When upgrading your home’s insulation, replacing windows or installing more efficient heating systems, there are a number of questions householders should ask first.
Blog 2 - How To Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
What will it cost me? Are there grants available? What benefits will I see in a reduction of my household bills and what positive impact will it have on reducing my carbon footprint?
Green Aware Sligo spoke to Brian McIntyre of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to clarify these and other questions, and these are the basis for a series of concise and informative videos being released across social media this week through the Sligo County Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
First, Brian recommends having a Building Energy Rating (BER) done of your property by a registered assessor, of which there are several in Sligo. This person will do a full survey of your house, report any energy inefficiencies and make recommendations to you about what changes you should make. In relation to cost, a BER assessment can be done for €150-€200 and the assessor can return once works are complete to tell you what the new energy rating of your house is. You’ll find a link to all BER assessors in Sligo on the website link below.
Upgrading your home’s insulation is often the first – and cheapest – way to improve your home’s energy bills. Whether it’s insulating your attic, pumping wall insulation, dry lining the external walls from the inside, or wrapping the outside of your house in external insulation, there are grants available for all of these, from €400 for attic insulation to €6,000 for significant external insulation.
Next, consider upgrading the windows, which account for very significant heat loss. While changing from single to double or triple glazed windows can be expensive – and, unfortunately no grants are available to do this – they should be
considered as part of any retro fitting project to improve your home’s heating bills, especially as poor windows can account for 15-20% of the entire heat loss from your home.
The upgrading of your heat supply, moving from gas or oil based to more efficient heat pumps like air to water, is also a key way to lower your heating bills in the longer term. While costly to install, there is a grant of up to €3,500 available for this work, and it’s important to get an assessment done in advance. This will indicate whether your home is suitable for this type of energy system and also whether the radiators working with the new system will also need to be changed.
The contractor has up to 6 months to complete the works, and once the paperwork has been completed after the work concludes, typically between 6-8 weeks later, the grant is transferred into your bank account.
Details on these and other cost saving measures to lower your carbon footprint and raise awareness about climate change are available on the Green Aware Sligo link at www.sligococo.ie/greenaware.