Energy schemes and tips on keeping warm this winter

Energy schemes and tips on keeping warm this winter

A neighbour got insulation improvements to their home under a free scheme, can you give me any details on this scheme and how can I apply. I am retired and living alone, and any tips on keeping my home warm this winter would be appreciated.- Pat in Mayo

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Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme

This scheme you refer to is the Better Energy Warmer Homes (BEWH), which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), and funds energy efficiency improvements in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, making their homes more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run.

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What services are available?

The service involves the installation of standard energy efficiency measures appropriate to the eligible household subject to SEAI survey, budget allocation and available capacity. The service is provided at no cost to the household and the measures currently available under the scheme are:

  • Attic insulationDraught proofing
  • Lagging jacket for hot water cylinder
  • Low energy light bulbs
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Energy advice to householder

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Who can avail of the Scheme?

This scheme is available to homes which meet the following criteria:

  • Owner occupied, non - Local Authority homes
  • Homes constructed before 2006
  • The owner is in receipt of one of the following:
    1. Fuel allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
    2. Family Income Supplement
    3. Job Seekers Allowance for over 6 months and has a child under seven years of age

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How are the services provided?

BEWH services are provided by a panel of SEAI appointed non-profi t community based organisations (CBO's) and a panel of SEAI appointed private contractors. CBO or Contractor Installers are assigned to a household depending on their geographic location and work is carried out to the highest quality assurance standards. Inspections are carried outon a sample of homes completed to ensure the standards are maintained.

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How do you apply to the Better Energy Homes Scheme?

Contact the BEWH helpdesk on 1800 250 204 or email

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Keeping your Home Warm

The measures undertaken by this scheme will greatly reduce your heating demand during the winter.

If you have a central heating system, use it sensibly and set the heating timer to turn on the heating before you get up and off when you go to bed. If you are not sure how to set the timer get a friend or family member to help. Keep your main living area warm throughout the day, the required temperature will depend on whether you are active or not. If you don't have a central heating system, consider installing a small solid fuel stove in the living area.

A stove is 3 times more efficient than an open fire and will burn much less fuel. A stove will also reduce cold draughts in the room even when not in use, it is safer and can be controlled to suit your heating requirements. Close curtains early in the evening to help keep the heat in but don't let curtains or furniture block heat from radiators.Only heat rooms when you use them, close doors to separate heated areas from unheated areas of your home.

Note: Make sure your air vents are not blocked, especially in room with a heating appliance, as blocked vents can allow dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to build up. Fit a carbon monoxide detector in rooms with heating appliances.

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