SEAI offers 3 types of Home Energy Grants and 2 types of Community grants.
Home Energy Grants
Going through a SEAI registered One Stop Shop, the homeowner can receive an overall discount of up to 50% for retrofitting their home. It is a good option if you have more than one measure for retrofit works. Grants of set amounts for single retrofit measures are available.
One Stop Shops manage the home energy upgrade from start to finish, apply for the grant on your behalf and discount the grant amount from the total of cost of works at the beginning of the retrofit process.
To be eligible for this grant your home must
- Be built and occupied before 2011 for insulation and renewable energy systems grant
- Have an existing BER rating of B3 or lower and must achieve a minimum of B2 after completion of works, with a 100kWh/m2/year or better
- not have previously received grants for the same energy upgrades
These grants are set amounts for single measures which can be up to 80% depending on the size of the home and cost of the upgrade.
Individual Energy Upgrades grants are available for the following:
Grants for mechanical ventilation, doors and windows, and floor insulation are only available through the One Stop Shop Scheme.
To be eligible for these grants your home must
- Be built and occupied before 2006 for insulation grants
- Be built and occupied before 2011 for insulation, heat pump and solar PV grants, homes must be built and occupied before 2011
- More Information on grants and eligibility can be found here.
Guidelines on the application of this grant can be found here.
Free Energy Upgrades are available for Insulation, secondary shallow retrofit measures, and, in some cases, heating system or window upgrades are eligible for these grants.
To be eligible for the scheme:
- You must own and have lived in the home
- It must be your principal / main private residence
- Your home must have been built and occupied before 1st January 2006
- Your home must be in the Republic of Ireland
- You must receive one of the following welfare payments:
- Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme. You can check if you are entitled to the fuel allowance here
- Job Seekers Allowance for over six months and have a child under seven years of age
- Working Family Payment
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Domiciliary Care Allowance
- Carers Allowance and live with the person you are caring for (effective from 1st August 2018)
- Disability allowance and have a child under the age of 7.
Since February 8, 2022, homeowners who have previously received this assistance may be eligible again if they can benefit from further upgrades.
Guidelines on the application of this grant can be found here
4. Additional grant support for island homeowners
If you live outside mainland Ireland and are an island homeowner you may be eligible for additional 50% grant support. See the list of islands here.
5. Grants for Traditional Buildings
The Individual Home Energy Upgrades grants may not be suitable for homes built before 1940. The Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings document provides useful guidance before you retrofit a traditional home.
SEAI recommends that
- expert advice is sought for upgrades of traditional construction types
- Alternative insulation methods may be required for traditional buildings that may not be eligible for grant support
1. Community Energy Grant (formerly known as Better Energy Community Grant)
This grant is open to businesses, local communities, homeowners and retail owners to initiate retrofit works on a variety of building types such as schools, commercial and retail spaces, community halls, sports clubs and residential. SEAI states that partnerships are essential for successful outcomes.
Applications are done through project coordinators who aggregate a variety of building retrofit projects into one application and delivers the retrofit within a fixed time period. The application has to fulfil specific criteria. The buildings are usually in the same region but do not have to be located close to each other.
Is initiated by a few people in a community. They organise a group, set up a steering committee, join the Sustainable Energy Network and bring on a mentor to help them create a plan for a more sustainable energy community.
Who can apply for grants
Homeowners with homes built and occupied before 2006, can apply for insulation grants. To be eligible for heat pump and solar PV grants, homes must be built and occupied before 2011.
Key difference in the initial cost outlay between going through a one stop shop and doing the retrofit works yourself
If you go through a one stop shop, they apply for the grants for you and you pay the balance. So if the overall discount is 50% you pay for 50% of the retrofit work. If you apply for the grant yourself you pay the full cost of the works and receive the grant only after the works are done. Paperwork and documentation must be completed and submitted at the right time. Works cannot start before the application is approved by SEAI. Visit individual energy upgrade grants if you plan to manage the retrofit works on your own and One Stop Shop Services if you plan to go through a One stop Shop.
SEAI accepts no responsibility or liability for SEAI registered Contractors
Be aware that SEAI accepts no responsibility or liability for the standard of work from the SEAI registered contractors, whether for breach of contract, negligence or otherwise, in respect of any claim or cause of action arising out of, or in relation to, any equipment, material, work, system or installation in respect for which grant approval was given by SEAI. Registered contractors on the SEAI lists and schemes does not infer any warranty or endorsement of the SEAI registered contractors.
SEAI registered Contractor Code of practice
Contractors registered with SEAI have agreed to comply with Better Energy Homes Contractor’s Code of Practice, Domestic Technical Standards and Specifications and Quality Assurance and Disciplinary Procedure and the Additional Information for Contractors. It is essential that homeowners check warranties for services and products delivered for their home. They should understand their contracts with the renovation advisor and SEAI registered contractors and check that if the retrofit work is not delivered to the best standard, defective or not compliant, the customer has recourse to get the contractor to make good the defective work or to get their money back. A percentage of payment should be retained by the homeowner for a period after the works are completed.
6 things to know about grant applications. Further details can be found here
- Before applying for a grant
- check if you have received any SEAI grants before. Contact SEAI with your MPRN (found at the top of your electricity bill).
- check if you had a BER assessment done on your house and use the advisory report with the BER to choose the type of upgrade you need
- get initial advice from a qualified retrofit engineer or retrofit architect, qualified BER assessor or energy advisor
- check if the retrofit works to your home will require planning permission
- If you are applying for a heat pump grant you need to choose an SEAI registered Technical Advisor to assess if your home is heat pump ready. The technical advisor may advise you to improve the insulation, airtightness and ventilation of your home to ensure there is minimum heat loss in your home and the heat pump operates in optimum conditions
- Choose an SEAI registered contractor. Ask for references. Check if the work they’ve done before suits your home. You and the contractor must sign a contract before the works begin. Both you and the contractor will have to fill in a declaration of works, necessary for receiving the grant. Become aware of what the contractor is liable for and if there are warranties on the work, services and products, and their validity.
- You can apply either online or by post. Alternatively you can also apply through an energy partner that will handle the rest of the application process.
- The retrofit works must be fully completed, and you must pay your contractor in full or have a repayment agreement in place. Then you must have your home assessed again by an SEAI registered BER assessor and publish your certificate.
- If all works are finished within 8 months and you have submitted the necessary documentation on time, the SEAI grants will be released within a few weeks.
Further details on each of these steps can be found here