Irish homeowners look to SEAI energy upgrades to curtail fuel bills

by Rose Barrett
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Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamonn Ryan and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) published a report earlier this week, giving details of home energy upgrades supported through the government funded SEAI grant schemes in 2022.

This is the first of a regular planned quarterly update on progress against the Climate Action Plan target to upgrade 500,000 homes to BER B2 or better by 2030. Given the huge increase in heating and energy costs over the past year, more homeowners are choosing to have their homes better insulated.

Minister Eamon Ryan (GP)

Key insights noted in the report are:

  • 27,199 property upgrades were completed in 2022, up almost 80 per cent on the previous year
  • Of these upgrades, 4.438 were fully funded upgrades for low-income households, up 85 per cent year on year.
  • 437 Approved Housing Body homes were supported under the One-Stop-Shop Scheme and an additional 95 low-income houses were supported under the Community Energy Grants Scheme.
  • Roof and cavity wall insulation measures, the simplest thing you can do to maintain heat in your home, grew by 107 per cent between 2021 and 2022
  • The number of homes upgraded to a BER B2 almost doubled, to 8,481 last year
  • SEAI registered 12 One Stop Shop service providers, all of whom commenced operations
  • Capital expenditure on the national retrofit programme was €188m in 2022, up 90 per cent on 2021
  • 40.27kt CO2 emissions savings in 2022, an improvement of more than 80 per cent on 2021

Despite the increase in homeowners seeking to upgrade insulation and cut down on heating costs, some speculators do not believe that the National Retrofit Plan’s target of 500,000 homes to be upgraded to a B2 by 2030 will be met.

The SEAI’s 2022 report confirms the organisation processed more than 50,000 grant applications – incredibly, an increase of 140 per cent on the previous year.

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