What New Government Grants Are Available for Retrofitting Your Home in Ireland?

by | Mar 30, 2024

what-new-government-grants-are-available-for-retrofitting-your-home-in-ireland

Thinking about making your home warmer and saving on bills? You might be looking at a deep retrofit. It sounds like a big deal, and yes, it can cost a bit. Good news! The Irish government is stepping up with new grants that could be your golden ticket to a greener, more sustainable home. These grants cover a range of retrofitting options, from snug insulation to advanced renewable energy systems, all designed to reduce your energy bills and boost your home’s comfort. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss all the latest grant opportunities, guiding you through how to make your home improvement dreams a reality without spending more. Ready to take the first step towards a more energy-efficient home? So, let’s get started.

What is Deep Retrofit And Why is it Important?

When you hear “deep retrofitting,” think of it as giving your house a major upgrade. It’s like taking an old car and not just fixing it but making it run like a brand new one. This isn’t just about a quick fix; it’s about making your home the best it can be for the long run. You’re not just spending money; you’re putting it into something that’s going to pay you back. 

Over time, your energy bills get smaller because your home is using less energy to stay warm. Plus, if you ever decide to sell, a well-done house is going to get a better price.

Deep retrofitting is not just a quick fix; it’s a long-term investment in your home’s efficiency and comfort. By enhancing insulation, upgrading heating systems, and possibly integrating renewable energy sources, you’re not only reducing your energy bills but also potentially increasing your home’s market value.

Why Do We Need to Retrofit Homes? 

why do we need to retrofit homes
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Lately, everyone is talking about how expensive energy is becoming. For example, in early October 2022, the cost of an average electricity bill went up by 26.7% because of Electric Ireland’s price hike. This was after the price for electricity on the wholesale market jumped by 45.1% from July to August 2022, which was a staggering 194.9% more expensive than the year before. With these price hikes, we all feel the pressure to use less energy or face very high bills. This is pushing those who can afford it to make changes to their homes to use less electricity. And it’s not just about saving money on bills; it’s also about helping the environment.

Climate change is a big problem for us all, and a big part of the problem comes from how much energy our homes use. In Ireland, the energy used in homes accounts for about a quarter of all the greenhouse gases from energy use.

Making our homes more energy-efficient is a great way to cut down on how much energy we use overall. Right now, we’re using fossil fuels for heating and losing a lot of that energy. It’s like we’re accidentally helping to warm up the planet even more!

What are the Benefits of Retrofitting Your Home?

Retrofitting your home offers numerous benefits and advantages that are too significant to ignore. 

Significant savings on energy bills

Retrofitting reduces the amount of energy your home needs to stay warm, leading to lower costs month after month. Beyond just saving money, retrofitting ensures your home is comfortable and free from draughty rooms or cold spots, offering cosiness throughout the year without the need to excessively use heaters. 

Cut down on harmful emissions

Retrofitting plays a crucial role in the environment. By using less energy for heating, we significantly cut down on harmful emissions, contributing to a healthier land right from our living spaces. 

Higher value in the real estate market

Homes that are energy-efficient and comfortable tend to have a higher value in the real estate market. Should you decide to sell, the improvements made through retrofitting can attract buyers willing to pay a premium for these features.

Although the initial costs may seem difficult, the long-term benefits of retrofitting—ranging from financial savings and increased comfort to environmental protection and enhanced home value—make it a worthwhile investment for a better and more efficient living environment.

How Much Does a Full Home Retrofit Cost?

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Here is price tag through which we can understand full retrofitting grants availability:

Initial Look-See Costs

  • Energy Assessment: Before you start, you’ll need a pro to check your home and tell you what’s needed. This could cost you around €200 to €500, depending on the size of your home and the depth of the assessment.

Main Upgrades and Their Costs

  • Insulation: Wrapping your home up snug can vary widely. For attic insulation, you might spend about €1,000 to €2,500. Wall insulation can be a bigger job, possibly €2,000 to €4,000 for cavity walls, and more for external or internal insulation, which can range from €9,000 to €22,000.
  • Heating System: Upgrading to an efficient system like a heat pump might set you back €7,000 to €12,000. But remember, this can slash your heating bills significantly.
  • Window Replacement: Swapping old windows for double or triple-glazed ones could cost €4,500 to €14,000 for an average-sized home.

Extra Touches for Efficiency

  • Solar Panels: Adding solar PV panels to cut down electricity bills and maybe even earn from surplus power might cost around €3,000 to €7,000.
  • Ventilation Systems: For a healthier home with better air quality, a heat recovery ventilation system might be around €2,000 to €5,000.

What Government Grants and Supports are available for Retrofitting?

When you’re ready to make your home more energy-efficient, it’s good to know exactly what financial support is available to you. Here’s a breakdown of the key grants and what they’re designed for:

Heating Controls: 

Get up to €700 towards smart heating controls that make managing your home’s temperature a breeze, saving you energy and money.

Attic Insulation: 

A grant of up to €1,200 can help seal up your attic, keeping the heat in and the cold out.

Wall Insulation: 

Depending on the type of walls your home has, you could receive:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation: 

Up to €1,200 for filling those gaps and keeping your home snug.

  • Internal Wall Insulation

Grants range from €1,600 for an apartment or mid-terrace house to €2,200 for a detached home.

  • External Wall Insulation

The big one – up to €6,000 for a detached house, making a massive difference in keeping your home warm.

Heat Pump Systems Grant

With up to €3,500 on offer, this grant encourages you to switch to a renewable heat pump system, drastically reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and cutting down your energy bills.

Solar Power Boost

Solar panel grants can go up to €2,400, plus an additional €300 for battery storage systems. This not only reduces your electricity bills but could also allow you to sell excess power back to the grid, making your investment even more worthwhile.

How Can You Make Retrofit Costs Work for You?

Let’s put these figures into mind. Imagine you’re planning a comprehensive retrofit that includes wall insulation, a new heating system, and solar panels. Here’s how the costs might break down:

  • Total Retrofit Cost: €20,000
    • Wall Insulation: €6,000
    • Heat Pump System: €10,000
    • Solar Panels: €4,000

Potential Grant Support:

  • Wall Insulation Grant: Up to €6,000
  • Heat Pump Grant: Up to €3,500
  • Solar Panel Grant: Up to €2,400

Total Potential Grants: €11,900

This means, for a €20,000 investment in making your home energy-efficient, you could receive nearly €12,000 in grants, cutting your out-of-pocket expense to around €8,100. It’s a substantial upfront investment, but with the energy savings you’ll start racking up, both your wallet and the planet will thank you in the long run.

Can I Get the Retrofit Grant?

This grant is open to homeowners, private landlords, and certain housing groups. To be eligible for a grant, you need to:

  • Own a home that was built and lived in before 2011 if you’re applying for help with insulation, heating controls, and renewable energy systems.
  • Have a house with an energy rating (BER) of B3 or worse before you start the improvements.
  • Improve your home’s energy rating to at least B2 after the work is done, and make sure it uses at least 100kWh/m2 per year less energy.
  • Not have received a grant for the same kind of energy-saving work before.
  • Hire a company that’s registered with the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) as a One Stop Shop to oversee the project and handle the paperwork.

Also, if your home was built before 1940, you might need to talk to a special architect before applying. This is because the usual ways of adding insulation with the grant might not suit your older house. The SEAI website has helpful tips on how to properly insulate older buildings.

How to Apply and Combine These Grants

Applying for and combining retrofitting grants in Ireland can be process if you follow these steps:

Start with an Energy Assessment: 

Before applying for any grants, have an energy assessment done on your home to identify the most beneficial upgrades. This assessment is often a prerequisite for grant applications.

Choose Your Upgrades: 

Based on the assessment, decide which upgrades you want to make, such as insulation, heating system upgrades, or solar panel installation.

Check Eligibility: 

Visit the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) website to check the eligibility criteria for each grant you’re interested in. Make sure your planned upgrades qualify.

Find Registered Contractors: 

For most grants, you’ll need to use contractors who are registered with the SEAI. You can find a list of these contractors on the SEAI website.

Apply for Grants: 

Apply for each grant separately through the SEAI website, providing details about your home, the planned upgrades, and your chosen contractors. Some grants may require you to submit quotes from contractors as part of the application.

Combine Grants Wisely: 

You can often combine grants for different types of upgrades. For example, you might apply for one grant for insulation and another for a heat pump system. Check the SEAI website or contact them directly to understand how you can combine grants for your project.

Complete the Work and Claim: 

Once approved, have the work completed by your chosen registered contractors. After the work is finished, submit any required documentation, such as completion certificates or invoices, to the SEAI to claim your grant(s).

By following these steps, you can navigate the application process for multiple grants, ensuring you maximise the financial support available for retrofitting your home.

Conclusion

Retrofitting your home with the help of government grants in Ireland in 2024 is not just a step towards making your home more energy-efficient; it’s a move towards a sustainable future, enhancing your living space’s comfort, reducing energy bills, and contributing positively to the environment. These grants cover everything from insulation and heating system upgrades to solar panel installation, ensuring there’s something for every homeowner looking to make a change.

Take this chance to turn your home into an example of sustainable living. With the available grants making this transition more accessible and affordable, there’s no better time to act. If you’re ready to start towards a greener, more efficient home, Coastal Homes is here to support you. Contact us at Coastal Homes, and let us help you bring your vision of a sustainable home to life. Together, we can make a difference, one retrofit at a time.

FAQs

1. What types of retrofitting projects are covered by government grants in Ireland?

Government grants typically cover projects aimed at improving energy efficiency, such as insulation, window upgrades, heating system improvements, and the installation of renewable energy sources like solar panels.

2. Can all homeowners in Ireland apply for retrofitting grants?

Most grants are available to homeowners, but eligibility may depend on factors like the age of your home, the type of retrofitting projects, and sometimes your personal or household income.

3. How much financial support can I expect from a retrofitting grant?

The amount varies significantly by grant and project scope, ranging from partial coverage of specific upgrades to substantial contributions for comprehensive retrofitting efforts.

4. Do I need to hire specific contractors to qualify for a retrofitting grant?

Yes, typically, you must use contractors approved by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) or the relevant grant-issuing body to ensure quality and compliance.

5. Is there a deadline to apply for these retrofitting grants?

Deadlines can vary by grant program. It’s essential to check the latest information on the official SEAI website or through the relevant government body to avoid missing out.

6. Can I apply for multiple retrofitting grants at the same time?

In some cases, yes, but it depends on the specific terms and conditions of each grant. Some grants can be combined, while others are standalone.

7. How do I start the application process for a retrofitting grant?

Begin by checking your eligibility, then conduct a home energy assessment to identify potential improvements. Following this, gather necessary documents and apply through the official channels provided by the grant program.

8. Are there any grants for small retrofitting projects, or are they all for major renovations?

There are grants available for both small-scale improvements and major renovations. It’s worth exploring all options to see which grants best match your retrofitting plans.

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