According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, there are in the region of 1.7 million homes in Ireland that could avail of the extended grant scheme. This is a staggering proportion of the Irish population of homeowners who could benefit from homes that are “more energy-efficient, cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in”.
There are a range of grants available, from traditional insulation upgrades to installing heat recovery pumps. The contribution from such grants was increased across the board in early 2018, such as internal wall insulation grants increasing from €1,800 to €2,200, these improvements can save homeowners up to €600 per year in heating costs.
Any homeowner’s first course of action should be to
- determine which grant(s) to apply for with the help of a professional, this may be your contractor, architect or a BER assessor.
- It is imperative that one hires a SEAI registered contractor to carry out the works.
- Prior to applying for a grant the homeowner must have a written contract specifying the work that is being carried out falls under the scheme.
- Once a contract has been formed you may then apply for the grant.
- Approval is given within minutes. One then has up to 30 days to accept the grant and a further 6 months to complete the work.
- Once the work is paid or terms are in place and a BER assessment cert is published, the homeowner may then claim the value of the grant which is usually received within 4 weeks.
- The terms of the grants are quite rigid so it is in homeowner’s interests to plan extensively, particularly the timeframe of the works given the difficulty in finding registered trades people in Ireland currently.
- Simply missing the deadline for completion of works could result in the grant application being voided.
Improving your homes energy rating is a sure way to increase value and differentiate yourself from similar homes in your area. It is an initial large expense but after a number of years one’s investment will be repaid and it will amount to considerable annual savings on home heating costs.
In rent pressure zones, considerable home improvements allow land lords to increase rents at their will to redeem the costs of home improvements. (Landlords in high pressure rent zones are forbidden from increasing rents by over 4% per year in normal circumstances.)
Even if you are unaware of any deficiencies in your homes energy rating it is always beneficial to have it surveyed by a professional and you may make savings you are unaware of.
It is wise for homeowners to investigate the possible energy improvements as some works could effectively be fully subsidised such as external wall insulation where grants of up to €6,000 can be obtained.