Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says he expects people will be able to sell any excess renewable energy they generate by the summer.
The Government’s planned new Microgeneration Support Scheme will allow homeowners, farmers and businesses sell any excess energy and get paid for it.
It would apply for anyone who is generating electricity through the likes of solar panels on their roofs, with the Government saying they’d receive a ‘fair price’ for selling any excess.
The plan's currently under development, with a public consultation now open until February 18th.
Climate Action Minister Eamon Ryan told The Pat Kenny Show they need to listen to different views before getting the scheme in place.
He said: “We [also] need to give the supply companies - the likes of the ESB - time to change their administrative systems.
“I’d expect it to be in place by the summer, and that will start to see a significant number of Irish households and businesses start to sell power back to the grid."
Minister Ryan said it's important that people generate power to meet their own needs, and it would only be surplus that could be 'exported' to the grid.
He said it will mainly benefit households that are energy efficient, but there are other grants in place to make sure households can get to that point in the first place.
He explained: “As well as the money we’re putting aside to help households put solar panels on the roof, we also have something like a €250 million budget… to help houses upgrade.
“That has a huge benefit in terms of helping people get out of fuel poverty.
“This is where we’re going across our energy system - towards really efficient, local use of power. Self-generated, but also backed up by a grid which is very flexible and can turn on or off devices."