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Support for home thermal upgrades with National Retrofitting Scheme.

In early 2022, the Irish Government introduced a package of grants that will support homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The assumptions behind the scheme are impressive. By 2030, under the scheme, funding is planned for 500,000 buildings to enable them to meet the B2 Builiding Energy Scheme (BER) standard. The changes made to the National Energy Modernisation Plan aim to make the investment more popular with the country's residents. According to the announcements, this is one of the largest aid programmes in the world.

Increased funding awarded under the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme.

The updated National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme provides increased grant levels for house upgrades from 30%-35% to 50% of the cost. The biggest benefits of home energy upgrades include:

  • increasing living comfort: with good thermal insulation, the house becomes warmer, cosier and quieter,
  • increased savings: reduced energy demand for heating the house significantly reduces energy bills,
  • improved air quality: an energy-efficient house reduces greenhouse gas emissions,
  • increased building value: upgrading a building to energy level B2 or higher increases its value on the real estate market.

The National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme is also designed to respond quickly to the country's extremely high energy prices. It introduces a special enhanced funding rate of up to 80% of the costs associated with loft and slurry wall insulation in residential buildings.

Modernising your home, step by step with the Better Energy Homes Scheme.

Better Energy Homes Scheme is a great help for property owners who want to carry out a comprehensive modernisation of their building in several stages. The changes to this scheme introduced in February involved increasing the amount of grants for specific measures. For example, the subsidy for the purchase of a heat pump has increased from €3500 to €6500, while owners who decide to insulate the external walls of their home can count on support of up to €8000, instead of the previous €6000.

Among the supported jobs, you can find such as:

  • Loft insulation
  • Insulation of walls - including slurry, internal and external walls
  • Replacement of standard lighting with energy-saving lighting
  • Purchase and installation of eco-friendly heat source
  • Replacement of window joinery

A full list of actions that can be funded under the Better Energy Homes Scheme is available here: LINK

Free modernisation of houses with the worst energy performance.

The Warmer Homes Scheme was introduced in 2000. Since then it has successfully modernised 143,000 homes across the country. It provides full support to families whose homes record the worst energy performance. This year the Government has allocated up to €109 million. This will raise the programme's output to 400 retrofits per month, compared to 177 retrofits in 2021. Priority for grant awards under the Warmer Homes Scheme is given to buildings built before 1993 and with low BER values, type E, F or G. This year's update to the scheme has also introduced the opportunity for people with disability benefit for more than 6 months and who have a child under the age of 7 to apply for a grant.

Support for communities.

The above schemes have been targeted at owners of detached houses. Under the Community Energy Grants Scheme, support has also been prepared for retrofitting public, commercial and municipal buildings, as well as communities. The government has earmarked EUR 43 million for this purpose in 2022 (of which approximately EUR 15 million is planned for retrofitting homes at up to 80% of the investment costs). Under the Community Energy Grant Scheme, it is also possible to apply for co-financing by communities of owners of single-family houses in which the same thermal insulation investments will be made. The aim is to improve the quality of buildings of the whole local community. All projects applying for funding must include a social benefit to the project.

Even more funding for loft and slurry wall insulation.

As part of the government's National Retrofitting Scheme, funding for loft and slurry wall insulation works has also been increased. Support for this has more than tripled in 2022 due to rising energy prices across Europe. For example, funding for a semi-detached house will increase from €400 to €1,300 for loft insulation, and for slurry wall insulation it will increase from €400 to €1,200. The full amount of support can be up to 80% of the investment costs. It is estimated that the investments made, financed under the Natinal Retrofitting Scheme, will pay off for homeowners within 1-2 years.

What can be achieved?

Raising environmental awareness among citizens has been one of the priorities in all European countries in recent years. Climate improvement measures introduced by national government bodies aim to reduce carbon emissions in Europe. The National Retrofitting Scheme, introduced by SEAI in February 2022, is the largest form of support to date for property owners in retrofitting single-family houses. The €8 billion planned for this grant will be distributed to beneficiaries by 2030. This is one of the most ambitious government programmes to improve air quality worldwide.  It will be crucial to achieving climate improvement in Ireland over the coming years. Improving the energy value of buildings will have a significant impact on air quality in Ireland. Improving the thermal value of properties will also result in reduced energy bills, which have become increasingly expensive in recent times. Full details of the programmes are available on the SEAI website at this address: LINK

 

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