Homeowners will be able to avail of a grant for installation

A new scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar panels has been launched today.

The pilot scheme offers grants for the installation of solar panels and extra funds to install battery storage systems.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten says the scheme will allow people to turn their home into their very own "renewable power station."

He said homeowners can save around €220 in electricity costs every year by taking advantage of the scheme.

The Green Party has said while it welcomes the developments it's disappointed that the scheme won't increase the amount of solar electricity on the grid.

It says that instead of just a grant there should be an opportunity to sell surplus electricity back to the grid at a fixed price.

The Green Party also criticised the fact that the grant scheme is only for owner-occupied dwellings, not commercial rooftops, which it says are larger and more suitable.