Energy upgrades for homeowners on low incomes (Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme)

Introduction

There are grants available to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of your home. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers these grants, which fall under two general schemes:

  • A scheme for homeowners on low incomes, which provides free home energy upgrades. This is known as the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme.
  • A scheme of home energy upgrade grants for homeowners and landlords, known as the Better Energy Homes scheme.

This page describes the first scheme, which provides free energy upgrades for homeowners on low incomes.

You can get full details of the scheme from the SEAI’s website.

What energy upgrades are available?

The scheme covers these home energy upgrades:

  • Attic insulation
  • Wall insulation - including cavity wall, internal wall and external wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing
  • Lagging jackets
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • New central heating systems
  • Replacement windows
  • Energy advice

Do I qualify for the scheme?

To qualify for this scheme you must meet these criteria:

  • You must own your home and be living in it
  • Your home must have been built and occupied before 2006
  • You must not have already had work done under the scheme (this criteria may be reviewed in the future)
  • You must be getting one of the following social welfare payments:

How does the scheme work?

There are 4 steps to this scheme:

  1. Apply for the scheme, ensuring that you meet the qualifying criteria above
  2. Have an SEAI surveyor check your home is suitable for the works
  3. Get the works done by an appointed SEAI contractor
  4. Get the works assessed by the SEAI once the works are completed

How to apply

If you meet the qualifying criteria above you should complete the application form. You can download it from the SEAI website or contact them to ask for it to be posted out to you – see ‘Where to apply’ below. You will need to provide evidence that you qualify for the scheme. Full details of the information needed are on the application form. You can email or post the completed form and required supporting documents to SEAI.

The process from application to completion of works usually takes between 18 and 24 months, though this may vary.

Is my home suitable?

The SEAI will review your application and if you are eligible for the scheme they will then assess if your home is suitable for the work. A surveyor acting for the SEAI will arrange to call to your home to do this. They will complete a survey of your home, which involves:

  • Walking around the inside and outside of your home, including the attic
  • Assessing the overall suitability of your home for energy efficiency upgrades
  • Measuring, photographing and recording information about your home
  • Discussing their findings with you and answering any questions you have

Getting the work done

If you qualify for the scheme and your home is suitable, a contractor will be appointed by the SEAI to do the work on your home.

The contractor will visit your home to assess the works needed. They will then explain their recommendations to you, and agree a schedule for the work. You should have a written contract with the contractor, which clearly states the work you have agreed to.

After the work is done

When the work is completed, the contractor will give you documentation about the work, including any warranties. It is important to keep these safe, as you may need them in the future.

A Building Energy Rating (BER) is carried out on all homes after the works are complete to assess the building’s energy performance. A BER certificate and advisory report will be sent to the homeowner and will also be published on the SEAI’s national BER register.

Some homes will also be inspected to ensure that the works meet the required standards.

How much will it cost?

You will not be charged for work done under the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme.

Where to apply

Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

P.O. Box 119
Caherciveen
Kerry
Ireland

Tel:
Locall: 1800 250 204

Further information

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.

Read more about the Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme.

For general information on keeping well and warm in cold weather, there is a useful booklet Keep well and warm on the HSE’s website.

Page edited: 4 November 2021