Homeowners in Carlow and Kilkenny can now install an unlimited number of solar panels on their rooftops without the need for planning permission.
The changes have been signed into law today.
These new planning permission exemptions are aimed at making the procedures for installing solar on rooftops shorter and simpler.
As well as homes, they also apply to rooftops of non-domestic buildings like local business premises, schools, libraries, farms and more which should help with cutting energy bills.
Certain exemptions will still apply for the likes of protected structures and other such buildings.
Housing Minister Darragh O Brien signed the changes into law today and they will take immediate effect.
Commenting on the regulations, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan, the Carlow Kilkenny Green TD, said; “While buildings and areas of architectural heritage significance have a role to play in meeting our renewable energy ambition, it is important that we ensure sufficient safeguards for our protected structures and architectural conservation areas from inappropriate development. I am satisfied that these amendments as well as the existing safeguards in the Planning Act and Regulations provide the necessary safeguards. In most instances, a case-by-case assessment by the relevant planning authority will be necessary to ensure that solar development does not materially affect the character of our protected structures and Architectural Conservation Areas. I’d encourage people to engage with their local Heritage Officer or Conservation Officer for information and support.”