New grants for energy efficient homes unveiled
Developers are being encouraged to build energy efficient, low carbon housing through a new grant scheme designed to help fund their construction. The Low Carbon Homes Programme will give capital grants for homes that meet certain criteria including maximising solar heat gain and heat recovery, minimising heat loss through insulation and ventilation control, and that use smart metering and other technologies to manage electricity demand. The eligible housing will also provide heating by using renewable energy technologies, such as solar hot water and pellet fuel stoves, and generate their own electricity through micro wind, hydro power or other approved means. Homes must also have a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 or better for each unit. Grants, which will be administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland, will amount to up to 40 per cent of eligible expenditure in the projects. The scheme has funding of €9 million up to the end of 2011.