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The SEAI, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

There has never been a better time to make environmentally friendly improvements to your home and save money at the same time. Saving money now and in the long-term.


SEAI grants have already helped thousands of homeowners, but the recent introduction of bonus incentive schemes means that it is now easier than ever to turn to renewable energy and play your part in the renewable revolution here in Ireland.


Grant Work Available

There are two different types of grants available to homeowners through the SEAI. Both the Warmer Home Scheme (WHS) and the Better Energy Homes Scheme (BEH) provide grants for money-saving improvement works in your home.


The difference between the two schemes relate directly to the type of efficiency improvements being made. Firstly, the Warmer Homes Scheme gives out grants to homeowners who are making improvements in home energy efficiency through projects installing draught-proofing materials such as lagging jackets, attic insulation, cavity wall insulation and also low-energy lightbulbs.


On the other hand, The Better Energy Homes Scheme gives out grants where improvements are related to fuel efficiency. These grants are available to homeowners installing wall insulation, roof insulation and solar panels as well as upgrades to traditional gas or oil fired boilers.


Why?

There are a number of reasons why these schemes are worth applying for as a homeowner. Firstly, increased comfort in your home as well as financial reasons, including the long-term savings available by improving the energy efficiency within your home, not to mention the opportunity to increase the value of your home for resale value. It also presents an opportunity for you to do your bit for climate change here in Ireland.


Eligibility & Availability

Was your house built before 2006? If so, then you may be eligible for an SEAI grant.


The available grants, if you are eligible are available in the table below:

To take one example from the above, Solar Heating can be installed on its own, or combined with Heating Controls. Solar Heating in the form of solar panels would give you a grant of €1,200 and if this was to be combined with a Heating Control Upgrade at €600, if your SEAI approved contractor can do so, can result in up to a €1,800 grant.


Of course, one of the most immediate and calculable advantages of using solar power for heating is that it saves you money in the long-term, like many of the Better Energy Homes grant-aided works. It is important to note that, in order to qualify, the solar thermal installation must contribute a pre-determined minimum of renewable energy per square metre.


BER

In order to avail of any SEAI grants, and as part of their terms and conditions, a customer must, by law, carry out a Building Energy Rating (BER) assessment.


The Building Energy Rating is a system which helps maintain and improve a building’s energy efficiency. Your home will receive a Building Energy Rating which is measured on a scale of A-G, with A rated being the most energy efficient and G the least. The rating system is quite similar to the type of energy labels used to rate household electronics in terms of energy efficiency.


Many contractors will arrange for this to be done and in doing so, you can claim €50 towards the BER assessment.


What’s more? There are additional payments available for additional works, or measures as the SEAI call them. You get an additional €300 for the third measure and an additional €100 for the fourth measure and each subsequent measure.


Methods of Payment

There are contractors out there that deal with the grant through direct payment. They give you their final price and then take away the price of the grant available so that you get the grant saving on the works up front. Companies such as Activ8 Energies and House 2 Home have departments that will process the grant on behalf of their customer after they have given the grant amount off the initial price. This way, the customer gets the value of the grant instantaneously and also takes the hassle of applying and processing the grant away from the customer.


Otherwise, the standard indirect method, whereby you pay the contractor for the works carried out and the retrospectively claim the grant back within 6 months after the works have been carried out.


Where to start?


Start with the SEAI website at www.seai.ie for in-depth detail on the scheme and also a list of registered contractors that can carry out the works in the table listed above.

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