SEAI Grants 2021: What can I get as a homeowner?

SEAI logo, a home, wrench and coins

SEAI Grants come in many different forms. Find out what grants are available, how much they’re for and if you qualify with our complete SEAI grants guide for homeowners in Ireland.


The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) was created under the Sustainable Energy Act 2002. As you could have guessed from the name, SEAI’s mission is to guide us towards a more sustainable energy future — one that meets our national energy needs as well as our international obligations.

SEAI is charged with commissioning reports and studies to enable Ireland to meet its 2030 climate and energy goals under the EU Paris Agreement. In addition to working with the government, SEAI also works with communities, businesses and households to create a sustainable energy future.

Since 2011, the SEAI has invested €400 million in sustainable energy projects. A large share of this funding has gone towards homeowners looking to upgrade their homes and make them more energy-efficient. In this guide, we break down the available SEAI grants so that you can take action to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

What SEAI grants are available for homeowners?

Below, we’ve listed the names of the SEAI grants that offer various upgrades for homeowners.
You can also use the diagram to identify which upgrades are covered by which grants:

SEAI Infographic
  • Home Energy Grants
  • Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme
  • Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme
  • Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme
  • EV Grants

Read on to learn more about what each of these SEAI grants offers and find out if you’re eligible.

Home Energy Grants

SEAI home energy grants include a wide range of home improvement upgrades to make your house more energy efficient, thus saving you money on your energy bills.

These Home Energy Grants include the following types:

  • Insulation Grant
  • Heat Pump System Grant
  • Heating Controls Grant
  • Solar Water Heating Grant
  • Solar Electricity Grant

Let’s now have a more in-depth look at these five Home Energy Grants from SEAI.

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Insulation Grant

SEAI home energy grants include four different types of insulation grants. We break down these different types of insulation grants, as well as their values, in the table below.

 
Insulation Type Grant value
Attic insulation €400
Cavity wall insulation €400
Internal insulation €2,400 (detached house)
External insulation €6,000 (detached house)

Your total grant value will increase by €300 if you complete three of the insulation upgrades. It will increase by a total of €400 if you complete all four.

To learn more about the different types of insulation and decide which upgrades are necessary for your home, visit our complete insulation guide.

Heat Pump Systems Grant

An alternative to fossil fuel heating systems, heat pumps are devices that transfer, or ‘pump’, heat from one place to another. Heat pumps are used as a greener alternative to efficiently heat your home. Heat sources used by heat pumps include warm air (which is the most common), ground, and water (such as lakes and rivers).

In the table below, you’ll find the SEAI grant values available for each type of heat pump system. If you carry out three of the following upgrades, the grant value will increase by €300. Complete four and the value will increase by a total of €400.

 
Heat Pump System Grant value
Air to air €400
Air to water €3,500
Exhaust air to water €3,500
Ground source to water €3,500
Water to water €3,500

Heat pumps can only be installed in homes which are already fairly energy efficient, (well-insulated, for example) and a registered technical advisor will need to inspect your home prior to commencing work.

You will receive an additional grant of €200 towards the cost of the registered technical advisor’s inspection after completing the heat pump installation. As with other SEAI grants, this grant can be applied for online. Note that in order to qualify for a grant, your home must have been built and occupied before 2011.

For more information on the different types of heat pumps, check out our home heating guide.

Heating Controls Grant

The SEAI advises that customers can save up to 20% on their heating bills by using heating controls. Heating controls can help you heat hot water without turning on home heating, and houses can also be split into zones to allow for more efficient heating.

Most people tend to spend time at home in the sitting room and kitchen areas, only retiring to their bedrooms to sleep. This means that heating the upstairs area to the same temperature and at the same time as the downstairs “living” area, can be wasteful and more expensive.

Any homeowner whose house was built and occupied before 2006 can apply online for a heating controls grant valued at up to €700.

If you complete three of the upgrades, your SEAI grant value will be raised by an additional €300. Complete four upgrades and you will receive an extra €100 for a grand total of €400 extra.

Types of heating controls covered by the grant include:

Radiator
  • Boiler Interlock – This connects your heating system controls with your boiler, meaning that your boiler will only operate when necessary.

  • Immersion Heater Time and Temperature Control – This allows you to set what times you need hot water and what temperature the water should be heated to.

  • Seven-day Programmable Timer – Set your heating system to match when you are at home on a daily and weekly basis. This means you will only be paying for heating when you need it. You can also set your hot water to come on before the time you normally take a shower.

  • Thermostatic Heating Controls (TRV) – TRVs are thermostats on the side of your radiators. They enable you to maintain different temperatures in different rooms. This is particularly useful when it comes to bedrooms, which should be kept at a lower temperature than living areas.

Solar Water Heating Grant

Solar thermal systems use the sun’s energy to heat the water in your home. These systems are designed to meet 50% to 60% of your hot water needs.

All homeowners whose dwellings were built and occupied before 2011 can apply for a solar water heating grant of up to €1200.

Typical thermal solar systems cost between €800 to €1300 per square metre. When taking into account the grant money that is offered, the leftover cost can usually be made back within a few years, and that’s not even considering that you’ll no longer be paying for new boilers, servicing, or immersion heaters.

Another advantage of thermal solar panels is that they are very suitable for houses in remote locations not connected to the gas network. As we all know, electricity is far more expensive than gas and using electricity to heat water can hit people’s pockets really hard, especially during the winter months.

Solar Electricity Grant

Having solar PV panels can save you €200 to €300 per year on your domestic electricity bills. To have a quality solar PV system installed, it will typically cost between €5000 to €7000, including batteries and VAT.

However, if you own a home that was built and occupied before 2011, you can apply for a solar PV grant to pay for up to €3800 of the installation cost.

Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme

SEAI’s Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme provides free energy-efficient home upgrades for homeowners that receive certain welfare payments.

This SEAI scheme offers upgrades for the following:

  • Attic insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • External wall insulation
  • Internal wall insulation
  • Replacement windows (SEAI discontinued this program in 2021)
  • Heating upgrade
  • Heating controls
  • Ventilation
  • Draught proofing
  • Lagging jacket*
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

Lagging jackets* are insulating materials used to wrap water tanks. Lagging jackets for hot water tanks reduce heat loss, and for cold tanks, prevent them from freezing in winter. Correctly installed lagging jackets can reduce energy consumption by up to 10%.

To qualify for an SEAI grant via the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, you need to own and occupy a home that was built before 2006 and that has not previously received an upgrade under this SEAI scheme.

You must also receive one of the following allowances:

  • Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme.
  • Job Seekers Allowance for over six months and have a child under seven years old.
  • Working Family Payment
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Carers Allowance and live with the person you care for

Homes that have previously received improvements under the scheme are not eligible. However, considerations for revisiting these homes will be given in 2021 where appropriate. By offsetting these costs with solar power, you will be saving money and doing good for the environment.

Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme

The Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme is an SEAI pilot scheme for those with chronic respiratory diseases. It works on a referral basis. Once you have been referred, an SEAI surveyor will assess your home to identify the most suitable upgrades.

These may include the following:

  • Attic insulation and ventilation
  • Wall insulation and ventilation
  • Boiler replacement, including heating controls
  • Replacement windows and doors (SEAI discontinued this program in 2021)

Eligibility for this scheme is limited. The following criteria must be met in order to receive support:

  • You must be living with a chronic respiratory disease.
  • An HSE official must refer you to the scheme.
  • You are 55 years old or older or have a child under 12 who has been referred.
  • You must be a resident of the house where the works will take place.
  • The home must have been built, occupied and connected to ESB Networks prior to 2006.
  • You or a member of the household must receive the Fuel Allowance or the One Parent Family payment.
  • You must live within the area designated for the scheme (Dublin 8, 10, 12, 22 and 24).
  • You must be the owner or rent from a local authority/approved housing association.

Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS)

The SEAI Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS) requires energy suppliers to support energy efficiency projects across Ireland.

Under this scheme, companies that sell large amounts of energy are called obligated parties. These parties must reach specific targets set by SEAI. Targets can be achieved by offering support to homeowners to make their homes more energy-efficient.

Through this scheme homeowners can get support from any "obligated party" — it does not have to be from your energy supplier! Check and see which suppliers participate in this scheme. However, we do recommend contacting your energy supplier first to see if they will cover the improvements.

Let’s have a look at what is available for homeowners under the SEAI Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme.

  • Insulation — Roof, external wall, cavity wall and floor insulation
  • Heating — High-efficiency boiler, solar water heating and heat pump installation
  • Glazing — Full window and external door replacement
  • Information — Home energy report and shower energy monitor

For more information on these grants and how to apply, head to our dedicated guide on the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (coming soon!).

EV Grants

SEAI also provides electric vehicle (EV) grants for both personal and commercial use. Below, we discuss the two types of EV grants for privately purchased vehicles.

Private Electric Vehicle Grants

This scheme provides a maximum grant value of €5,000 for purchasing qualifying electric vehicles (EVs) that are destined for private use. The vehicles must be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) or Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

The grant value depends on the list price of the vehicle. EVs with a list price less than €14,000 are not eligible for a grant. The table below shows the corresponding grant values for different vehicle list prices.

 
List price Grant value
€14,000 to €15,000 €2,000
€15,000 to €16,000 €2,500
€16,000 to €17,000 €3,000
€17,000 to €18,000 €3,500
€18,000 to €19,000 €4,000
€19,000 to €20,000 €4,500
More than €20,000 €5,000

When purchasing your new electric vehicle, the car dealer will apply for this EV grant for you. The amount will then be deducted from the total price of your new EV. Note that SEAI grants are not available for second-hand EVs.

EV Home Charger Grant

Car

With the EV Home Charger grant, you can get up to €600 towards a new home charger unit. To qualify, you must own an eligible new or second-hand EV.

The EV charger must be connected to your home’s fuse board, and your home's MPRN will be used to confirm this location. You must park the EV in an off-street location.

You must have purchased the EV (new or second hand) from 1 January 2018 to qualify for the grant. You are not eligible if you have received a previous EV charger grant at the same property. Once you receive your "Letter of Offer," you must wait until the official start date to commence any work. Otherwise, you will be deemed ineligible for grant support.

How do I apply for an SEAI grant?

Check your eligibility in minutes.It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you are eligible for energy schemes. Find out in minutes if you are and what to do if you're not. Call 15 256 883 or get a free callback now.

The procedure to apply for an SEAI grant is relatively painless and consists of a clear series of steps, which may vary slightly depending on the grant you are applying for. Steps to follow include: (these will be numbered once coded)

  1. Choose your energy upgrades — We advise you to contact a BER* assessor, building contractor or energy advisor to discuss the suitability of the upgrades you have in mind.
  2. Contact an SEAI registered technical advisor — The advisor will provide you with a written contract for undertaking a technical assessment. This step only applies if you are applying for a heat pump grant.
  3. Choose a registered contractor — The contractor you choose should provide you with a contract for any work before the actual work begins. You will need this contract later for the grant application process.
  4. Apply for the corresponding grant or grants — You can apply either online via the SEAI website or by submitting a postal application. Online applications will receive grant offers immediately. Postal offers will be issued within five working days. You must accept the offer within the 30-day period after receiving it.
  5. Have the work on your home carried out — You must make sure all work is carried out within the following eight-month period. Your grant offer letter will contain the final date for completing the work. Be sure all work is carried out by an SEAI registered contractor. Either pay the contractor outright or organise financing with them, then complete a BER assessment and have a BER certificate published.
  6. Receive the grant you applied for — You must fill out and submit a Declaration of Works form, which the SEAI should have sent to you by post. You will need one form for each upgrade, and each form needs to be filled in by you, your contractor and your BER assessor. Payment will usually be lodged in your bank account within four weeks of submitting the form.

BER* stands for Building Energy Rating. It indicates the energy performance of your home on a scale of A to G. A BER contractor can help to advise you on the changes necessary to make your home more energy-efficient. For more information, check out our complete BER guide (coming soon!).

Contact SEAI

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There are multiple different ways to get in touch with SEAI. In the table below, you'll find contact information for the different SEAI departments.

  SEAI Head Office
LoCall ☎ 01 8082100
Address 3 Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2, Co.Dublin D02 FX65
  General Consumer Information
LoCall ☎ 1850 376 666
Email info@seai.ie
  Home Energy Grants
LoCall ☎ 1850 927 000
Email info@betterenergyhomes.ie
  Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme
Freephone ☎ 1800 250 204
Email warmerhomes@seai.ie
Address Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, PO Box 119, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry
  Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS)
Email eeos@seai.ie
  EV Grants
Email evgrantscheme@seai.ie
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