Home Energy Saving Scheme now open for business - unprecedented level of interest in insulation grants - DCENR Press Release
“Insulation will create thousands of jobs and halve electricity bills”
Minister Ryan Dublin, 25th March 2009
Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced that the €50 million Home Energy Saving Scheme is 'open for business'.
From today (25 March) Sustainable Energy Ireland will accept applications from householders wishing to save money and energy by insulating their properties.
Announcing the opening, Minister Ryan said, "Since I announced that I had secured the funding for this scheme, there has been an unprecedented level of interest from the public. Sustainable Energy Ireland has received 94,000 calls and website visits. SEI has assured me that from today applications received online will be processed in under 3 days. I am pleased that so soon after the initial announcement we are up and running, with all the proper procedures in place.
We need even more qualified contractors to come on board in order to deliver this scheme. I would urge contractors to register with SEI and secure a major business boost for themselves in the process. The level of public interest is such that contractors can be assured of work for themselves and for new employees through this Government scheme.
Sustainable Energy Ireland will emphasise quality throughout the scheme, ensuring that homeowners get the best workmanship and value for money.
Insulation is the single best way of saving money on energy. This Scheme will see homeowners save up to €700 annually on their electricity bills. This, coupled with recent reductions in electricity prices is great news for consumers in these tight times.
Construction workers will benefit from the thousands of jobs this scheme will create. It's good news for our pockets, for the economy and for the environment".
The scheme is aimed at older houses that would not typically have the energy efficiency features of recently built homes. The scheme is open to all houses built prior to 2006. Houses built from 2006 onwards should be built to the Building Regulations 2002 standard, which specifies high quality insulation and heating controls
The objectives of the Home Energy Saving Scheme are:
(1) To reduce energy use and CO2 emissions from the existing housing stock, and
(2) To support the development of the energy services industry in Ireland.
The table below sets out:
The eligible measures and the set grant amounts available.
The typical improvement in BER rating that could be expected from each individual measure, done in isolation. Note that in estimating the total potential BER improvement, if the full range of measures is installed, the potential BER improvements for each measure should not be added together.
The typical payback period for each measure, arising from energy saved.
Heating controls and boilers:
To avail of the €500 grant for heating controls, a homeowner must install a range of time, temperature and zone controls on their heating system and electric immersion water cylinder. This low cost measure can improve a home's BER rating by up to 25%, yet has a payback of only 4 to 5 years.
While heating controls can be added to an existing heating system, it is particularly attractive to any homeowner replacing their boiler to also install heating controls at that time. Under the Building Regulations 2008, anybody replacing an existing oil or gas boiler must install a condensing boiler with a minimum seasonal efficiency of 86%. Condensing boilers with an efficiency of up to 95% are available on the market. This additional efficiency can lead to significant savings. A grant of €200 towards the cost of these higher efficiency boilers is available to any homeowner who is also installing heating controls.
Wall insulation options:
To insulate the walls of their home, owners may have a choice of cavity wall, internal or external insulation, depending on the construction of their home. Homeowners should seek professional advice on which option is most suitable for their home.
Where a house has a suitable cavity, then cavity wall insulation is the most economical investment. Where this is not possible the options are either internal dry lining or external insulation. Internal dry lining, while considerably less expensive than external insulation, will ultimately reduce somewhat the internal habitable space of the home and may not be practical where there is decorative internal plasterwork. External wall insulation may prove preferable where a significant upgrade to the external facade is already envisaged. Both may result in additional works in order to reinstate electrical, plumbing and glazing fixtures.
Building Energy Rating:
A BER assessment is not required for participation in the scheme. However, a BER carried out prior to works can provide useful advice to a homeowner on the upgrade measures he or she needs to take to improve the home's energy efficiency. A BER conducted after the measures are finished can establish the impact of the works and give the homeowner comfort regarding their investment.
To avail of the BER grant of €200, a homeowner must have a BER assessment conducted before and after works.
Homeowners should shop around for the best price.