Mother of four, Aoibheann, spent 2020 upgrading her family home and is now reaping the benefits of added comfort and lower energy bills.


  • Reduced energy bills
  • BER C1 to A3
  • Increased comfort
  • Installed renewable energy solutions

The house

Aoibheann and her husband, purchased a detached house in County Cork in 2019. The house is located in a rural area, was built in 2003 and had a BER C1 when they moved in two years ago. They have four children and the kids' Grandad also lives with them.

The works

When they bought the house it was fitted with an oil boiler, which was causing problems. Aoibheann was already interested in looking at more sustainable heating solutions for the home so the boiler issues hurried the process along. She began researching heat pumps to replace it.

Savings accrued during lockdown made it possible for Aoibheann and her husband to invest in a multiple energy upgrades for their home. They insulated the house, switched from an oil boiler to a heat pump with heating controls and installed solar PV.  

When you decide on a heat pump, a technical advisor must first assess your home and ensure it is heat-pump ready. The assessor recommended to Aoibheann to get cavity wall and attic insulation to maximise the efficiency of the heating system.

The started the works in January and by September, everything was completed.

The house was already fitted with underfloor heating which was a bonus as UFH works very well with a heat pump.

The process

Aoibheann sought advice from a family friend who had completed a similar upgrade. She then did her own research, wanting to use local providers as much as possible. She engaged three different energy contractors for the three different measures – insulation, heat pump and solar PV.

Aoibheann received an SEAI grant for each energy upgrade, making the project more affordable. The application process was straightforward and she received grant approval in a matter of days. 

The results

The house has gone from a BER C1 to BER A3!

Aoibheann says there’s a big difference in the house in terms of warmth and comfort.

Financially, they have yet to get the full picture of the savings but they did experience significant savings over the winter period.

The solar PV panels also offset the electricity bills so they are looking forward to seeing exactly what they have saved in the year.  


Aoibheann would recommend the heat pump as it’s energy efficient, easy to operate and will save them money in the long term. “I think it's the only way forward. I mean we all have to move away from fossil fuels.”

The SEAI grants were a huge help, making it more affordable.  

“I think there are more and more people who are genuinely interested in doing what they can to make their home more environmentally friendly and contribute their best to saving the planet.”

Find out about SEAI’s home energy grants

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