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New Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme Announced

Would you like your home to be warmer and cheaper to run?

If you’re looking for house insulation grants in Ireland or grants for home improvements to update the energy efficiency of your home, then the new Home Energy Upgrade Scheme might be of interest to you.

What is the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme?

The upfront costs of investing in home energy upgrades can be a deterrent for homeowners looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
 
The new Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme aims to address that by offering homeowners in Ireland low-cost, flexible loans combined with other home renovation grants to help make homes warmer and more energy efficient.
 
This new Government-backed scheme was announced in April 2024 for home energy upgrade works that are also eligible for a grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and expected to achieve a minimum 20% improvement in the Building Energy Rating (BER).
 
The scheme allows homeowners to borrow €5,000 to €75,000 at lower interest rates for a term of up to 10 years from participating finance providers, including banks and some credit unions. Interest rates may differ among finance providers but will still be significantly lower than those generally available in the market.
 

Benefits of the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme

  • The Home Energy Upgrade Scheme allows you to spread the cost of energy upgrades over a period of time to balance your repayments with the savings you will make on your energy bills.
  • It’s a streamlined process for grant and loan applications.
  • Money from approved loans can be drawn before works begin for deposits or milestone payments.
  • There’s flexibility to spend up to 25% of the loan money on non-energy related works like redecorating your home.
 
What home improvements can I use the scheme for?
 
The good news is you can use the loan combined with other house insulation grants and home renovation grants from the SEAI for a deep retrofit that involves a few energy upgrades at the same time or to carry out just one or two upgrades that will significantly improve the energy performance of your home and reduce your carbon footprint. These could include: 
·        Heat pump systems 
·        Solar water heating
·        Solar panels and battery systems
·        Improving home insulation in attics, walls and floors
·        Fitting new windows and doors to reduce the loss of heat from your home.
 
The SEAI offers a number of grants for home improvements like attic insulation, wall insulation, heating controls, heat pumps, solar water heating and solar panels, which you can find out more about on its website here
The home energy upgrades must be projected to result in a minimum 20% increase in the Building Energy Rating (BER).
 

How do I check if my home is eligible for the loan scheme?

 
The SEAI lists the eligibility criteria for the scheme on its website: 
1.      The purpose of the loan must be to carry out home energy upgrade works.
2.      You must be the owner of the home.
3.      The property must be located in the Republic of Ireland.
4.      The home energy upgrades must first qualify for a grant from SEAI.
5.      The works must be carried out by either an SEAI registered One Stop Shop, Energy Partner or Community Coordinator.
6.      At least 75% of the loan amount must be spent on eligible measures.
7.      The home must be projected to achieve a minimum 20% uplift on the current energy performance (BER) of the building.
8.      Loans cannot be used to fund projects that have already completed works.
 
The full terms and conditions of the scheme are available on the SBCI website.
 
If you are interested, check the SEAI website for the most up to date information regarding eligibility.
 

How to apply

 
According to the SEAI, you must:
1.      Contact an SEAI registered One Stop Shop, Energy Partner or SEAI Community Project Coordinator to plan your home energy upgrade.
2.      They will carry out an assessment, provide you with a Home Energy Summary Report and apply for your SEAI home energy upgrade grant.
3.      Engage with a participating finance provider for the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme at SBCI.gov.ie.
4.      Apply for your low-cost, flexible loan using your Home Energy Summary Report at SBCI.gov.ie.
5.      Once approved for your loan, you can start your home energy upgrade works.
 
Check the SEAI website for the latest details on applying for your Home Energy Upgrade Loan.
 

Other ways to make your home more energy efficient 

 
If you’re not quite ready for home renovations or an energy retrofit, try some of these simple ways to save energy at home: 
·        Buy draught excluders.
·        Turn down thermostats.
·        Close doors to keep the heat in.
·        Minimise the use of plug-in heaters.

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