When it comes to the principles of sustainability and how to live in a way that protects our planet, there is probably no bigger step we can take than making our homes energy efficient.
The greener our day-to-day living is, the greater the long term benefit to the environment.
There are a number of supports to help us make our homes more sustainable; I have written before about the numerous grants available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). But even with the grants, there can be a substantial upfront cost.
The SEAI grants can cover up to 40% of the cost of works but that still leaves 60% to be paid by the homeowner. With larger jobs like external wall insulation or energy-efficient heat pumps costing thousands, many households will need to borrow to fund the upgrades. In the long term, they will not only be benefiting the planet but should also be rewarded with reduced energy bills.
The good news is that such borrowings may also cost less in the short term, as lenders promote sustainable living by offering reduced loan rates for environmentally friendly projects. Credit unions, AIB, Bank of Ireland and An Post all offer reduced rates for green initiatives, subject to terms and conditions.
For those daunted by the prospect of deciding what are the best works to complete and applying for both grants and loans, An Post goes a step further with its Green Hub. Launched last autumn to play a role in the Government’s National Retrofitting Plan, which has a…