Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of homes owned by people on low incomes. It is operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme provides funding for:
- Attic insulation
- Lagging jackets
- Low-energy light bulbs
- Cavity wall insulation
- Energy advice
Since 1 June 2018, the Scheme covers a number of new energy efficiency measures. In certain circumstances, the Scheme may cover external or internal wall insulation, central heating and replacement windows. These additional measures are only covered following a recommendation from an SEAI technical surveyor, who decides on a house-by-house basis after a survey of your home.
You may be eligible for external or internal wall insulation under the Scheme if your walls are unsuitable for cavity wall insulation. Heating upgrades may also be covered in certain cases, for example if you have no existing central heating system in your home. Replacement windows may also be available under the scheme in limited circumstances, for example, where external wall insulation is being carried out and the existing windows are single-glazed and need to be replaced.
A surveyor acting for SEAI will arrange to call to your home to confirm that you are eligible and assess the amount of work needed. If you are eligible, the work will then be done by an installer, appointed by SEAI. However, as the scheme is in high demand, you may have to wait some months before the work can start.
The Environmental Protection Agency encourages anyone availing of this scheme to have their home tested for radon.
You must own your home and be living in it. Your home must have been built and occupied before 2006.
You must be getting one of the following payments:
- Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
- Working Family Payment
- Jobseeker’s Allowance for over 6 months and have a child aged under 7 years
- Domiciliary Care Allowance
- One Parent Family Payment
- Carer's Allowance and live with the person you care for
In addition, you only qualify for the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme once, so you cannot qualify if you have already availed of the scheme. This situation will be reviewed in mid-2019, when the SEAI may consider revisiting properties that have previously had work completed under the scheme.
If you are in private rented accommodation and are at risk of energy poverty, your landlord may be able to get a grant under the separate Better Energy Homes Scheme. Read more about rights and obligations related to renting a home.
After the works are done
Installers provide a 2-year guarantee on all works carried out.
A sample of homes is inspected to ensure that the works meet the required standards. A Building Energy Rating (BER) is carried out on all homes after the works are complete to assess the building’s energy performance and issue a BER certificate.
You will not be charged for works done under the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme.
How to apply
You must complete the application form (pdf). You can download it from seai.ie or contact SEAI to ask for it to be posted out – see ‘Where to apply’ below. You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for the scheme. Full details of the information required are on the application form.
You can scan the completed form and the required supporting documents and email them to SEAI, or else send them by post.
Where to apply
A pilot Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme aims to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people who are living with chronic respiratory conditions. This pilot scheme provides free energy efficiency upgrades to eligible homes, to make them warmer and more comfortable, especially during colder months. The scheme is only available in certain areas at present. It works on the basis of referrals from the Health Service Executive (HSE) – you cannot apply directly.
For general information on keeping well and warm in cold weather, there is a useful booklet Keeping well and warm on the HSE’s website.