The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme on behalf of my Department. The scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures to low-income households who meet the defined eligibility criteria and are vulnerable to energy poverty.
Recipients of the scheme do not receive grants but have measures installed free of charge. Homeowners register their interest in the scheme and are placed on an SEAI waiting list. Since the commencement of the scheme in 2000, over 106,000 homes around the country have received energy efficiency measures under the Warmer Homes scheme, with a total spend of over €119 million.
The scheme is delivered by Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and a panel of contractors in order to ensure national coverage. The scheme has evolved over time from a small programme to the current level of delivery, with approximately 12,000 energy poor homes due to receive upgrades this year. SEAI now wish to consolidate delivery of the scheme to achieve the optimum efficiency and value for public money.
SEAI has extensively engaged with CBOs over the past year on the transition to the new model. CBO involvement, supporting local employment, and assisting in identifying and gaining access to the most vulnerable homes, will still be an integral part of the new model.
The new model will use a competitive tendering process to ensure the best value is delivered for the State. This tendering process will still consider all proposals based on their approach to identifying and accessing vulnerable homes, involvement of local community groups and the benefits for local employment. The new model will also encourage partnerships between Participating Energy Suppliers, Contractors and CBOs.