Credit Union loans rolled out for one-stop-shop energy upgrades

Hundreds of thousands of credit union members throughout ROI will have access to a new home improvement funding scheme from early May

Credit Unions in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Retrofit Energy Ireland Limited, an energy services provider, has announced the roll-out of its ‘Pro Energy Homes Scheme’ to twenty participating credit unions across the country.

The scheme was piloted in five credit unions across Dublin from August to September last year to fund energy efficiency works in homes.

Participants borrowed an average of €10,000 and spent an average of €15,000; preferred upgrades included:

  • Attic insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • External wall insulation
  • Solar thermal panels (hot water)
  • Heating system and controls upgrade
  • Windows upgrades

As programme coordinators, REIL are responsible for the procurement and completion of all works. Paddy Sweeney, Managing Director of REIL said; “With this initiative we have taken all the ‘leg-work’ away from the homeowner. All they need to do is fill out an application form, after which REIL will conduct an assessment on their property and present them with a report. They can then decide whether or not they would like to proceed. Absolutely no money changes hands until all improvements have been made. From beginning to end, the input required by the home owner is minimal.”

“The way this scheme is structured, there is easy access to grant funding which will significantly reduce the cost (by 35 per cent), while repayments on the credit union loan funding the balance of the costs of works can typically be expected to be largely offset by the reduced energy cost in the majority of cases. The payback periods can be relatively short, particularly for items such as attic and cavity wall insulation, heating controls and replacing an open fire with a solid fuel stove. This means many people funding this with a credit union loan over 5-7 years could be making net savings within 5 years, as well as having a cosier house from the get-go.”

Speaking of the decision to roll out this scheme across the country, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, the representative and lobby group for many of Ireland’s largest credit unions commented: “While this scheme runs for a limited time, we are making a long-term commitment to supporting energy sustainability for home owners and we intend to extend our support by providing low cost finance for electric vehicles and businesses in the very near future and the rebrand to ProEnergy is done in anticipation of this.” [Emphasis added]

Participating Credit Unions

Dublin (launch 13th May 2019)

Rest of Country (launch 24th May 2019)

·         Blanchardstown

·         Capital

·         Community

·         Core

·         Dubco

·         ESCCU

·         Member First

·         South Dublin

·         Bray, Wicklow

·         Greystones, Wicklow

·         Limerick and District, Limerick

·         MPCC, Limerick

·         Croi Laighean, Kildare

·         St. Anthony’s and Claddagh, Galway

·         St. Columba’s, Galway

·         St. Jarlath’s, Galway

·         Dundalk, Louth

Home Energy Saving Loan Steps

  • Client fills in Expression of Interest (EOI) Form and hands in to Credit Union staff
  • EOI form is sent to REIL and they arrange an expert Home Energy Survey
  • Once the survey is complete, the Applicant is issued with a report and given 30 days to decide whether they wish to proceed.
  • If they proceed, the Applicant decides what upgrades to complete from those recommended in the survey report and applies for a credit union loan for the net cost of works at a special interest rate of 6.9% or less.
  • Once loan approval is given, REIL will arrange procurement of contractors to complete the works and will oversee the completion of all works.
  • When works are complete, REIL inspect all works to ensure they are up to r national building standards and arrange a post-BER assessment. The loan is then advanced to cover the cost of works.
  • Once payment is received, REIL issues client with a receipt of payment. That’s it!

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email

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