Can I go around the rules and get €200?
Anne got in touch further to the Smart Consumer column a few weeks back that referred to a €200 grant towards the cost of attic insulation available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Anne writes: "I'm in the process of getting quotes at the moment regarding insulating my attic and I've checked in relation to the grants available but unfortunately I do not qualify for this €200 as the grants are not available if attic insulation is the only insulation work being carried out. In order to apply for the grant, I would need to be insulating my walls or updating my boiler as well."
She asks, "do you know if there is any way around this?"
It is true that with regard to grants for home-energy efficiency work, the SEAI apply a €400 minimum grant application amount (to first applications only, not subsequent), under their Better Energy Homes Scheme.
The SEAI say "this is to encourage homeowners to consider more comprehensive energy-efficiency solutions for their homes rather than simply undertaking attic insulation. In cases where the homeowner is undertaking higher-cost measures such as heating or external wall upgrades, then they are making a more significant commitment to energy efficiency."
There is no way around these rules, but if you're just planning on insulating your attic and don't plan any further work, you can still shop around for a good deal.
SEAI's website indicates that the cost for installing 300mm fiberglass insulation in a four-bed house is between €600 and €1,000, while ESB Electric Ireland give an average cost of €646 for a three or four-bed semi.
One contractor I spoke to felt that anyone with basic DIY skills could do it themselves.
His advice is to buy the material yourself when on sale, which happens regularly at the big DIY stores (average €200 for materials) and lay it yourself if possible or pay someone else to.