Gas & Electricity

What home energy efficiency grants does the SEAI offer?

Robyn Hamilton

Robyn Hamilton

Content Marketing Specialist

In this article, we take a look at the details of the Better Energy Homes grants offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which helps Irish households to increase their homes’ energy efficiency to reduce energy bills costs and carbon emissions.

The SEAI offers five different grants for different home energy efficiency measures. Let’s kick things off by taking a look at the details of the home insulation grant.

Insulation grant

According to the SEAI, a home can lose 30% of its heat through poorly insulated walls and attics; meaning that a lot of that lovely heat you’re paying for could literally be going out the window (well, the walls) before you’ve had a proper chance to benefit from it.

The authority contends that properly insulating the walls of the average home can save up to €600 per year on heating bills.

What are the benefits of insulating your home?

There are three main benefits to insulating your home’s walls and attic. These are:

  • Your energy bills should decrease: as mentioned above, 30% of your home’s heat can be lost through poorly insulated walls. So... Insulate your walls > lose less heat > watch your bills fall.
  • Your home will become more comfortable: Once your home is more energy efficient, you’ll hopefully be able to retire that old “put on more clothes” response when a family member complains about being cold.
  • You’ll reduce your emissions: Quite simply, reduced heat loss leads to reduced energy consumption which leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

What types of insulation grants does the SEAI offer?

Insulation grants include cavity, internal and external wall insulation, as well as attic insulation grants.

Energy Efficiency Measures

Grant Value

Attic/rafter insulation

€300

Cavity wall insulation

€300

Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace house (internal)

€1,200

Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace house (external)

€2,750

Semi-detached OR end of terrace (internal)

€1,800

Semi-detached OR end of terrace (external)

€4,500

Detached house (internal)

€2,400

Detached house (external)

€6,000

For more information on these different insulation types to determine which is kind is the best fit for your home, check out the SEAI’s website.

Who can apply for an insulation grant from the SEAI?

All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2006 can apply. Homes built from 2006 onwards should have been constructed to the 2003 Building Regulations and should not need significant upgrades. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed.

Solar thermal grant

Once your walls and attic are all insulated, what else can you do to improve your home’s energy efficiency? Well, you could reduce your hot water costs by installing a solar thermal system (not to be confused with a solar PV system, which we'll discuss later).  

The SEAI says that solar thermal systems are designed to meet 50-60% of your overall hot water requirement over the year.

What are the benefits of a solar thermal system?

As with properly fitted insulation, installing a solar thermal system should help you dramatically reduce your energy bills. Your solar panels should generate enough free energy to meet over half your annual hot water needs.

Similarly, if you’re using less energy to heat your water, you’ll be reducing your emissions and carbon footprint.

What is the value of the SEAI’s solar thermal grant?

The SEAI offers a €1,200 grant to households looking to install solar thermal systems.

Who can apply for a solar thermal grant from the SEAI?

All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2011 can apply. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed. Note that this is different to other grant measures where the home must be built before 2006.

A point to remember concerning solar thermal grants:

It’s important to be aware that the solar thermal grant is only approved if solar panels are applied to your full home. This means that the measures should be completed based on the average number of people that could live in a home of your size, rather than the actual number of occupants.

If enough collectors are not installed this may result in non-payment of the grant by the SEAI. Make sure that a compliance check is carried out by the registered Contractor before work starts.

Solar PV Grant 

Many of us often use the term "solar panel" as a catch-all term for solar generated energy. However, generally there are two types of solar panels that you can install in your home; solar thermal collectors (as discussed above) to heat water exclusively and solar photovoltaic (PV) modules which are used to generate free direct current (DC) electricity for multipurpose use. 

Solar PV panels are the rooftop solar panels you see on homes and businesses. They turn daylight into free electricity and provide you with free energy and free electricity to power various electrical appliances in your home. 

A domestic solar PV system consists of a number of solar panels mounted to your roof (or in your garden) which are connected into the electrical loads within your building. The solar panels generate DC (direct current – like a battery) electricity, which is then converted in an inverter to AC (alternating current – like the electricity in your domestic socket). Solar PV systems are rated in kilowatts (kW). A 1kW solar PV system would require 3 or 4 solar panels on your roof.

Any excess electricity produced can be stored in a battery, or other storage solution like your hot water immersion tank. It can also be exported from your house into the electrical network on your street.

What are the benefits of a solar PV system?

Free electricity of course! A solar PV system will reduce the electricity you currently purchase from your supplier and save you money. The SEAI advise maximising the amount of solar electricity you use in your home by sizing the solar PV system to meet your demand, and by using energy storage solutions.

On average, a solar PV system can save between €200-€300 per year on your domestic electricity bill.

By investing in solar PV, you will also be making an impact on the BER of your home. When it comes to selling your home, a higher BER will add value and help you achieve a higher sale price. 

What is the value of the SEAI’s solar PV grant?

The SEAI offers €700 for every kWp up to a maximum of 4kWp. Any installation over 2kWp must install a battery. The authority also offers a grant of €1,000 for a battery storage system.

Who can apply for a solar PV grant from the SEAI?

There is a short eligibility form that grant seekers can fill out to see if they're eligible for the solar PV scheme on the SEAI's website. 

Support is available to all owners of dwellings built and occupied before 2011.

Heating controls grant

By updating your heating controls you could reduce your energy usage by up to 20% and consequently reduce your home heating bills.

What are the benefits of updating your heating controls?

There are three main benefits to updating your heating controls with the SEAI. These are:

  • Heat when you need it: You’ll be able to control your heating remotely, meaning that you’ll only ever need to heat the house when you’re actually there.
  • Heat zones for extra efficiency: Heat your hot water without having to turn on your home heating. You can also split upstairs and downstairs into heating zones for further efficiency.
  • Reduce your energy bills: the first two benefits will help you to reduce your energy usage by up to 20%, saving you money on your energy bills

What is the value of the SEAI’s heating controls grant?

The SEAI offers a €700 grant to households looking to update their home’s heating controls.

Who can apply for the SEAI’s heating controls grant?

All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2006 can apply. Homes built from 2006 onwards should have been constructed to the 2003 Building Regulations and should not need significant upgrades. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed.

Heat pump grant 

If you already live in a well-insulated home and you’re looking to make your home as energy efficient as possible, you might be interested in the SEAI’s heat pump grant.

Heat pumps promise to transform the comfort levels in your home and act as an attractive alternative to fossil fuel heating systems, offering lower costs and reduced carbon emissions.

What is a heat pump system and how does it work?  

According to the SEAI;

“Heat-pumps are electrical devices which convert energy from the air outside of your home into useful heat, in the same way a fridge extracts heat from its inside. In well-insulated houses they are very economical to run. They are an extremely efficient alternative to oil, gas, solid fuel and electric home heating systems.

Different types of heat pump systems draw heat from different sources: air, water or the ground. Heat generated is released via radiators, underfloor heating or warm air. All heat pump systems, excluding those providing warm air to the home, can supply all of the hot water needed for baths, showers and sinks.”

What types of heat pump systems are there?

There are three types of heat pump system. These are air source pumps, ground source pumps and water source pumps.

  • Air source: These are the most popular heat pump systems. They extract heat from external air, typically using an outside unit. They don’t require underground piping to source heat and so tend to be cheaper and easier to install compared to other heat pump systems.
  • Ground source: A ground-source heat pump system uses the earth as a source of renewable heat. Heat is removed from the ground through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump. The ground collector can be laid out horizontally at a shallow depth below the surface or else vertically to a greater depth.
  • Water source: Water source heat pump systems use open water, such as lakes, rivers or streams, as a heat source. Heat is removed from the water through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump.

What are the benefits of installing a heat pump system?

As with any of these energy efficiency measures, there are three main benefits to installing a heat pump system. You should see a dramatic reduction in your energy bills, your home’s comfort levels should increase and as you won’t be burning fossil fuels, you’ll reduce your carbon emissions.  

What types of heat pump system grants do the SEAI offer?

Below are the grants available from the SEAI for each different type of heat pump system.

Heat Pump System Type

Grant Value

Air to Water

€3,500

Ground Source to Water

€3,500

Exhaust Air to Water

€3,500

Water to Water

€3,500

Air to Air

€600

Who can apply for a heat pump system from the SEAI?

All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2011 can apply. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed.

Don’t forget! Grants for heat pump systems will only be approved for dwellings that have low heat loss. Before applying for a heat pump system grant, you must contact an independent, SEAI Registered Technical Advisor for a technical assessment of your home. For more details of what is required, check out the SEAI’s website.  

Thinking of applying for a grant? Hold your horses just a second…

If you’re thinking of applying for one of the SEAI’s Better Energy Homes grants, be aware that you’ll be required to carry out and publish a BER once your grant-related works are done in order to draw down payments.

What is a BER?

A Building Energy Rating or BER certificate is an indication of the energy performance of your home. It must be carried out by a registered BER assessor. The SEAI also offers a BER grant of €50 to help pay for this assessment.

Bonus for multiple measures

Did you know that the SEAI offer higher grants and cash bonuses if you carry out three or four measures on your home?

If you complete three measures your grant value will be increased by €300.

If you complete four measures your grant value will be increased by an additional €100. €400 in total.

Ready for some extra ways to save on your energy bills?

The fastest and easiest way to save money on your energy bills with no investment at all is to switch your suppliers every 12 months. Why? Because it can save you an average of over €340 by doing so! 

Why not compare gas and electricity suppliers now and see how much you could save?  

You might also be interested in learning about smart home thermostats which give you the ability to remotely control and monitor your home's energy usage. We compare Climote with Hive Active Heating and the Nest Smart Learning Thermostat here and you can check out the benefits of the Netatmo thermostat here. 

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