This year the Government through the SEAI will invest €147.6 million in sustainable energy and energy efficiency, including free upgrades for low income households, up from €120 million in 2018. In 2018, 21,350 homeowners, 2,000 motorists, and 310 businesses received grant assistance from SEAI schemes. The Better Energy Programme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The aim of the programme is to improve the energy efficiency of our built environment, in a way which represents the best possible use of Exchequer funding. This involves targeting supports where they can achieve the most energy savings. This includes limiting eligible homes to those built and occupied before 2006.
As new homes are already required to meet specific energy performance standards and to incorporate renewables under Building Regulations, grant support is currently focussed on improving the condition of existing dwellings. Grant funding further works in more recently built homes that already meet certain levels of energy performance would not represent a cost-effective use of Exchequer funds.
SEAI does however also offer grant assistance for heat pumps, Solar Thermal and Solar PV (including battery storage) for homes built and occupied before 2011.