Don't underestimate the benefits of home insulation

Published 23/10/2012|15:16

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IT is a reality that if your home is more than five years old it is probably under insulated. With the expense of energy today your home needs to be well insulated to protect you from the loss of heat in the winter time and to keep your house cooler in the summer time.

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Homes older than five years old probably did not have enough insulation in the attic or have the proper R value. Now is the perfect time to check your insulation and add new insulation if needed

The most common type of home insulation today for an attic is Fibe glass quilt insulation

This will offer significant protection for your home. You can also add additional protection by using roll foil and even polyurethane foam in other areas of your home. Foam is particularly great for those hard to reach areas in tight spots and cracks

Roll foil can be used underneath the basement ceiling for good protection

You should also take the time to check your roof for damage and replace any faulty roof tiles or slates. Reflective tape and insulated tape is always a good idea for pipes and outside walls where any wires or cables enter your home

There are also other benefits of home insulation that you might not have considered

Insulation acts as a sound barrier as well

This can help to lower the noise levels in your home. It is also additional protection from fire and the spread of fire

Good home insulation will also add value to your home. The resale value of homes with proper insulation is higher than those homes with little insulation protection. It will add comfort and security to your home

Overall, insulation is a great investment for any home. The cost of insulation and installing it is small compared to the returns you will receive. With good insulation you will be helping to protect the environment by saving energy as well as saving yourself money every month

About Better Energy Homes As with all schemes administered by SEAI, the Better Energy Homes scheme is subject to continuous review with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with respect to programme objectives. To date over €115m has been paid in grant support towards 270,000 upgrade measures in 110,000 homes. There is also a noted continued downward trend in the typical cost of works, particularly in the case of wall insulation

Therefore after a review with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources a number of scheme revisions have been agreed, which have now come into effect

The two key changes to the scheme are: Revised grant amounts for all wall insulation types and Building Energy Rating (BER) Internal and external wall insulation grants will no longer be one single amount, but rather be based upon the house type

Grants for attic insulation and all heating system upgrades including solar remain unchanged

What grants are available? Grants are available to eligible applicants for undertaking the following works, in accordance with the requirements contractor Code of Practice Technical Specification

Energy Efficient Works Attic Insulation...€200 Wall Insulation - Cavity...€250 Wall Insulation - Internal Dry Lining Apartment (any) /Mid- terrace House... €900 Semi-detached or End of Terrace...€1,350 Detached House...€1,800 Wall Insulation - External Apartment (any) or Mid- terrace House...€1,800 Semidetached or End of Terrace...€2,700 Detached House...€3,600 Heating System Heating Controls with Boiler (Oil or Gas) Upgrade...€560 Heating Controls Upgrade only...€400 Solar Heating...€ Building Energy Rating (BER)...€50 ***Cash Grants are set value unless expenditure is below the set value, in which case the actual expenditure will be reimbursed

**A Building Energy Rating (BER) is an integral part of all grant applications under the Better Energy Homes scheme, whereby homeowners must undertake a BER on their home after grant aided works have been completed. A homeowner is entitled to BER funding of €50 once per home. This funding will be applied to your grant application automatically provided you have never applied previously for BER funding. You will be informed during the online grant application process if BER funding is available for your home or as part of your Letter of Grant Offer if you have applied through the post. It is advisable that you apply for and undertake all planned grant aided works at the same time to minimise the costs of multiple BER assessments

*** From December 8th 2011 internal and external wall insulation grants will no longer be one single amount, but rather be based upon the house type

Please note the minimum grant amount for the first application must be €400. A BER grant, where applicable, does not count towards the €400 minimum. In the instance where a Contractor is completing works within his own home then only the cost of materials will be deemed qualifying expenditure. Grants are claimed after the measures are completed and the contractor has been paid by or entered a financing agreement with the homeowner

For more information see the SEI website www.sei.ie

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