The SEAI provides grant funding to help homeowners in Ireland with the cost of making their houses and apartments more energy efficient.

Living on one of Ireland’s many offshore islands can make a lot of things more expensive, not the least of which is getting contractors out to perform construction and renovation works.

Fortunately, in recognition of this, the SEAI allows island homeowners to get grant funding at levels up to 50% higher than what is available for mainland properties.

James Dorrian, Managing Director of Energy Efficiency Ireland said, “Grants for home improvements aimed such as solar panels or insulation are extremely important if we want to make Ireland’s housing more energy efficient.”

“Cost is the biggest obstacle to having people take the plunge in carrying out retrofit works on their homes, so it is welcome that SEAI grants recognise that living on the islands can make everything more expensive.”

consider installing solar panels as a cost-saving measure

The additional funding is available for homeowners applying for Individual Energy Upgrades. This scheme allows people to apply for grants for singular upgrades, such as solar panels or wall insulation.

The Individual Energy Upgrades can be used for a wide range of measures which will make your home more energy efficient.

These include upgrades to the fabric of the building, with insulation in the walls or attic, or renewable energy systems such as solar panels or heat pumps.

The only home improvement grants for which island residents will not receive additional funding are for cavity wall insulation, attic insulation, and heating controls. 

The islands where residents qualify for additional grant funding are:

  • An tOileán Rua
  • Árainn Mhór
  • Bere Island
  • Inis Caorach
  • Clare Island
  • Clynish
  • Collanmore
  • Coney
  • Dernish
  • Dursey
  • Gabhla
  • Heir
  • Inis Bigil
  • Inis Bó Finne
  • Inishcuttle
  • Inis Fraoigh
  • Inishlyre
  • Inis Meáin
  • Inis Mhic an Doirn
  • Inis Mór
  • Inishnakillew
  • Inis Oírr
  • Inis Oirthir
  • Inis Trá Mhór
  • Inisgort
  • Inishbofin
  • Inishlyre
  • Inish Turk Beg
  • Inishturk
  • Islandmore
  • Long
  • Oileáin Chléire
  • Sherkin
  • Whiddy
  • Toraigh
Internal Wall Insulation

“Houses on the islands are more likely to be older and in greater need of retrofitting to bring them up to modern standards,” James Dorrian said.

“It would be a shame to lose the unique character of island communities by having them fall to vacancy or dereliction. Or equally to have all of these older buildings replaced.”

Through the Individual Energy Upgrades Scheme, homeowners are also responsible for the entire grant application and installation process.

This differs from other avenues such as the One Stop Shop and Fully Funded Energy Upgrades schemes, where the process is handled by the selected contractor or SEAI.

Renovating Vacant Properties

Island communities also benefit from higher funding levels under the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant to bring vacant and derelict properties back into use.

This scheme provides funding to refurbish properties that have been vacant for two years or more in order to use them as housing.

Ordinarily, the grant scheme offers €50,000 to renovate a vacant property and up to €70,000 to refurbish a derelict property.

However, people living on the islands can receive up to  €84,000 to renovate a derelict building or up to €60,000 for a vacant property.

The scheme does not cover any works to make a house more energy efficient which is already covered by the SEAI, but it does encompass many structural works which aren’t.

Type of work Maximum amount
Demolition and site clearance works including removing hazardous materials Vacant Property Grant: €50,000 
Derelict Top-Up Grant: €70,000
Substructure works on foundations, rising walls, floor slabs, damp-proofing and underpinning Vacant Property Grant: €50,000 
Derelict Top-Up Grant: €70,000
Superstructure works done on walls, chimneys, upper floors, stairs, roof structure and structural timbers Vacant Property Grant: €50,000 
Derelict Top-Up Grant: €70,000
External doors, windows and windowsills €21,000
Internal doors, frames, architraves, ironmongery €7,000
Skirtings €3,500
Fascias, soffits and rainwater goods €4,200
Roof works including flashings, fascias, soffits, gutters and downpipes €14,000
Tiling and waterproof finishes to wet areas €2,800
Painting and Decorating €10,500
Roof finishes €14,000
Services including plumbing, heating, ventilation, power, lighting, telecommunications, smoke detectors, CO2 detectors Vacant Property Grant: €50,000 
Derelict Top-Up Grant: €70,000
Kitchen units €7,700
Sanitary-ware and bathroom fittings €2,800
Necessary work needed on land around the home €7,000
Extensions Vacant Property Grant: €50,000 
Derelict Top-Up Grant: €70,000
Professional services for the work, such as fees for surveys. 10% of the net construction cost including VAT or €14,000, whichever is the less.

Solar Energy Saves Households Thousands in Electricity Costs

Take our 2-minute questionnaire and find affordable solar options to suit your budget and lifestyle