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The Home Energy Saving (HES) scheme provides grants to homeowners who are interested in improving the energy efficiency of their home in order to reduce energy use and costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions. The scheme is open to all owners of existing houses built before 2006. Sustainable Energy Ireland administers the scheme.


 FAQ's ( Frequently asked question's )      

If your questions in not answered below please do not hesitate to contact us!


Who can avail of the scheme?

It is a National scheme and therefore all homeowners of dwellings built before 2006 may apply. Landlords and owners of multiple properties may also apply, however they must submit a separate application form for each property. If you are a landlord or a management company considering an entire building upgrade, please contact SEAI before applying online for the grant.


Can I apply if I was part of the HES Pilot scheme?

Homeowners, who received a grant payment through the earlier HES Pilot scheme may apply for measures not included in any such payments.


What type of work can I get a grant for?

Grants will be provided to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements in the following area:

  • Roof Insulation
  • Wall Insulation – this includes either cavity wall, internal dry lining or external insulation
  • Installation of a High Efficiency (> 90%) Gas or Oil fired  Boilers  with Heating Controls Upgrade*
  • Heating Controls Upgrade
  • Building Energy Rating (BER) – is an integral part to the scheme and is undertaken after grant aided works are completed**

*Minimum requirement of: 2 zones (space and water) with 7 day programmer (time and temperature) control and boiler interlock, time and temperature control of electric immersion heater and either 1 more zone control or 3 TRV’s. 


**This comes into effect from the 8th of June 2010.  Only one BER grant available per home. As a BER certificate is required foreach application, it is advisable that homeowners apply for, and undertake, all planned grant aided works at the same time to minimize the costs associated with multiple BERs. Note that grant payment can only be claimed once all measures associated with your application have been completed, including the BER assessment.


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How much are the grants?

Grants are fixed for each type of measure as indicated in the table below. Grant approval must be in place before any purchase of materials or commencement of measures undertaken. Grants are paid after the measures are completed and the contractor has been paid by the homeowner. In the instance where the cost of the work (vat inclusive) is less than the fixed grant amount, the actual cost will be reimbursed.

Measure Type

Grant Amount


8th Dec, 2011)

Attic Insulation



Cavity Wall Insulation – All house types



Internal Wall Insulation (Dry-lining)


Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House


Semi-detached OR End of Terrace


Detached House



External Wall Insulation


Apartment (any) OR  Mid-terrace House


Semi-detached OR End of Terrace


Detached House



Heating System Upgrades


Heating Controls with Boiler (Oil or Gas) Upgrade


Heating Controls Upgrade Only


Solar Heating



Building Energy Rating (BER)


* Please note that while you are entitled to apply for each Measure there is a minimum requirement that the grant amount in the first application must be €500 or greater. The BER grant cannot form part of this €500 amount.


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What is the Building Energy Rating (BER) requirement under HES?

The Home Energy Saving scheme provides grant aid to homeowners towards upgrades of roof and wall insulation and heating systems. In order to measure the impact of the programme SEAI has introduced a requirement for homeowners to undertake a BER after the upgrade works have been completed. The BER assessment is to be completed by a registered BER assessor following a site visit after HES upgrade works have been completed. The assessor will furnish you with a certificate indicating the energy performance of your home based on an A-G scale. The assessor will also complete essential information on the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form. For more information on Building Energy Rating see


What grant is available for undertaking a BER?

A homeowner is entitled to BER funding of €50 once per home. This funding will be applied to your grant application automatically provided you have never applied previously for BER funding. You will be informed during the online grant application process if BER funding is available for your home or as part of your Letter of Grant Offer if you have applied through the post.


Was the BER grant originally €200?

Before the introduction of this new integral BER there was a grant of €200 available for homeowners who wished to undertake aBefore and After Works BER, which would have necessitated two survey visits by your assessor. Given that it is now only required to undertake a BER after the upgrade works, your selected assessor should only need to visit your home once and so the costs should be significantly reduced.


Why is a BER now required?

The HES programme has proved to be extremely popular with homeowners, with over 60,000 applications processed to date. However, Ireland has ambitious energy reduction and climate change targets to be met in 2020. If achieved, our dependence on imported fossil fuels will greatly reduce along with lower energy bills for homeowners. To meet these challenging targets we need to both incentivise and inform householders about steps that can be taken to reduce energy usage, while understanding the thermal efficiency of Ireland’s housing stock. Making a BER mandatory will help deliver on both of these aims.


When must the BER be undertaken?

The BER assessment must be conducted after your HES upgrade works are completed. 


Do I need to undertake a BER before the upgrade works?

Only if you wish to. A before BER may help you in prioritising works to be undertaken, however it is not mandatory and the grant of €50 applies to the BER after upgrade works only.


What is the Home Energy Self Survey?

The Home Energy Self Survey is a simple online or hardcopy survey designed to help you identify what might be the priority upgrade works appropriate to your home. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete. You are of course always advised to discuss your choices and options with registered contractors.  If you have done a BER on your home already then the Advisory Report which accompanied the BER cert will also guide you. The survey complements the existing fast track online application system and links directly to SEAI’s other online resources including the Buyers’ Guides


What must your selected contractors do to facilitate the BER?

You must ensure that, upon completion of grant-aided works, your contractors fill out the relevant section in the Declaration of Works (DOW) and the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form and returns them to you as soon as possible. These forms must detail the condition of your attic, walls, heating system and heating controls as appropriate before HES upgrade works were undertaken. In cases where the dwelling has had a new extension added at the same time as the HES works, you must also detail the additional floor area of the extension in the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment forms.

NOTE: A third party (ie contractor, assessor or anyone other than family or close friend) must not apply on your behalf for a HES grant as this contravenes the Terms of their registration


What is required of the BER assessor?

The BER assessor must visit your house after HES upgrade works are finished. They must undertake and publish a full BER assessment which reflects the energy performance rating of your home they then must return the completed BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form to you to allow you claim your grant.

At the time of completing the BER, your chosen assessor is also required to provide an estimate of the energy performance of your home before HES upgrade works. The ‘before’ assessment will either be based upon an actual BER undertaken prior to the works(if you already have one) or upon information supplied by your contractors at time of works on the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form. The BER assessor must record both the formal BER and the estimated energy performance estimate before upgrade works in the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form.

NOTE: A third party (ie contractor, assessor or anyone other than family or close friend) must not apply on your behalf for a HES grant as this contravenes the Terms of their registration


How do I claim my grant?

You can only claim your grant payment when:

  • All your contractors have completed the upgrade works and filled in the relevant declaration of Works form (DOW) and appropriate sections of the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form
  • Your BER assessor has undertaken a site visit, completed / published the BER and returned to you the completed the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form
  • You have fully paid all contractors and your BER assessor
  • At that stage you should ensure that you also have signed all DOWs and BER Confirmation and Request for Payment forms all of which you then submit to SEAI with a view to grant payment.
  • All paperwork (i.e. all Declaration of Works and the BER Confirmation and Request for Payment form) must be submitted together within the six month grant offer period. 

Applications for grant payment with incomplete paperwork will be rejected, resulting in all documentation being returned to you for resolution. This may result in a delay and/or expiration of the grant offer. If for any reason some or all of the works were not undertaken, then please tick the cancelled box on the Declaration of Works form and return it with the rest of your grant claim. 


Who can do the work?

In accordance with the scheme’s Terms and Conditions, all works must be completed by a contractor from SEAI’s Registered List. We have over 3000 contractors registered and we strongly advise homeowners to seek at least three quotes from different contractors before selecting a final contractor to use. If on the other hand you have a preferred contractor whom you wish to use but who is not currently registered then you can ask them to become registered which is free of charge and quick to complete.  It is also important to note that as the contract to do the work is between the homeowner and contractor, we recommend that a contract be in place between the two parties before works commence. A copy of model contract can be downloaded from here.

If undertaking a BER, these must be completed by a registered BER assessor. A list of registered assessors is available on the SEAI website


How do I apply?

For application details please visit our How to Apply page in the Homeowners section.


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When can I get the work done?

In accordance with the scheme’s Terms and Conditions, Grant Approval must be in place prior to any purchase of materials or commencement of works is undertaken.


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I live in an island community – are there any special arrangements for our circumstances?

Applications received from off shore islands are eligible for 50% additional grant support. This offer is limited to those islands identified on


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When might you NOT qualify for a Home Energy Saving scheme grant?

Depending on the scale or type of works being undertaken, the HES grant may not necessarily be appropriate for all homeowners.  Homeowners will not qualify for a grant:

  • If your first grant application would be for less than €500.  So if you are only intending to do attic insulation (€250) or blown cavity wall insulation (€400) on their own then you will not qualify for a grant
  • If you are installing a boiler with a typical efficiency <90% then you will not qualify for a grant
  • If you decide to simply install a boiler but not upgrade the heating controls to the minimum prescribed standard then you will not qualify for a grant
  • If you decide to simply replace your boiler but not upgrade the heating controls to the minimum prescribed standard then you will not qualify for a grant

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I receive the fuel allowance (as part of the national fuel scheme), can I draw down the Home Energy Savings scheme grant?

All homeowners of dwellings built before 2006 may apply for this scheme. However those on a Fuel Allowance (as part of the National Fuel Scheme) may be eligible to receive home energy improvement services under SEAI’s Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS). We would recommend that you consider this scheme also as it may be more suitable for you than the HES scheme. All information on the Warmer Homes Scheme can be viewed at or by calling the FREE phone number: 1800 250 204.


How long does grant payment take?

It takes on average 4-6 weeks to process grant payment, from the date the paperwork is received to payment into your account. This timeline is based on the provision that we receive correct and completed paperwork. If your paperwork is not in order, it may be sent back to you for further information or clarification and this may delay the payment process. We would therefore ask that both you and your contractor complete all sections of the ‘Declaration of Work’ forms carefully, before submitting them. Please note you will NOT receive confirmation of paperwork being received, however you will receive confirmation when payment is made to your account. Finally as all payments are made via electronic transfer of funds, please ensure that the bank account details you have provided are correct and eligible to take such payments.


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Do I require planning permission for External wall insulation?

External insulation works to your home under the Home Energy Saving scheme may be exempted from the planning code. However, it should be noted that external insulation of a structure would constitute exempted development under Section 4(1) (h) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 only if it “constituted works which do not materially affect the external appearance of the structure so as to render the appearance inconsistent with the character of the structure or of neighbouring structures”.

If there is any doubt about whether or not the particular external insulation proposed  for your home will affect the character of the structure  as an SEAI grant applicant you are  advised to  contact the planning authority in your area to clarify the matter.

Please note also that, in the case of protected structures, proposed protected structures, and buildings within Architectural Conservation Areas, the usual exemptions from the requirements of planning permission may not apply and the advice of the planning authority should always be obtained by you before carrying out any works.


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Can I insulate some of my exposed walls and still receive the HES Grant?

To be eligible for the HES grant the optimum solution, which is both physically and economically practicable must be implemented, for example when dealing with walls that this comprises internal insulation of all exposed walls; external insulation of all exposed walls; and in the case of roof insulation that this comprises insulation of the whole surface of the ceiling/ roof-space as appropriate.

Partial works are only accepted in exceptional circumstances, for example where it is not physically possible to provide complete roof insulation coverage due to small inaccessible areas of the roof; the idea of dry-lining all exposed walls in a particular dwelling may become economically unviable where it would require the replacement of kitchen units.  There may also be instances where the physical limitations are to such an extent as to make insulation unviable. Any exceptional circumstances must be detailed by the contractor in the Declaration of Works.


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I can only afford to dry-line 2 of my exposed walls. Am I eligible for a HES grant?

You would not be eligible for a grant under the HES scheme as dry-lining only 2 walls would not provide the optimum insulation solution for your home. The ability of a household to afford the particular solution cannot conflict with the objective of securing a viable solution for the home.


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I know my two front rooms are the coldest. Can I just dry-line the exposed walls in these two rooms?

No. To be eligible for the HES grant you must implement the optimum solution. In this case you must dry-line all exposed walls. Doing such a solution would provide the greatest improvement in energy efficiency and comfort levels within the home.


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Some of my external walls are already insulated. Can I apply for a grant to insulate the remaining walls?

 Yes. If at the end of the insulation work on your home all the exposed walls are insulated you are eligible for a grant under the HES scheme.


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I live in a dormer home. I am planning to insulate the roof space, what grant am I eligible for under the HES scheme?

If you insulate the complete roof area of a dormer dwelling you are eligible to a €250 grant under the HES scheme.


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My Stairwell runs along the gable wall and would become very narrow if I were to dry-line this wall. What can I do in this situation?

You must not reduce the width of your stairway to less than 800mm. However it would be important to put in what insulation can be accommodated to address this potentially very large area of heat loss. In this case you can use insulation that is 50mm thick instead of 80mm.


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Are hollow block walls eligible for a HES grant?

Yes hollow block walls are eligible for either the dry-lining grant of €2500 or the external wall insulation grant of €4000. The hollow block wall is not eligible for cavity fill insulation as this is an inefficient method of insulating this type of wall. The majority of heat is lost through the solid sections of the hollow block such as the ends and spine of the block. So dry-lining could be expected to reduce heat loss by 70-80% and blown insulation into a cavity wall would reduce heat loss by 70%, on the other hand blown insulation in a hollow block wall will only reduce heat loss by approximately 25%.


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I am a landlord of an entire apartment block. Can I apply for a grant for all the apartments under the Home Energy Saving scheme?

If you are a landlord or a management company considering an entire building upgrade, please contact SEAI before applying online for the grant. Grant provisions will be calculated on the basis of the total wall and/or roof areas to be insulated when compared to those of an average home envisaged under the HES scheme.


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Are there instances where I might not qualify for a wall insulation grant?

Yes in certain circumstances it will not be possible to implement wall insulation which will satisfactorily and sufficiently address heat loss. Such circumstances include:

  • A hollow block wall cannot be insulated with blown insulation
  • A home with very small rooms e.g. traditional cottage, may not be able to sacrifice the space for dry-lining
  • A heritage or listed building may have a preclusion on the upgrading the external facade of the building and hence external wall insulation will not be possible.

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Why is Glazing not covered in the Home Energy Saving scheme?

The Home Energy Saving scheme is focusing initially on the measures that have been proven to offer the best impacts and value for money in energy efficiency terms.  For this reason glazing is not included in the HES scheme.


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Some of the walls in my home are cavity and others brick and/or wooden frame walls. What is the best insulation solution?

In cases where your home has different wall types, different insulation methods may be required to ensure your home is insulated to the optimum solution.  SEAI would suggest that you discuss the best options for insulation for your home with your selected contractor. It is important to note that where different insulation solutions are required to achieve the required optimum, then you will only be eligible for a HES grant for the measure addressing the majority area of your home. 

So for example if 60% of your house has cavity walls and 40% has brick walls. To achieve the optimum insulation solution, you should have 60% of your house insulated by blown cavity wall insulation and the remaining 40% insulated either with external wall insulation or internal dry-lining. In this instance a HES grant would only be paid for the blown cavity wall insulation (€400) as this represents the majority area of the solution installed.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide. Approximately half of the deaths from unintentional CO poisonings result from the inhalation of smoke from fires. Other significant causes are vehicle exhausts and deaths in industrial / commercial settings. On average between 1 and 2 people die each year in Ireland from unintentional CO poisoning in the home in incidents related to domestic heating or other fossil fuel installations in the home (i.e. excluding the inhalation of smoke from fires).

The incomplete combustion of organic fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal is a common environmental source of CO and is responsible for many cases of non-fatal unintentional CO poisoning. In normal conditions the combustion process (the addition of oxygen) will result in carbon in the fossil fuel, combining with oxygen, in the air, to produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the same substance we exhale when we breathe. However, if there is a lack of air for the combustion process or the heating appliance is faulty, Carbon Monoxide can be produced.

When CO is inhaled into the body it combines with the blood, preventing it from absorbing oxygen. If a person is exposed to CO over a period, it can cause illness and even death. Carbon Monoxide has no smell, taste or colour. This is why it is sometimes called the "Silent Killer".

Carbon Monoxide alarms can be used as a backup to provide a warning to householders in the event of a dangerous build up of CO. Check that the Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard. Remember that Carbon Monoxide alarms are no substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys.


For more details please see


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