supply has received your application they will pay you under the following conditions:

9c kWh + an additional 10c per kWh for the first 3000 kWh /yr for a 5 yr period.

This will only apply to the 1st 4000 connections connected over the next 3 yrs

This payment is made once annually and credited to your account.

What are the regulations regarding planning permission?


Micro Wind Turbines in Ireland

Wind Turbines with a mast height of 10 metres and a rotor diameter of 6 meters will be exempt from planning permission requirements subject to the following conditions:

  • The rotor diameter should be 6 metres or less
  • There should be a 3 metre minimum clearance between the lower tip of the rotor and the ground
  • The minimum distance of a wind turbine from its nearest neighbouring boundary would equal the total height of the turbine plus 1 metre
  • Noise levels at the nearest neighbouring inhabited dwelling should be <43dB(A), or <5d(B) above background noise
  • Only one turbine is permitted within the curtilage of a house
  • The turbine must be situated behind the front wall of the house
  • All turbine components shall have a matt, non-reflective finish and the blade shall be made of material that does not deflect telecommunication signals.
  • No advertising or logos may be placed or appear on turbines.

In the main, the conditions attached to the exemption for micro wind turbines are designed to ensure their safe installation and use.

Issues such as visual amenity, noise, vibration, possible structural damage, safety and poor installation mitigate against the inclusion of building mounted turbines as exempted development. Nevertheless, it will still be possible to apply for planning permission for such turbines in the normal way.

What is the maximum size device I can connect to the grid Source

5.75 kW (single phase connection)
11 kW (3 phase connection)

Find out more about the advantages of Wind Energy in Ireland.