Thursday, December 15, 2011

Better Energy Programme Changes

The Government has committed to spending €76 million on the Better Homes Scheme during 2012.   

While the overall allocation represents a 15% decrease year on year, the allocation will still allow substantial economic activity in 2012; supporting at least 4,500 jobs and generating anticipated energy savings of 340GWh. 

The budget allocation is a Government decision and based on the pressures on the public finances. The Department recognises the positive economic impact of the programme, but also recognises the extremely challenging environment that the Government is operating within. The fact that we have managed to secure the allocation that we did is a positive result. 

Half of the Grant levels have changed under the Better Energy programme. See Table 1. There have been minor changes to the most popular measures, so for the majority of applicants there will be little or no impact. 

The only significant change in funding levels is to the wall insulation part of the scheme - a change whereby people will now only get the level of support appropriate for the type of house that they live in.  It makes sense that people who live in a terrace house shouldn't receive the same level of support as those who live in a detached house.   

Given the changing patterns of applications, i.e. an increase in internal and external wall insulation, the Department would have amended the grant levels anyway, as one of the original aims of the programme was to develop a functioning market for wall insulation. The increasing activity/applications levels strongly suggest that this has been achieved. 

Everyone who has an application approved by SEAI prior to the changes will see their original grant offers honoured at the original levels. The changes will only affect new applications. 

All the details of the changes are clearly set out in  the Better Energy FAQ 

The Department is confident that all the resources made available in 2012 will be drawn down and that the scheme will continue to support a significant level of employment.   

The Programme for Government commits to a gradual withdrawal of funding for grants and a transition to a Pay-As-You-Save scheme in 2014. 

Home Energy Saving scheme
Previous Support Levels €
Current Support Levels €
Roof Insulation
External wall insulation
Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House
Semi-detached OR End of terrace
Detached House
Internal Wall Dry-Lining
Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House
Semi-detached OR End of Terrace
Detached House
Cavity Wall Insulation
High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Heating Controls Upgrade
Heating Controls Upgrade
BER After Upgrade Works (Only one BER grant per home)
Solar Thermal

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