Home energy upgrade through the eyes of a contractor
On our podcast 180 Degrees, we heard from contractor Eoin Madigan, who shared his experience working on deep retrofit projects.
The episode looks at the start-to-finish project experience through the eyes of a contractor. SEAI’s Louise Ryan and Brian McIntyre ask Eoin why people make this investment in their homes. They also discuss the changes in home energy efficiency and the new approach required when retrofitting a home.
The contractor’s perspective
Eoin Madigan, Waterford Insulation, has been insulating homes for 20 years. He says the market has changed greatly during that time. In 2005, Eoin’s company were just providing cavity wall and attic insulation and now they have over 15 different offerings for homeowners, including ventilation and dry lining.
Eoin’s experience with SEAI’s previous Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme taught him how to implement this holistic approach. “It was the first time we packaged it together and sold it to the homeowner as one product.”
In this episode, Eoin goes into more detail about:
- The challenges facing the industry to achieve the Government’s target of upgrading 500,000 homes to B2 by 2030, including competing for skilled workers.
- The opportunities for the growth of the industry given the scale of work needed to be completed by 2030.
- How Eoin and his team developed their offering by creating a one-stop-shop of different tradespeople working together, from insulation to installing heat pumps.
- His customers always remark on the cost savings, but they also comment on the level of comfort provided by a heat pump. “Now they realise what they were missing,” he said.
The homeowner’s perspective
One of Eoin’s more recent customers, Sandy Haemmerle, also took part in the podcast and shared her experience of upgrading her semi-detached 1950s house in Waterford. Watching an episode of RTÉ’S Eco Eye is what prompted her to take on this project that would finally give her the warm home she has always desired.
Eoin and his team transformed this unoccupied house with no central heating into a A3 rated home through a deep retrofit. “It’s totally different, it’s a completely different house. We don’t even have to turn on the heating,” Sandy said.
“Just to be warm and not have to worry about being warm is brilliant”, she says.