Starting 15th January 2018, there will be a number of changes to SEAI’s Better Energy Homes Scheme, a programme that offers cash grants to homeowners looking to upgrade energy efficiency measures in their homes. This includes grants for insulation, heating systems and BER assessments. To qualify, applicants must own a home built before 2006, but the scheme is not means tested.
Embracing renewable technologies
As part of the key changes to the Better Energy Homes Scheme, SEAI will no longer fund oil or gas-fired boiler upgrades. Instead, Ireland will embrace renewable heating technology and offer grants towards the purchase and installation of heat pumps. While the grant amounts have not yet been released, homeowners can expect funding for these measures to start April 2018.
Currently, SEAI offers €100 towards oil or gas-fired boiler upgrades and €600 towards the upgrade of heating controls. Starting 15th January 2018, the grant for boiler upgrades will be discontinued, while the grant amount for heating control upgrades will increase to €700. Current grant amounts will be honoured for all new and existing applications up until this date.
The grant for solar water heating systems will continue to be offered as no changes have been announced.
Increased grants amounts for external wall insulation
Buildings continue to account for 36 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in Europe, while energy consumption for both commercial and residential properties account for almost 40 percent of total demand. Increasing insulation levels has been shown to dramatically reduce both, and increased funding for external insulation from 2018 onwards reflects this. Grants for external wall insulation vary depending on the property type:
- Detached dwellings will increase to €6,000, up from €4,500
- Semi-detached or end terrace dwellings will increase to €4,500, up from €3,400
- Mid terrace and apartments will increase to €2,750, up from €2,250
The increased grant amounts will help make external insulation systems more affordable for homeowners, and promote the deep retrofit of Ireland’s existing building stock. Like all other Better Energy Homes Scheme grants, homes must have been built before 2006 to qualify for external wall insulation funding.
Insulation grants for cavity wall and attic insulation
At the time of the announcement from the Minister of Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., there has been no funding increases for cavity wall insulation or attic insulation upgrades. Funding of €300 for cavity wall insulation upgrades and €300 for attic insulation upgrades will continue into 2018. Homeowners can still combine these grant amounts with other incentives currently offered, like KORE’s Energy Efficiency Incentive with Electric Ireland.
Domiciliary Care Allowance now included in the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, a programme that provides insulation and energy efficiency upgrades at no cost to homeowners who qualify, recently announced changes to the scheme. Homeowners in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance will qualify for the scheme starting 1st January 2018. This is in addition to those in receipt of Fuel Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance for more than 6 months with a child under 7 years of age, Family Income Supplement and One-Parent Family Payment. Applicants must also own a home built before 2006.
Applications for homeowners in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance will begin in early 2018 and will be announced on the KORE Warmer Homes Scheme website.