Better Energy Communities

A large audience assembled in the Community Centre last night to hear Patrick Lavin of Eco Smart talk about the Better Energy Communities Scheme.

Better Energy – not just about the insulation

This is a government (SEAI) funded scheme open to domestic households; fuel poor* and non-fuel poor, social housing schemes, retailers, schools and community buildings. Eco Smart and ClarICH are helping to implement the scheme here and our local councillors Nigel Dineen, Paschal Fitzmaurice and Michael Creaton suggested they should come to Lisacul and tell us about it.

The deadline for submission of applications for this year’s funding is 10th February 2017 but the scheme will run again next year. Patrick stressed that now is a good time to think about what might be needed for next year so applications can be sent in as soon as the funding is announced.

Below is a brief outline of Patrick’s talk. If you would like more information – and, honestly, you should. This is a very worthwhile scheme – contact Alma Gallagher on 094 9371830, or Patrick Lavin on 094 9620712,

As well as helping to upgrade housing and buildings generally, BEC will brings social benefits by:

  • Reducing household utility bills
  • Balancing domestic, commercial and not for profit projects
  • Promoting an ‘area’ approach to homes involved

Funding will depend on situation, as follows:

Residential Non Residential
Private, fuel poor: up to 80%

Private, non fuel poor: up to 35%

Local authority homes: Up to 35%

Housing association homes: Up to 50%

Not for profit/Community: up to 50%

Private and public sector: up to 30%

Public sector (exemplar): between 30 and 50%


Combined fabric upgrades can increase these grants by up to 15%

The funding can be applied to:

  • Attic insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Internal/external insulation (whole house solution)

But it’s not just insulation – the funding can also be used for

  • Heating upgrades (oil, gas or biomass)
  • Heating control upgrades
  • Solid fuel room heaters (stove)
  • Window and door upgrades (whole house solution)
  • Upgrade of lighting
  • Photo voltaic panels
  • Installation of solar panels


*Homeowners are considered to be fuel poor if they are in receipt of at least one of the following:

  • Fuel allowance from the National Fuel Scheme
  • Job seekers allowance for over six months (and they have a child under seven)
  • Family income support
  • One parent family payment