Better Energy: The National Upgrade Programme

Last updated: 14 September 2020
The first strand allows domestic customers to apply for an Exchequer supported incentive, currently a grant but which will migrate to an upfront discount later in the year. The measures grant-aided under this strand include roof and wall insulation, high efficiency boilers, heating control upgrades and solar thermal. This was formerly the Home Energy Saving Scheme. The second strand of Better Energy brings 25 energy suppliers on board as partners. The introduction of energy saving obligations on energy suppliers in 2011 will provide a sound basis on which to move to new models of realising energy savings. Energy companies can meet their target by directly offering upgrade services, or by sub-contracting the work to third parties. Since March 2012, Voluntary Agreements between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and 16 energy suppliers, who have agreed to meet energy savings targets, have been concluded. The Government has committed to reaching energy efficiency savings of 20% by 2020, and energy suppliers will play a key role in meeting this goal. The third Better Energy strand provides support for energy efficiency upgrades in low-income private housing, covered by the Warmer Homes Scheme. Applications are collected centrally, via a managing agent, or through a network of community-based organisations who deliver the retrofit work free of charge to the homeowner. The fourth Better Energy strand supports upgrades in commercial and public buildings. The upgrades will be used to prove and disseminate widely applicable technical solutions and also new business models. There is huge potential for new business and financing models, in the public sector for example, where the savings pay for the work and so organisations can have upgrades carried out at no initial cost.While the Government will continue to provide a significant level of support in 2012 and 2013, the Programme for Government commits to a transition to a non-Exchequer based funding model no later than the start of 2014.

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