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SEAI Grant System - What would you change?

  • 03-12-2021 10:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭

    Please mods move if this is the wrong forum

    One of the biggest blockers I find to renewable energies is the current grant system. It doesn't matter what you look at the system is broken. If you try to use the system some contractors will tell you straight out not to and cheaper to just pay them without the paperwork. Believe me I have checked and this normally works out better without the grant. Insulation is one of the ones in this situation.

    The other option is if you use the larger grants, like Solar PV and Heat Pump etc, this is not helping the home owner to buy the technology. It is just been gobbled up by the contractor as margin. Case in point was Solar PV which you could buy a system for 5k pre grant, after the grant the system price just increased by 3800 so no saving for the home owner but a tiny margin jump for installer.

    Now please don't get me wrong. I know companies have to make a profit and I am not saying these places should be earning nothing.

    I am just wondering what people would change in the system to help people to deploy these technologies? or maybe the system is just the system and it cannot be changed


  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Excellent idea, like a solar battery I priced recently had 500+ euro added for VAT.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,853 ✭✭✭paulbok

    Allow some grants for diy installs, subject to receipts for materials, before/after photos, and spot checks on works carried out.

    Not suitable for all upgrades, but for the likes of attic insulation it's crazy to have to get a registered installer in to do it.

    As already mentioned, crack down on registered installers just adding the grants onto the price as additional profit. Pay all grants back to customers, not to the contractors.

    Not an easy task, but it is possible to find contractors who don't do this, the solar pv quotes thread is very good at this, but as your average Joe isn't on boards, it won't help them.

    Maybe published install fee guidelines, and contractors would have to provide a proper breakdown of why they are above it (there are genuine reasons for above average costs) on their quotes. Contractors also have to submit these as part of their installation accreditation.

    A commitment by government to provide the grants on an ongoing basis rather than yearly scheme extensions. Certainty of grants would give certainty of work for contractors, which may help reduce price gouging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I agree with the attic insulation, its a joke when you can buy in any local supplier and install. They could get you to do a BER cert after to confirm it is installed.

    i think the biggest is a registered price per install. If you look at PV the installers wil say they can't give a price for 4Kw and a 5kWh battery for instance as every house is different yet I see companies all over the web now doing exactly that.

    Maybe as part of been SEAI registered the contractors need to submit a standard bid which covers most houses. So something like the above is fairly standard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    I'd axe the clause that it's "pre 2011" houses, and consequentially the BER rating Sure, I get the fact that the newer houses are built with better insulation and they tend to cost less to heat than other houses. However, PV is the generation of electricity - and there's more to how that's used rather than solely being put into your heating. If your not importing from the grid, or importing less then that's a good thing, right? Irrespective of the age of the building.

    TV, immersions, computers (esp in this new working from home world) , fridges, etc all use leccie. Seems like the pre-2011 house thing is ruling out a segment of the populous that could still use PV generated leccie. I get the fact that there probably is a finite amount of grant money available and they want to allocate that mostly to the houses who need it most, but there's a wider picture there too.

    Aside: My house was build in '91, so I'm not arguing for myself.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,673 ✭✭✭✭Dtp1979

    Gas/oil boiler upgrades should be eligible for done kind of grant, not just controls

  • Registered Users Posts: 231 ✭✭purplefields

    All any government grants or interference in a market does it artificially increase prices.

    I got my house externally insulated (just before covid) and did not avail of any grant. I thought that the prices should have been lower and felt that they were artificially inflated because of the government.

    Look at the eye watering prices of electric vehicles as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I agree but thats the point of the thread. The point of the grant is to reduce the cost but it ends up increasing. If you go to SEAI they will tell you its the only way, which as I said in OP just ends up been margin for the contractor and actually reduces the ability for home owners to upgrade. So any ideas of a system you could put into place which would actually help the home owner?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭MAULBROOK

    The SEAI requirements for Solar add about €500 of unnecessary equipment/paperwork to an installation.

    Some companies add €400 to the quotation if they have to deal with the SEAI grant.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I guess this is for safety work, 500 quid in the overall price is small when you think the price got pumped up by over 3k

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I do find it baffling that the government is about to burn 170m to give people 100 quid off electricity bills

    Would they not be better to install 170m worth of solar onto houses in Ireland?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,540 ✭✭✭Dudda

    I like this idea a lot. It doesn't have to be 0% VAT. Even if it was lowered. They lowered the VAT rate for the hospitality sector during covid. I see no reason they couldn't lower the VAT rate for Insulation, Batteries, Solar PV, Heat Pumps, heating controls, etc. You could even do it on windows if they were replacing single glazing. It's all for refurb projects only so they could let you reclaim the VAT uploading receipts and proof to Revenue website. You could even put a cap on the amount reclaimed if you wanted to make sure they had enough money to go around. You can then chose to get a contractor, friend on mates rates, DIY or a combination of all depending on what your at. It would also stop builders making more profit on new builds as it's refurb only.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    VAT seems like a good idea.....they will say it is already reduced at 13.5% but at 0% it makes a huge difference

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭MAULBROOK

    Did anyone see the Head of the SEAI last night on Prime Time. He came access as a right arrogant prick.

    Nothing was the SEAI's fault and you the little people are to thick to understand such things, attitude was infuriating.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭kabakuyu

    He had very poor media skills,maintained he was protecting taxpayer but the drawdown on some schemes was 2% of total available.🤨

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,431 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    In the UK renewables have a 5% VAT level AFAIK, same here would be nice, even the 9% used in hospitality

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,147 ✭✭✭irishchris

    The EU have been meeting in the last week and moving towards 0-5% vat on renewables for member countries.

    Lobbying has already started here to get it cut immediately

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    For those of you (like myself) who missed that Prime time can watch it here.

    Amid climate crisis, firms struggle with energy grants (

    Normally I'll be the first to call bullshit on things, but to be fair to him (the director of SEAI) he is right when he says it's taxpayers money and they shouldn't be giving handouts, but at the same REALLY have to wonder what's going on there in that space? The drawdowns are fairly miniscule. €14M when you think about it for a country the size of Ireland is "buttons". Think of the 100,000's of installations that are out there right across the country. Is it an education problem?

    The numbers don't paint a good picture there. 100% there should be accountability that people are using money correctly, but not at the cost of turning away legitimate businesses from getting the funding that was put in place for them to begin with. Seems like a bit of "streamlining" (his word) is needed there :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 zborisha

    I read once a good comment somewhere suggesting how to make PV installation more affordable: force electricity providers install PVs when their customers want it, buy back all excess electricity and payment for PV installation should be done over say 10 years by increasing electricity price a bit.

    So, for example, every month you pay 10% more for electricity, everything you export also reduces the debt and after X years you own the panels.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    While the model is a little different, in some respects that's very similar to the "solar as a service" offering that's out there. It is one (or at least was) of the more competitive models for the lower sized systems.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 zborisha

    true, very similar to solar as a service but this approach would really scale it to the next level IMHO - since then it would be clear that everyone is part of the solution - including ALL electricity providers and ESB.

    After reading this forum and doing my own research I feel there is a lack of commitment from the government, ESB and electricity providers to really ensure solar is widely used in Ireland. I kinda have a feeling this could be done better and show every consumer that everyone is 100% onboard to do this.

    Today it does not look like that is the case