Respond working with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) mission is to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. Better Energy Homes offers grants for home insulation and heating system upgrades to assist in reducing energy costs and improving home comfort levels.

Respond is committed to insulation works on their existing older Housing Stock.

Since 2011 under the Better Energy Homes Scheme grants and Warmer Home Scheme grants, Respond have provided attic Insulation and cavity wall insulation in over 530 House and Apartment units and have actively insulated over 40 Housing Estates in the Country.

Approximately 630 units now have Attic insulation installed and approximately 120 units have had walls and Attics insulated under the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland Warmer Homes Scheme.

In October 2012 Respond in conjunction with SEAI  Better Energy Communities pilot scheme upgraded Houses and Apartments in Hillview Drive, Charleville, Co Cork. Calculations were carried out on the energy saved (kilowatts per metre squared per year) as a result of proposed works to the estate.  SEAI considers the cost of proposed measures in relation to the kilowatt saved over a period of time as a result of the measures being carried out and SEAI offers grant funding towards projects as a result. It is proven that if particular measures are installed it will have significant impact on the amount of energy used in our homes. The very successful works included window and doors replacement, cavity walls insulation and the installation of low energy light fittings on 25 Units.

SEAI Better Energy Community Based Projects funding has enabled Respond to complete energy saving works on four estates this year 2013.

Respond then applied to the SEAI for grants in June 2013 for 12 estates under the ‘ SEAI Area Based & Community Based Pilot Scheme 2013’. Grants were offered from SEAI towards four estates for works completed by 30th October.

Our goal, in line with the SEAI mission, is to improve the energy efficiency within homes, as there is a direct link between building standards, kilowatt savings within properties which ultimately constitutes tenant savings on fuel bills and over all comfort. Respond are continually striving to address the fuel poor by improving the existing Housing Stock by improving external insulated envelop and improving the general comfort of Respond housing.

The estates chosen for the 2013 SEAI Better Energy Communities and Area Based Communities projects were Birch Grove Porlaoise, Rowan Heights Drogheda, Cois Sleibhe Bray Francis Court Airmount Waterford and O’Loughlin Court Kilkenny.

Birch Grove/ Rowan Heights were completed under the Warmer Homes initiative and involved 117 units.  A partnership approach was developed between Respond and Kingspan. The upgrade works included cavity wall insulation, roof insulation, CFL’s light bulbs and carbon monoxide alarms.

Cois Sleibhe, Bray, Co. Wicklow involved 38 Units. Respond formed a partnership approach with Derchill.  The upgrades involved roof insulation, cavity insulation, installation of new gas boilers, heating control upgrade and replacing existing incandescent light bulbs with 100% CFL’s light bulbs.

Francis Terrace Airmount, involved upgrade works to 3 office buildings, Assisi House Day care Centre and 4 one bedroom apartment units.  The scheme was made possible with a partnership approach between Respond and  Waterford City Council. Upgrade works to the 4 existing Apartments included the replacement of the existing storage heaters with new energy efficient heat pump systems.  The Assisi House Day care Centre was also upgraded. Existing Cavity walls where pumped with high efficiency bead insulation. The old existing oil boiler was replace with a new Gas Boiler and heating controls where upgraded. Old single glazed aluminium windows and doors where replaced with new double glazed upvc windows and doors. Energy monitoring and data collection will be inspected in a 12 month period to determine actual kilowatt savings achieved throughout the year.

O’Loughlin Court, Kilkenny involved upgrade works to 45 units. The upgrade works included window and door replacement, new high efficiency gas boiler installation and CFL’s light bulbs replacing existing incandescent light bulbs in all units.  The project was completed in a partnership approach with Electric Ireland.  As a result of the works carried out at O’Loughlin Court the average Building Energy Rating of the units increased from D to B3. Approximately 400,000 kilowatts savings where achieved as a result of the works.

All projects were finished on time and we are now in the process of claiming agreed grant funding from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

As part of the scheme energy monitoring will take place over a three year period. The actual savings are calculated and results will be submitted to the SEAI on savings achieved.

As a result of the above upgrade works it increases the general comfort and will reduce heat loss from Respond homes, thus saving money on fuel bills.These projects help address the issues of fuel poverty.

Respond is conscious of current fuel and fluctuating fuel costs and are committed to working continually with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland on future such projects. Such fluctuating fuel and energy costs have a significant impact on the most vulnerable in society. Continually working with SEAI will improve BER rating, increase general comfort, reduce C02 emissions, and reduce heating bills.