Almost a third of Irish homeowners plan to make their home more energy efficient and 89% say making their home more sustainable is important to them. That’s according to a new survey by Bord Gáis Energy, a leading services and energy provider to homes and businesses.
While upgrading the energy efficiency of their home is top of mind for many, the research shows a significant lack of knowledge about how to go about. A fifth of those polled are not aware of the latest National Retrofitting Scheme and over a third (34%) don’t know the current BER rating of their home.
The research into the nation’s knowledge of retrofitting and home energy upgrades was carried out by Bord Gáis Energy to launch its new online series ‘Imagine a Better Way’. Hosted by Darren Kennedy, the series aims to educate homeowners on all things retrofitting and provide hints, tips, and tricks on how to make your home more energy efficient and sustainable.
Across five episodes a panel of professionals including architect and RTE Home of the Year judge Amanda Bone, Room to Improve quantity surveyor, Claire Irwin and sustainable gardener Peter Dowdall, as well as Bord Gáis Energy’s own experts, will cover everything from BER ratings to budgeting, to smart home technology and most importantly how to get started!
Of those polled, almost 1 in 5 (19%) say they have recently completed a home energy upgrade, but over half (52%) had concerns when starting out. Financials were cited as the top concern for those embarking on a retrofit (77%). Other concerns include a lack of understanding of how to apply for a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Home Energy Upgrade Grant (27%) and simply not knowing what upgrades to make (24%).
Funding the work is a key concern when starting any sort of home upgrade. Bord Gáis Energy’s survey finds that 64% say they used savings to make upgrades to their home, 36% took out a loan while just 15% availed of a government grant.
According to the Bord Gáis Energy survey, the most popular home energy upgrades homeowners have made or intend to make are:
- Insulation of walls, roof, or attic (61%)
- Upgrade of windows and glazing (50%)
- Installation of solar panels (33%)
- Installing smart technology such a smart thermostat or heating controls (30%)
- Installation of heat pumps (26%)
Commenting on the findings architect and Home of the Year judge Amanda Bone said; ‘’It’s clear from the research that a large portion of Irish homeowners want to make their home energy efficient. However, knowing where to start can be a hugely daunting task; from thinking about much to budget to what upgrades to make.
The aim of this new online series from Bord Gáis Energy is to demystify the process and provide homeowners with all the relevant information on how to get started. In the first episode which is available to watch now, I speak to Darren about what retrofitting, or home energy upgrades means and why homeowners should consider it. Other episodes will cover different topics such as the basics on budgeting, smart home technology and upgrading your garden. No matter where you are in your home upgrade journey, there will be hints, tips, and tricks to help you make those big changes to your home’’.