Friday 19 October 2018

This is how you can heat your home for less

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to a warm house.

But did you know the average homeowner spends €1850 heating their home each year? The best way to reduce your energy costs in the long-term is to simply use less. In addition, you will be doing your bit for the environment, as improving your home’s energy performance is a significant step in decreasing your carbon footprint.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers home energy grants to make your home more energy efficient, cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in. So far more than 375,000 homes have benefited from these grants. There are a range of grants available for attic and wall insulation, heating controls, heat pump systems and solar thermal.

Insulation

Having quality insulation reduces the amount of heat needed to warm your home which will reduce your carbon footprint, as well as your energy bills. There are three types of wall insulation: cavity wall insulation and, if you have solid walls, external wall insulation and internal wall insulation which is also known as dry lining. On average, a home loses between 20 - 30% of its heat through walls. You can save up to €600 per year on your heating bills through properly insulating your walls.

Grants range from €300 for attic insulation, all the way to €6,000 for external wall insulation. The grants typically cover one third of the total cost of the works for an average home. Click here to see the various insulation grants available.

Heat pumps

SEAI has just announced its latest grant for heat pump systems. 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 traditional oil, gas, solid fuel and electric home heating systems. Once the heat is within the pump, it is distributed within the home through radiators, underfloor heating or warm air units.

How do heat pumps work?

The most common type of pump draws energy from outside air. The pump is typically attached to an outside wall and can be cheaper to install and run as they do not call for underground pipes. Ground source and water source systems use heat from either the ground or from a water source, such as a lake or river. To learn more about the different systems available, read this handy homeowners guide.

To qualify for a heat pump system grant, you must first engage with an independent SEAI registered Technical Advisor who will visit your home and identify any major heat-loss issues in your home, which need to be remedied to make your home eligible. This may require insulation or glazing upgrades in advance. The advisor will then help you decide which heat pump system is best suited for your home. A list of registered Technical Advisors can be found here.

Applying for grants

As well as being far kinder to our environment, these sustainable energy measures are also kinder to our pocket. Most of us have been faced with a hefty energy bill after a particularly long and cold winter, but we can reduce our energy costs by making simple upgrades to our homes. Along with the heat pump system grant, SEAI offers a range of grants to help make homes more energy efficient. From solar thermal panels to heating controls, you can learn about the different grants here.

Grants for insulation and heating control upgrades are available to owners of homes built and occupied before 2006. Grants for heat pump systems and solar thermal are available to owners of homes built and occupied before 2011.

Homeowners can apply for grants online and get immediate approval. SEAI’s grants are not means-tested. Once approved, homeowners have six months to get the works completed and claim the grant.

Free Home Upgrades

Free home energy upgrades are available for homeowners in receipt of certain social welfare payments. To find out what measures are available and if you are eligible, click here.

For more information, click here or call 01 8082100.

Sponsored by: SEAI

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