Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme – Free Energy Efficiency Improvements For Your Home
In Budget 2012 the Winter Fuel allowance payment period was cut from 32 weeks to 26 weeks. This equates to a cut of €20 a week for 6 weeks – or €120. The fuel allowance is currently paid to people over 66 and on low incomes. With the decrease in fuel allowance and the increase in fuel prices more and more home owners are finding it difficult to afford to heat their homes.
The Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme (BEWH), administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), funds energy efficiency improvements in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, making the homes more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run. The scheme is available to non-Local Authority owner occupied homes constructed before 2002. The owner of the property has also to be in receipt of one of the
- Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
- Job Seekers allowance for over six months and with children under 7 years of age
- Family income support
Landlords can avail of grants from Better Energy Homes if they have tenants in, or at risk of, energy poverty.
Homes are surveyed to see what energy efficiency measures are needed and then the appropriate steps are taken to make the home more energy efficient. The service is provided at no cost to the household and the measures currently available under the scheme include attic insulation, cavity wall insulation, draught proofing of doors and windows, installation of lagging jackets and low energy light bulbs and also provides energy advice to the householders.
The services are provided by a panel of SEAI appointed non-profit community based Organisations, Local Development Companies and a panel of SEAI appointed private contractors. The Community Based Organisations or Contractor installers are assigned to a household depending on their geographic location. Energy efficient measures are delivered to the highest quality assurance standards. Inspections are carried out on a sample of homes completed to ensure the standards are maintained.
To apply contact the Better Energy Warmer Homes helpdesk on 1800 250 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wexford Local Development
Alternatively if you live in Wexford you can contact Wexford Local Development as they operate this scheme under the banner of the Warm Project. Contact details and application form can be found here. Since the inception of this project they’ve made Winters warmer for well over 2,500 households. A study some years ago found many people, particularly elderly, suffered health problems due to draughty and damp houses. The Warm Project addresses this issue. If you qualify for the fuel allowance, own your own home and it was built before 2002, you qualify for WLD’s retrofitting scheme.
With the weather turning colder we would urge everyone to keep an eye on their elderly or vulnerable neighbours and if you think they qualify for this scheme why not help them to take the steps necessary to have a warmer home this Winter.