How to Apply for an SEAI Grant with Activ8 Energies
Luckily, due to our partnership with SEAI, Activ8 Energies process the entire grant for you, reducing the price you pay on applicable solar installations, meaning there is no waiting around period.
It is also our close working relationship with SSE Airtricity that allows us to include additional heating control upgrades, such as the innovative new Climote system, free of charge with many of our solar panel installations.
For additional information on the SEAI and how you can benefit from solar grants, please take the time to read our handy energy guide below which addresses many of the queries we receive on an ongoing basis.
Seize The Opportunity: Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)
The Irish Government have launched a Home Renovation Incentive scheme which gives a Tax Credit of 13.5% off the price of home improvement works carried out by Activ8 Solar Energies (a Qualifying Contractor), including solar panel installations.
Please see the following link for more information – Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) Guide for Homeowners (April 2014 version)
Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with us today for more information on SEAI grants, Building Energy Ratings and how much can be saved on the price of solar panel installations.
What is the SEAI?
The SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) was set up by the Irish Government in 2002 (originally called the IEC, Irish Energy Centre) as the main energy authority of the Republic of Ireland.
Since their introduction, the SEAI have already helped over 160,000 homeowners make vital improvements to their property by means of renewable energy implementations and / or improvements in fuel efficiency measures.
Now, more money than ever is available to homeowners in the shape of bonus grants as Ireland works hard to boost its conservation status on the world stage.
The SEAI’s Role in Grants and Renewable Energy
There has never been a better time to make environmentally friendly improvements to your home and save money at the same time.
SEAI grants have already helped thousands of homeowners, but the recent introduction of bonus incentive schemes means that it is now easier than ever to turn to renewable energy and play your part in the revolution that is solar power in Ireland.
What Kind of Grants are Available from the SEAI?
There are two types of money-saving grants which are available to homeowners thanks to the SEAI. They are the Warmer Home Scheme (WHS) and the Better Energy Homes Scheme (BEH).
The Warmer Homes Scheme looks at creating improvements in home energy efficiency by means of installing draught-proofing materials such as lagging jackets, attic insulation, low-energy light bulbs and cavity wall insulation.
The Better Energy Homes scheme gives out SEAI grants to homeowners who want to make improvements primarily related to fuel efficiency. To that end, these are available for projects like installations of wall insulation, roof insulation and solar panels as well as upgrades to traditional gas or oiled fired boilers.
Solar power usage is increasing throughout the world and is considered one of the most exciting and innovative advances in world energy. The Better Energy Homes scheme can provide a grant up to €1,200 towards the cost of installing a solar thermal system.
Solar powered heating is becoming increasingly popular as far as energy conservation and environmental reasons are concerned as it reduces the need to use pollutant fossil fuels which are a finite resource and therefore not considered renewable.
Of course, one of the most immediate and calculable advantages of using solar power for heating is that it saves you money in the long-term.
It is important to note that, in order to qualify, the solar thermal installation must contribute a pre-determined minimum of renewable energy per square metre.
With that in mind, it is the responsibility of the registered solar contractor to discuss specifications with you before any installation work goes ahead and an SEAI grant applied for.
BER (Building Energy Rating)
In order to avail of any SEAI grants, and as part of their terms and conditions, a customer must, by law, carry out a Building Energy Rating (BER) assessment.
The Building Energy Rating is a system which helps maintain and improve a building’s energy efficiency. Your home will receive a Building Energy Rating which is measured on a scale of A-G, with A rated being the most energy efficient and G the least. The rating system is quite similar to the type of energy labels used to rate household electronics in terms of energy efficiency.
When installing a solar energy system, we can arrange for a Building Energy Rating assessment to be carried out on the same day as the installation of the solar pv system in order to minimise the amount of interruption and hassle for the customer.
How to Apply for an SEAI Grant
Applying for an SEAI grant could not be much easier. You can apply online on the SEAI website or by traditional post by means of filling out a form and sending it to SEAI office. Usually, you will be notified if you have been accepted for approval within five working days, after which you have 30 days to accept the offer.
If you do not reply within that time frame your offer will be cancelled and you will have to reapply at a later date.
There are some important factors to take into account when you apply from the SEAI. Your home has to have been built before 2006 and the cash grants are usually based upon 30 per cent of the average cost of the proposed works.
An SEAI-registered contractor has to be used to carry out any building or installation works associated with the grant.
Before beginning your SEAI grant application, there are some basic pieces of information that you will need to have available to you. Firstly, you will need your MPRN – your Meter Point Reference Number. This is an 11 digit number which is usually located at the top of your energy bills and you will need to reference this in all correspondences with the SEAI.
You will also need a valid e-mail address and phone number so that the SEAI to keep in contact with you and to confirm your application.
Your dwelling details are also crucial – particularly all the details relating to when your house was built. The details needed to prove the property was built before 2006 are essential as all homes built after that are not applicable for the SEAI scheme.
You will also need the details of your contractor, who needs to be fully registered and approved by the SEAI.
It is in the SEAI’s best interest to help you with your application(s) as it is their duty to improve Ireland’s overall energy efficiency by signing up as many homes to their schemes as is possible.
What Else do the SEAI Provide Grants for?
While solar power and other forms of renewable energy are ultimately the way forward for the future, the SEAI also provide grants for the purpose of improving the energy efficiency of current fuel outlets – like gas and oil fired boilers for instance.
Any home heating appliance which is over 15 years old is highly unlikely to be running anywhere near as efficiently as it used to. For boilers which are over a decade old and have not been maintained properly, it is possible for their fuel efficiency to have deteriorated by as much as 80%. That is a huge waste of both fuel and money.
Thanks to the SEAI, many households in Ireland have been able to upgrade their gas and oil fired boilers to significantly more energy efficient models such as A-rated condensing boilers.
The SEAI also offers other types of heating grants to home owners if their property was built before 2006. These can help in terms of replacing current heating systems or fitting new windows.
Even with the savings associated with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme taken into account, some people may wonder if they can afford to upgrade their home heating systems. But if people were to work out their finances in the long term, they would realise that they are throwing money away through poor insulation and expensive heating systems which are not performing properly.
In addition to the benefits of upgrading current systems, the introduction of renewable energy and solar power is more important in a country like Ireland compared to most other countries. That is because parts of Ireland are still having difficulties in hooking up to main energy grids due to the remoteness of many locations.
A recent study found around 60,000 Irish homes suffered from what is known as fuel poverty, in that they were not connected to main energy grids. In addition to that sad statistic, a further 160,000 houses regularly complain that they have suffered frequent problems in relation to their fuel supplies.
Therefore, hooking up to renewable energies like solar power will help home owners in remote areas be able to produce their own energy and become less reliant on fuel services.