Aileen McCarthy lives with her husband John in a 1976-built three bedroom bungalow in Cullen village, County Tipperary. Five years ago she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and she had to give up her job with the HSE as a result.


  • €3200

    Annual fuel savings
  • Health

  • 20

    Homes upgraded

Prior to the retrofit works, her home was heated by an open fire with a back boiler. In wintertime she had to burn mainly coal in order to keep the radiators warm. “Last winter I was spending €60 a week for coal alone. That’s a lot per week,” says Aileen. “Now, when you come in from the wind and the rain, to have the comfort, it’s wonderful.” The benefits for Aileen have gone beyond saving money on her energy bills. Aileen’s GP says he’s noticed a difference in her:

“He’s very happy with me,” she says, “although he doesn’t see me often now!” At her first lung specialist checkup following the home renovations, there was no further deterioration in her lung capacity and this has been hugely positive for her. The upgrades cost €50,370 and the estimated fuel savings are €3,200 per year.

Renovation works for both homes include:

External wall and atic insulation, new window and doors, demand control ventilation, removal of existing open fire and airtightness measures, air to water heat pump and low temperature radiators, energy monitoring and low energy lighting.

This was part of a larger project that brought together a range of community buildings, including:

  • The local GAA club and tennis club
  • Local authority projects
  • Business and educational facilities
  • 20 private family home upgrades

The lead applicant for this project was Tipperary Energy Agency