The Better Energy Homes scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on behalf the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and provides financial assistance to householders who wish to improve the energy performance of their homes while saving money, improving comfort and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Fixed grants are provided towards the cost of a range of measures including attic insulation, wall insulation, heating systems upgrades, solar thermal panels and accompanying Building Energy Rating (BER).
Since commencement in March 2009 the scheme has disbursed over €138m in grants and supported the installation of over 320,000 such measures in 127,000 homes. The scheme operates on a rules basis. The grant offer, once accepted, remains valid for six months from the date of issue. All grant works along with a BER must be completed and paperwork received by SEAI within the six month grant offer period. A reminder is sent to every applicant two months before the expiry of the grant offer. In the specific case noted the position remains that payment cannot be made on the grant application measure(s) concerned as the BER was published outside the six month timeframe. The case has been unsuccessfully appealed by the applicant on two prior occasions. In both instances the SEAI found a lack of mitigating circumstances to warrant payment of the grant.