Can I Get My House Insulated for Free in Ireland?

by | Mar 25, 2024

can-i-get-my-house-insulated-for-free-in-ireland

Keeping your house warm is very important because the weather changes a lot. Sometimes, it can be very cold and windy. Many people wonder if they can make their house warmer without spending a lot of money. The good news is, yes, you can get your house insulated for free. This guide will show you how to do it, who can get this help, and what to expect.

Keeping your house warm is not just nice to have; it’s something you really need, especially when it’s very cold outside. The government has programs to help people insulate their homes without paying anything. This is great because it means your house can be warmer, and you can save money on your energy bills. 

There is a certain criteria about who can get this help. It depends on things like how old your house is, the kind of heating you have, and how much money you make. But many people can get this help, which covers different ways to make your house warmer, like filling in walls with special material or adding insulation in the attic.

So, let’s get started and find out how you can make your home warmer for free.

What Are the Government and Non-Profit Schemes For Free House Insulation in Ireland?

government and non profit programs
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There are special initiatives in Ireland run by the government and a few organisations that assist people in insulating their homes for nothing. These programs are here to make sure everyone’s home can be warm without costing a lot of money. They are great for saving on bills and making your house comfortable.

First, the government has a program called the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Home Energy Grant. If you live in a house built before a certain year, you might be able to get help to make your house warmer. This can include putting insulation in your walls, attic, or floors.

Next, there are groups that are not part of the government, known as non-profits, that also offer help. They work with people who don’t have a lot of money or who need extra support. These groups can help you find out if you can get your house insulated for free and help you apply.

Also, if you are receiving certain types of government help, like social welfare payments, you might be more likely to get this free insulation. This is because the programs want to make sure people who need help the most can get it.

Remember, each program has its own rules about who can get help. It’s important to check the details or ask someone who knows about these programs. They will tell you what you need to show to prove you can get the help, like papers about your house or your money situation.

To get started, you can visit the SEAI website or talk to a local non-profit that knows about these programs. They will guide you through the process and help you with your application.

If you’re looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency in Ireland, there are several schemes available that can help you, potentially even for free. Here’s a comprehensive guide based on your questions:

Who is Eligible Based on Construction Year?

For the free insulation upgrade under the Warmer Homes Scheme, your home must have been built and occupied before 2006. This criterion is set to ensure that the scheme benefits homes that are likely to be less energy-efficient and in need of upgrades the most.

free house insulation for eligibility and application
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Who is Not Eligible Based on Construction Year?

For the free insulation upgrades offered through the Warmer Homes Scheme in Ireland, homes built and occupied after 2006 are not eligible for the program. This scheme is specifically designed to improve the energy efficiency of older homes that are likely to be less energy-efficient and, therefore, would benefit the most from such upgrades

What types of insulation can I get for free?

Under the Warmer Homes Scheme, you can get various types of insulation and other energy efficiency upgrades for free, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. These upgrades aim to improve the comfort, warmth, and energy efficiency of your home. Here are the types of insulation and additional services that may be available to you at no cost:

Types of Insulation and Energy Upgrades

Attic Insulation: An essential upgrade to reduce heat loss through the roof, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

  • Wall Insulation: This includes cavity wall, internal wall, and external wall insulation. Each type addresses different structural aspects of homes, significantly reducing heat loss through walls.
  • Draught-proofing: Sealing leaks around doors, windows, and other gaps can significantly reduce unwanted air infiltration, enhancing overall energy efficiency.
  • Lagging Jackets: These are fitted to your hot water cylinder to reduce heat loss, ensuring that your water stays warmer for longer periods of time.
  • Energy Efficient Lighting: Switching to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, can reduce your home’s electricity consumption for lighting by up to 90%.

Additional upgrades

In some cases, the scheme may also cover the installation of new central heating systems or the replacement of windows. However, window replacements are generally unpredictable upon your home undergoing wall insulation upgrades and are subject to the existing windows being single-glazed. The decision to include these additional upgrades is made on a case-by-case basis by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The aim of providing these free upgrades is not only to enhance the thermal comfort of homes but also to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions by making homes more energy-efficient. By targeting the oldest and least energy-efficient homes, the scheme prioritises those who can benefit the most from reduced energy bills and improved living conditions​.

Who Can Get Social Welfare Support for Free Insulation and Why?

Homeowners who receive specific social welfare payments may be eligible for free energy upgrades, including insulation, under the Warmer Homes Scheme. Eligible payments include the Fuel Allowance, Working Family Payment, One-Parent Family Payment, Domiciliary Care Allowance, Carer’s Allowance (if you live with the person you are caring for), Disability Allowance (for over six months with a child under seven years), and Job Seeker’s Allowance (for over six months with a child under seven years). 

This initiative is part of the government’s effort to improve home energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty among vulnerable sections of the population.

What are the Types of Grants and Their Amounts?

The National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme offers various grants to improve your property’s energy efficiency, aiming for a B2 energy rating or above. Grants are available for both homeowners and landlords for measures such as attic insulation, wall insulation (cavity, internal, and external), floor insulation, heating controls, solar thermal solutions, solar PV panels, and more. The grant amounts vary depending on the upgrade. 

Attic insulation

  • Apartment, Mid-terrace house: €800
  • Semi-detached or End of terrace house: €1,200
  • Detached house: €1,300 – €1,500

Rafter insulation

Apartment: €1,500

Mid-terrace house: €2,000

Semi-detached or End of terrace house: €3,000

Detached house: €3,000

Cavity wall insulation

  • Apartment: €700
  • Mid-terrace house: €800
  • Semi-detached or End of terrace house: €1,200
  • Detached house: €1,700

Wall insulation – internal dry lining

  • Apartment: €1,500
  • Mid-terrace house: €2,000
  • Semi-detached or End of terrace house: €3,500
  • Detached house: €4,500

A Step-By-Step Application Process

The application process for the Warmer Homes Scheme involves:

  • Applying online or by downloading and completing an application form.
  • Having an SEAI surveyor assess your home to recommend suitable upgrades.
  • Getting the work done by a contractor appointed by the SEAI.
  • The SEAI assesses the work upon completion, which includes a new BER assessment and may involve a quality inspection.
  • Required documentation includes proof of eligibility for the scheme, such as evidence of receiving one of the qualifying social welfare payments. If applying under the Carer’s Allowance, a Carer’s Allowance Confirmation Form is also required​.

What Can Cause Your Application To Be Rejected?

Specific reasons for the rejection of applications for free house insulation aren’t detailed publicly, but common issues could involve not meeting the eligibility criteria, such as the construction year of your home, not receiving one of the specified social welfare payments, or having a home energy rating that does not fall within the required range. Ensuring all documentation is correctly filled out and submitted can also play a crucial role in the success of your application.

For a more detailed understanding and assistance, visiting the official SEAI website or contacting their support directly would be beneficial.

Can Landlords Apply for Free Insulation for Their Rented Properties? 

Yes, landlords can apply for grants to insulate their rented properties, but not for the free insulation under the Warmer Homes Scheme. This scheme is primarily aimed at homeowners who occupy their homes and meet specific eligibility criteria, including receiving certain social welfare payments.

However, landlords have the opportunity to apply for the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme. This scheme is more inclusive and allows private landlords, along with homeowners and approved housing bodies, to upgrade the energy efficiency of properties. The goal is to achieve a B2 energy rating or above. It is important to note that the property must have been built and occupied before 2011 to qualify for most of the grants available under this scheme.

To get these grants, landlords must:

  • Use registered contractors to carry out the work. This ensures that the work is done to a high standard.
  • Aim for a B2 BER rating or better after the work is completed.
  • Remember, no double-dipping; grants for the same work on the same property cannot be claimed more than once.

So, while landlords can’t access the free insulation schemes aimed at vulnerable homeowners, they still have significant support through grants to improve their properties’ energy efficiency. This not only benefits the environment but also enhances the value and attractiveness of their rental properties​.

Conclusion!

In Ireland, homeowners and landlords have various opportunities to upgrade their homes’ energy efficiency, potentially at no cost, through government-backed schemes such as the Warmer Homes Scheme and the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme.

 These initiatives aim to make older, less efficient homes warmer, more comfortable, and less expensive to heat. Eligibility often falls on the home’s age, the owner’s receipt of certain social welfare payments, and the property’s existing energy rating. Grants cover a range of upgrades, including insulation, heating controls, and renewable energy systems, offering significant savings on energy bills and improving the environmental footprint of homes.

If you are planning to explore energy grants or if you’re uncertain about your eligibility, Coastal Homes is here to assist. Our team of experts specialises in guiding homeowners through the application process, ensuring that you access the maximum available support to make your home energy efficient. Reach out to Coastal Homes today for comprehensive support and take the first step towards a warmer, more sustainable home.

FAQs

1. Who is eligible for free house insulation in Ireland?

Mostly, it’s for low to medium-income families. Your eligibility also depends on the age of your home and its energy needs. Check the SEAI website or contact Roofer Dublin for specific criteria.

2. What types of insulation can I get for free?

You can often get attic, wall, and sometimes floor insulation. The exact type depends on your home’s needs and the program’s offerings.

3. How do I apply for free house insulation?

Start by visiting the SEAI website to find the right program. Then, gather your documents, like income proof and energy bills, and apply online or through the specific program’s application portal.

4. Can landlords apply for free insulation for their rented properties?

Yes, landlords can apply if their properties meet the program criteria, especially if they are rented to low-income tenants. It’s a great way to improve property value and comfort for tenants.

5. How long does it take to get my house insulated once I apply?

The timeframe can vary. After applying, your application will be reviewed, and if approved, the work will be scheduled. The entire process can take a few weeks to several months, depending on demand and program specifics.

6. Is there a deadline to apply for free house insulation in Ireland?

Programs can have deadlines or be open until funding runs out. It’s best to apply as soon as you can to not miss out. Check the SEAI website or contact Roofer Dublin for the latest information.

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