Know Your Rights: Better Energy Homes Scheme

Question

Our heating bills are quite high because our house is difficult to heat. Is there a grant available to improve the insulation?

Answer (October 2017)

The Better Energy Homes Scheme provides grants to homeowners to improve energy efficiency in their homes. It is also available to landlords and owners of more than one property. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the scheme.

You can use the Home Energy Self Survey on the SEAI website to identify areas in your home that could be improved to increase energy efficiency. You can also get a Building Energy Rating (BER) done if you are uncertain about your energy-saving options or what work to get done first.

Grants are available for roof insulation, wall insulation, upgrade of heating controls, high-efficiency boiler installation and solar heating. You can also get a grant to have a BER done after the energy-saving work is carried out.

To qualify for a grant, you must: own a dwelling built before 2006; use a contractor from SEAI’s registered list; use newly fitted materials and products; have work done that complies with the required standards; have a BER carried out after the works are done and use a BER assessor from SEAI’s National Register. You must have grant approval before you buy materials or start work.

Grants for qualifying measures range from a maximum of €300 for attic or cavity wall insulation to a maximum of €4,500 for external wall insulation on a detached house. Grants are paid after the work is completed and you have paid your contractor.

If you get three qualifying measures done, a bonus of €300 is payable on top of the grants. (A BER doesn’t count as a measure for this bonus.) A further €100 is payable on completion of a fourth measure. See seai.ie for full details of grants and bonuses.

If you are also claiming a tax credit under the Home Renovation Incentive, the amount of expenditure that qualifies for the credit will be reduced. You can contact SEAI at 1850 927 000 or info@betterenergyhomes.ie.