With residential energy accounting for 23% of Ireland’s total energy consumption, housing and its sustainability is imperative for Ireland to transition to a low carbon economy.
In 2018, the average dwelling consumed a total of 18,208 kWh of energy; 75% of this was direct fuels which is often found to be a fossil fuel-based heating source such as oil, gas, peat, coal and the remainder electricity. In 2018, the average dwelling emitted 5.1 tonnes of energy-related CO2 which is down from 8 tonnes in 2005 but there is more scope for improvement. 3cea aim to support and drive the residential sustainable activities amongst the citizens and organisations of the region.
Some challenges the industry faces are behavioural change requirements towards more sustainable energy, awareness levels, financial capital to implement energy upgrades, and available and relevant skillsets to undertake energy improvements in line with NZEB and current building regulations.
An energy upgrade does not just mean a reduction in energy costs and CO2 savings, it can also benefit your own environment by producing a more comfortable home, reduced health issues, an increase in job creation and an increase in home value. Apart from the energy savings, Deep Retrofit is also expected to have significant health benefits as householders will enjoy cleaner, better circulated air.
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Residential Grant Supports Available
Grant supports are available through SEAI for Residential energy upgrades. Together with the increase in innovative technologies and materials available, the opportunities for shallow – deep scale retrofit are now more attractive than ever. Homeowners can avail of grant funding up to 35-80% towards energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems.
Some of 3cea’s services include
With construction waste accounting for one of the top waste areas in Ireland, a rising housing crisis and rapid climate change, there must be a shift introduced in the form of modern and innovative construction techniques, technologies, materials and processes used for building new homes. 3cea are actively working in collaboration with the 3 partner Local Authorities on an NWE Interreg project called Housing 4.0 – Affordable and Sustainable housing through digitisation.
Funding up to
Funding up to
Frequently Asked Questions
What does an Energy Retrofit involve?
An energy upgrade or “Deep” Retrofit of a home involves carrying out multiple energy measures all at once to achieve a more energy efficient home.
Firstly, you will need to reduce the level of heat loss from your home. This can be achieved by improving the fabric or “envelope” of the dwelling. This involves some or all of the following: wall insulation, roof insulation, floor insulation, window & door upgrades.
The next step is to look at your heating system (ideally to support the transition away from fossil fuels). The typical heating system installed on a domestic retrofit is an air-source heat pump, in addition to upgrading the heating controls.
The retrofit also includes mechanical ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality (Shift away from Natural ventilation strategies, or traditional “hole in the wall”)
Other renewable energy technologies such as solar PV may also be appropriate for your home.
Energy Efficient Measures
Up to 35% of the heat in your home can be lost through the external walls. This heat loss can be reduced by insulating the walls to keep more heat inside your home.
There are three different methods to insulate walls: cavity, external and internal insulation. These can be used on their own or in combination depending on the existing construction.
Additional ventilation may also be required following installation, in order to ensure adequate ventilation in your home.
Cavity wall insulation
If your home has cavity walls which are not insulated or only partially insulated, then cavity wall insulation is an easy, cost effective ﬁrst step to reduce heat loss.
This process involves pumping insulation into the cavity. A series of small holes are drilled in the wall at regular intervals on the outside, with insulation inserted “pumped”. The holes are then filled in order to match the original wall.
External wall insulation
External wall insulation is generally the preferred option for solid masonry walls. It can also be used with cavity wall insulation to further improve the performance of your external walls. This involves wrapping the external walls with rigid insulation.
Internal wall insulation
Internal wall insulation is often considered when external or cavity wall insulation isn’t an option (i.e. for some protected structures). FYI – Internal wall insulation is more disruptive, when compared to external wall insulation.
Internal insulation (often referred to as ‘drylining’) usually involves fixing insulation boards to the inside of the external walls and covering them with a vapour control layer, plasterboard and skimcoat finish As the boards are applied to the inner side of the walls, there will be some loss of space in the rooms.
Other upgrades that can be made include:
- Roof Insulation
- Floor Insulation
- Windows and Doors
- Heat Pump
- Solar PV
What are the main benefits of a domestic energy upgrade?
- Improve the thermal comfort of your home by reducing unwanted heat loss and draughts.
- Reduce air pollutants from entering your home, ensuring improved indoor air quality
- Reduce your heating bills, by increasing energy efficiency and utilising renewable energy systems.
- Use government grants available to help pay for energy improvements to your home.
- Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by having a more energy efficient dwelling
What is a Building Energy Rating (BER)?
A Building Energy Rating (BER) grades the energy performance and carbon emissions of buildings, on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient, and EW being the least efficient.
How is a Building Energy Rating (BER) calculated?
A Building Energy Rating (BER) is based on the estimated carbon dioxide emitted by annual energy usage in that building. A BER assessor estimates the heat produced by appliances and sunlight through windows and the heat lost through the walls, floors and roof. Based on the size of the building, the number of occupants and the efficiency of the heating system, a BER is determined by how much heat is required to keep the building warm and the water hot.
The main grant programmes currently utilised for Residential energy upgrades in addition to individual or “stand alone” grant assistance from the SEAI are the:
- Better Energy Communities (BEC) programme
- Warmer Homes Scheme
- Communities Housing Efficiency Strand
- The National Home Retrofit Scheme
The “stand alone” energy efficiency measures can be applied for by individual homeowners as opposed to the BEC and housing efficiency programme, which require a service provider like 3cea to be included, to coordinate the works and application process.
A breakdown of grant funding included in the BEC and Communities housing efficiency strand programme for differing homeowners.
For more information, visit: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/
|Energy Upgrades||Measure||Maximum Grant Value Available|
|Cavity Wall Insulation||€400|
|Internal Insulation (Dry Lining)||Apartment (any) or mid terrace house||€1,600|
|Semi detached OR end terrace house||€2,200|
|External Wall Insulation||Apartment (any) or mid terraced house||€2,750|
|Semi detached OR end terrace house||€4,500|
|Heat Pumps||Air to Water||€3,500|
|Ground Source to Water||€3,500|
|Exhaust Air to Water||€3,500|
|Water to Water||€3,500|
|Air to Air||€600|
|Heating System||Heating Controls Upgrade||€700|
|Solar Water Heating||Solar Water Heating||€1,200|
|Solar PV||0-2kWp Solar PV systems||€900 per kWp installed|
|Solar PV with Battery Storage||0-2 kWp Solar Systems||€900 per kWp installed|
|2-4 kWp Solar PV systems||€300 per kWp installed|
|Battery Storage||€600 per Home|
|Building Energy Rating (BER)||BER||€50|
|Bonus for Multiple Upgrades||For 3rd Upgrade||€300|
|For 4th Upgrade||€100|
Requirements for applying to the domestic programmes, such as the BEC or the National Housing Retrofit Scheme, include:
- PRE BER (baseline)
- B2 “upgrade” Report (outlining measures to reach B2)
- Quotes for proposed works
- No works to commence before Letter of Offer is received
- All works/documents must be completed by deadline date in Letter of Offer
How can 3cea help?
Homeowners across Ireland with houses built in the 60s or 70s, or who are struggling to heat their homes with poor BER rating, are encouraged to avail of grant aid through available grant programmes. Home upgrades can transform the comfort levels in your home while reducing running costs, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Get in contact today and include a short description of the project you have in mind.
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We’d love to hear from you if you any questions about the Residential sector.