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Better Energy Homes Scheme

Introduction

The Better Energy Homes Scheme provides grants to homeowners to improve energy efficiency in their homes. Landlords and owners of more than one property can also apply for a grant under the scheme. It is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Types of work covered

Grants are available for the following energy-saving work:

  • Roof insulation
  • Wall insulation - for example, cavity wall, internal dry lining or external insulation
  • Heating controls upgrade*
  • Installation of a high-efficiency boiler (more than 90% efficiency) including a heating controls upgrade
  • A Building Energy Rating (BER) after the energy-saving work is carried out (you must get this BER to qualify for the grant)
  • Solar heating

*SEAI will only fund certain heating controls upgrades with certain functions. Also, while grants are available to upgrade heating controls for heat pumps or biomass systems, you will not get a grant for this if you previously got a grant under the old Greener Homes Scheme (now discontinued) to install the system.

How to find out if your home would benefit from energy-saving work

You can use the Home Energy Self Survey to identify areas in your home which could be improved to increase its energy efficiency.

You can also get a Building Energy Rating (BER) done in advance of any works. A BER assessor will energy rate your home and provide you with an advisory report, which will help identify areas that could be improved to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Rules

You must have grant approval before you buy materials or start any grant-funded energy-saving work. If you have already started work, you will not be eligible for a grant.

However, a before BER can be done ahead of grant approval and could prove useful if you are uncertain about your energy-saving options or what to get done first.

To qualify for a grant you must:

  • Be the owner of a dwelling built before 2006
  • Use a contractor from SEAI’s registered list
  • Have a BER carried out after the works are done
  • Use a BER assessor from SEAI’s National Register
  • Apply for a minimum amount of €400 with your first application. You can apply for a number of grants under the scheme to reach the €400 minimum application amount but a BER grant cannot form part of this amount.

You may not get a grant if:

  • Your first grant application is for less than €400
  • You are replacing your existing boiler with a typical efficiency boiler of less than 90% efficiency
  • You replace your boiler but do not replace the heating controls
  • The work is part of any payment you received under the pilot for the old Home Energy Saving Scheme

SEAI publishes detailed FAQs about the Better Energy Homes Scheme.

Planning permission

In general, you will not need planning permission for the measures that are grant-aided under this scheme, though you may require it for external wall insulation. This will depend on matters such as whether the insulation will affect the external appearance of the building or whether the building is a protected structure. Contact your local authority to check if you need planning permission.

Getting the work done safely

Under the Regulations governing safety, health and welfare at work, homeowners are obliged to ensure that construction work on their home is carried out by competent people. Read more, including a guide for homeowners (pdf) and some Frequently Asked Questions, on the website of the Health and Safety Authority.

Home Renovation Incentive

As well as getting a grant under the Better Energy Homes Scheme, you may be able to claim a tax credit on part of the cost of the work. Read more in our document on the Home Renovation Incentive and in these FAQs published by Revenue.

Rates

Grants are paid after the work is completed and you have paid your contractor.

Applications received from specific offshore islands are eligible for 50% additional grant support.

If the cost of the work (including VAT) is less than the maximum grant amount, you will get a grant for the actual cost of the work.

If you are claiming a tax credit under the Home Renovation Incentive, the amount of expenditure that qualifies for the credit will be reduced, as outlined in this FAQ.

Measure Better Energy Homes Scheme grant
Attic insulation €200
Cavity wall insulation €250
Wall insulation - internal dry lining
- Apartment (any) or mid-terrace house
- Semi-detached or end of terrace house
- Detached house

€900
€1,350
€1,800
Wall insulation - external
- Apartment (any) or mid-terrace house
- Semi-detached or end of terrace house
- Detached house

€1,800
€2,700
€3,600
High efficiency (more than 90% efficiency) gas or oil fired boiler with heating controls upgrade €560
Heating controls upgrade €400
Solar heating €800
A BER assessment after works are done €50

How to apply

You can apply online or else download an application form (pdf). Online applications will get a response within 3 working days. Postal applications will get a response within 20 working days.

SEAI has produced a guide to help with your application (pdf).

Where to apply

Better Energy Homes Scheme

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
P.O. Box 119
Caherciveen
Kerry
Ireland

Locall:1850 927 000
Homepage: http://www.seai.ie/
Email: hes@seai.ie

Page updated: 2 December 2014

Language

Gaeilge

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If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.