ARE YOU PLANNING AN ENERGY RETROFIT? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. Guest Post from Fergal Cantwell is a Project Manager with Envirobead Retrofit
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are currently accepting applications from Service Providers for Grant Funding through their National Home Retrofit Scheme. Service Providers must group Homes together and submit applications, Homeowners cannot apply directly, themselves.
HOW DO I QUALIFY?
- Homes must have been built before 2006.
- Homes must achieve a minimum BER of B2 when complete.
- Homes with BER’s of C2 or below may apply.
- Single measures applications are not accepted.
WHAT MEASURES CAN GRANT FUNDING BE APPLIED FOR?
Basically, this Grant Funding is to aid in improving the Energy Efficiency and Air Quality in our Homes. So, what exactly is supported?
- Attic Insulation. About 35% of heat loss is through the roof of your home. Insulating the attic is one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Wall Insulation – Cavity Wall Insulation (pumped beads), Internal Wall Insulation & External Wall Insulation. One of the most cost effective techniques for most irish homes. Estimated 25% heat loss is through your walls, cavity insulation could save €500 a year.
- Low Energy, A-Rated Windows & Doors. Low Energy Windows has come on in leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. new window treatments, double or triple glazing is an excellent energy saver.
- Heat Pumps. air-to-water heat pumps are a revolutionary new way to warm your home without oil or gas. Works great with underfloor heating and a well insulated home
- Power Flush of existing heating system. Sometimes your existing heating system just needs refreshing. A power flush removes debris, rust etc from your system and clears cold spots in your radiators.
- Heat Recovery & Demand Controlled Ventilation. Your home needs fresh air and circulation, now more than ever. But that air doesn’t have to lose its heat. Heat recover filters out moisture and stale air but keeps the warmth in.
- Solar Photovoltaics (PV). At home solar power has become miles cheaper and easier to install. A great option to power heat pumps and charge an electric car.
- LED Lighting. One of the easiest to replace, LED lightbulbs are now commonplace and simple to replace expensive to run traditional or halogen bulbs.
WHAT GRANT FUNDING IS AVAILABLE?
Through the National Home Retrofit Scheme, Private Homeowners can apply for up to 35% Grant Funding towards their Energy Retrofit Works. Also, when these works are completed, Energy or Carbon Credits are generated from each measure installed. These Credits can be worth approx. another 5% of funding, bringing the total Grant Funding available up to 40%, not too shabby!!! Your Service Provider will apply for the Grant Funding and the Energy/Carbon Credit contributions on your behalf. If they have not mentioned this stream of funding, be sure to ask.
SO, WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP IN THE PROCESS?
Ok, now that you are aware of what Grant Funding is available to you, how do you go about securing it for your Energy Retrofit? First step is to engage a competent BER Assessor to survey your Home. The assessor will calculate how good or bad your Home is at generating and retaining heat. They will publish a current BER Certificate if you do not already have one. They will look at all the elements in your Home and advise on what measures you will need to install to achieve the Scheme’s requirements, completing your works to a B2 Rating. This information will be contained in an Energy Upgrade Report/Technical Assessment. The assessor will also determine if your Home is Heat Pump compatible.
GREAT, WHAT’S NEXT?
Now that you have your existing BER Certificate and your Energy Upgrade Report, you can now talk to a Service Provider to provide you with costs associated with your Energy Retrofit Works and they can submit your Home as part of their application to the National Home Retrofit Scheme. Costs are something entirely unique to each property, measures may differ, areas may differ, and systems may differ, so I am not going to get into costings here, there are just too many variables and too much guess work involved. When you do receive quotes for your Energy Retrofit Works, they will be tailored to your individual Home and measures. You now have pricing for your works and if you are happy, you are ready to proceed to application stage. The application when submitted is subject to evaluation by the SEAI. It can take four to six weeks for the application to be approved. Remember, it’s not just your Home involved, there are numerous Homes on each application.
GRANT IS APPROVED, WHAT NOW?
Once your grant funding has been approved, your can agree a Programme of Works with your Service Provider. You will have all your approved measures installed and commissioned. All works are subject to SEAI inspections and must pass to the highest of standards. After works are completed, a post works BER is published, showing your new Rating.
ENERGY WORKS COMPLETE.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new upgraded Home and Technologies. Enjoy the comfort and the enhanced air quality. Enjoy, the lower energy bills and feel good that you have reduced your carbon emissions and are doing your bit for Climate Change.
WHERE DO I FIND A SERVICE PROVIDER?
There is a list of Service Providers available on the SEAI’s Website under The National Home Retrofit Scheme.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Fergal Cantwell is a Project Manager with Envirobead Retrofit and is currently managing applications to the National Home Retrofit Scheme for Private Homeowners. He has over twenty-five years in the Construction Industry and has worked in the Energy Retrofit Upgrade Space since 2016. He has managed projects through various SEAI Programmes such as The Better Energy Communities Scheme, The Warmer Homes Scheme, The Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme and now the National Home Retrofit Scheme. For further information on the National Home Retrofit Scheme and to start your Energy Retrofit journey, you can contact Fergal at firstname.lastname@example.org Also on Instagram @energy_retrofit_ireland