A list of grants available for self-builders and home improvers who are looking for financial help building their home or upgrading it.
Republic of Ireland (ROI)
1. Better Energy Homes
Grants for insulation, solar thermal panels, boiler upgrades and controls, for homes built before 2006. A contribution towards your Building Energy Rating in context of the work is also available. See SEAI website for more and check out how your local energy agency can help – the Tipperary Energy Agency for example operates the Superhomes scheme which can fund up to 50 per cent of your energy upgrade. There’s a Deep Retrofit pilot scheme if you plan to carry out a major energy upgrade.
2. Warmer Homes Scheme
Free energy upgrades for low income families receiving fuel allowance. See SEAI website for more.
3. Fiscal incentives
The Home Renovation Incentive (defunct as of 31/12/2018) is a tax relief you get for carrying out any kind of upgrade in your home – but you need to hire a tradesmen to do it at the 13.5 per cent rate (DIY jobs are not eligible). Your tax affairs must be in order and you will get the subsidy in the form of a tax back over a period of four years. More information from the Revenue website.
Selfbuild Live Belfast is the ultimate showcase for people who are building, extending, improving or simply decorating their home. Selfbuild Live Belfast, 22nd-24th February takes place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast.
The Help to Buy scheme helps first-time-buyers put down a deposit to build their new home or to buy one. For a self-build you will need a solicitor to do the paperwork for you. See the Revenue website for more details.
4. Offers from utilities
Electric Ireland offers new customers subsidies towards installing a new heat pump, a new stove and carrying out insulation measures, among others. The subsidies are deducted from your energy bills. See their website for more details. Electric Ireland also offers new customers free Nest thermostats (discounted rate for existing customers).
Energia also has free thermostats for new customers (Netatmo, subject to availing of their boiler servicing offer), as well as discounts for installing a boiler with controls and solar thermal panels.
5. Traditional buildings grants
The Traditional Farm Buildings Grant goes towards the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings and related structures for farmers in the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS). Maximum grant amount is €25,000.
A thatching grant is available towards the cost of renovating thatched roofs of owner occupied houses. A grant of two thirds of the approved cost up to a maximum of €3,810 is available.
For heritage buildings in need of considerable repair there are two grants available but these can be hard to get: the Structures at Risk Fund, with funding between €15,000 and €30,000 available, and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme which funds up to half of the total project cost. Contact your local authority for more information. A tax relief may be available too (Section 482).
6. Adaptation grants
These are means tested, there’s the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability with a maximum grant amount of €30,000, the Housing Aid for Older People with a maximum grant of €8,500 and the Mobility Aids Grant with a cap of €6,000.
Grants up to €4,000 are available to replace old lead piping for those earning up to €50,000.
The Repair & Leasing scheme will give you a loan to repair a home you own that has not been lived in for at least a year – up to €40,000 (or €50,000 for what was previously a bedsit) – with a view of renting it out for social housing purposes. In February 2018 the minimum social housing lease term was reduced from 10 years to five years. The loan is paid back over the term of the rental agreement; also if you choose to act as landlord you can pocket more of the rent than if you were to get the local authority to act as landlord. More information in the FAQ.
Northern Ireland (NI)
1. Boiler replacement scheme
Owner occupiers can get a grant of up to £1,000 to replace inefficient boilers (15+ years old) with energy-efficient condensing oil or gas boilers, switch from oil to gas, switch to a wood pellet boiler. You must earn less than £40,000 a year. See the NI Direct website for more.
2. Feed in tariff for renewables
The Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation Certificates (NIROCs) scheme was closed in April 2017 so there is no longer a financial incentive from the government to generate your own electricity from solar (photovoltaic – PV) or wind.
You can however still sell electricity back to the grid (export payment) and make savings by using the electricity you generate for yourself for free.
3. Oil buying club
Group with your neighbours to get a better deal from oil suppliers to fill your tank. More information on the Bryson website.
4. Derelict homes
There are a number of grants available for houses in a lot of need of repair, but these tend to be very hard to get. They include the Renovation Grant which may fund up to £25,000 of the work to be carried out, the Repair Grant for houses issued with statutory notices – the maximum there is £7,500 in grant aid – and the Replacement Grant which can fund up to £31,500 to build a new house.
5. Adaptation grants
For those with mobility or disability issues there’s the Disabled Facilities Grant which could see all of the works recommended by an Occupational Therapist funded, and the Home Repairs Assistance Grant which is capped at £5,000 over a three year period.
6. Low income schemes
Affordable Warmth is open to owner occupiers or householders of a privately rented property that have an income of less than £20,000 per year.
There are additional grants available through the Utility Regulator’s Sustainable Energy Programme. Energy Plus by Fusion Heating is aimed at low income households with a broken or no heating system. Power NI has an Energy Saver Homes grant of up to £800 towards heating and insulation. The Home Comfort schemes from Firmus energy are aimed at low income housesholds with no central heating.
Disclaimer: This list is not exhaustive, always consult with a qualified building professional. Schemes are subject to change.
Last update: January 2019