Access to Information on the Environment
SEAI is a Public Authority for the purposes of the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment Regulations) 2007 to 2014. (the “AIE Regulations”)
The AIE Regulations give you the right to access Environmental Information held by, or for, SEAI and other Public Authorities. Only environmental information may be requested under the AIE Regulations, for advice on how to make other information requests, please refer to our Freedom of Information webpage
What is Environmental Information?
The AIE Regulations provide us with a definition for “environmental information”. It means any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on –
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms and the interaction among these elements;
(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment;
(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;
(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in paragraph (c); and
(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are, or may be, affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c).
What information is not available under the AIE Regulations?
The AIE Regulations do not apply to Environmental Information that is required to be made available under any other statutory provision.
Information that does not come within the scope of the definition of Environmental Information, and which is not already publicly available, can be requested under the Freedom of Information Acts.
How to make an AIE request to SEAI:
A request to SEAI for environmental information should be made in electronic form by e-mail to email@example.com or in writing by post to:
Wilton Park House
A request for environmental information shall:
(a) be made in writing or electronic form,
(b) state that the request is made under the AIE Regulations,
(c) state your name, address and any other relevant contact details,
(d) state, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information that is the subject of your request, and
(e) if you require access to environmental information in a particular form or manner, specific the form or manner of access desired.
You are not required to state your interest in making the request.
There is no initial fee required when lodging a request for information under the AIE Regulations.
Where the information is held by a public authority other than SEAI we will either refer your request directly to the appropriate Public Authority or advise the you of the appropriate Public Authority to whom the request should be directed. The SEAI will inform you of this without delay.
Decision on a Request
SEAI will acknowledge your request within two weeks of receiving it, and generally make a decision on the request within one month, or two months in certain cases. If SEAI does not respond within one month the decision is deemed to have been refused and you can proceed to the review stage.
A decision on your request may be to grant, part grant or refuse the information requested. The AIE Regulations set out mandatory and discretionary grounds which SEAI may apply for refusing to grant you information. Where the SEAI refuses to grant you access to environmental information, we will specify in writing the reasons for this refusal.
Right of Review
If you are not satisfied with the decision on your AIE request, you may seek an ‘internal review’ of the decision from SEAI.
SEAI shall designate a person unconnected with the original decision whose rank is the same as, or higher than, that of the original decision-maker to review the decision. No fee will be charged for the internal review process. The review must be completed by SEAI within one month of receiving the request for an internal review.
Applications for review of a decision on a request must be made within one month, and should be addressed to:
Wilton Park House
Right of Appeal
If you are still unhappy with the decision, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Commissioner for Environmental Information. Your request for appeal must be made within one month of the date that notification of the internal review decision has been, or was required to be, notified to you.
The Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lr. Leeson Street
Is there a charge for making an AIE request?
SEAI does not charge a fee for AIE requests or internal reviews of decisions. However, fees may be charged for the cost of supplying the information, including the staff costs associated with compiling, copying, printing and posting of the information. The charges will only relate to the supply of the information. If any charges apply, this will be notified in the acknowledgment letter.
Unless otherwise stated, the copyright and any other rights in all material on this site are owned by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. You are permitted to print and download extracts from this site on the following basis:
Use of documents and related graphics on this site is for information and/or personal use only:
- Any copies of these pages saved to disk or to any other storage medium may only be used for subsequent viewing purposes or to print extracts for personal use.
- No documents or related graphics on this site are to be modified in any way
- Graphics on this site are not to be used separately from the accompanying text
- No part of this site may be reproduced or stored in any other site or included in any public or private electronic retrieval system or service without the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's prior written permission.
- No use or display may be made of the name or logo of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland without the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's prior written permission
- Any rights not expressly granted in these Terms are reserved.
The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only. They are intended to enhance public access to information about the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. While every effort is made in preparing material for publication no responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland for any errors, omissions or misleading statements on these pages or any site to which these pages connect. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland reserves the right at any time to revise, amend, alter or delete the information provided on this site.
Although every effort is made to ensure the reliability of listed sites this cannot be taken as an endorsement of these sites.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is responsible for the registration of BER Assessors and ongoing management of the Building Energy Rating (BER) Scheme. BER Assessors are independent of and are not agents or employees of The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
The rating methodology used to produce the BER reflected in the BER Certificate incorporates standard occupancy assumptions and a range of technical judgements based upon the views of various expert organisations regarding the energy efficiency impact of various building components and attributes. A building’s energy rating may change over time due to many factors including deterioration or modification to the fabric of the building, changes to the heating systems incorporating into the building or changes to the way in which buildings are rated.
A building’s energy rating is only a guide to its overall energy efficiency. Actual energy usage and energy efficiency will depend on how occupants operate the building.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland does not endorse or guarantee the ratings of BER Assessors.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland does not warrant and accepts no legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, completeness or merit of any BER Certificate or any material or advice provided by BER Assessors.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 is in place to ensure governmental departments and listed public bodies make the information they hold available to the public.
The Freedom of Information Act gives individuals the following rights:
- The right to access official records held by governmental departments and listed public bodies.
- The right to have personal information relating to them amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading.
- The right to be supplied with reasons for decisions made or taken by governmental departments and listed public bodies that affect them.
There are exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act where, due to specific circumstances, the requested information will not be released, for example: to protect another individual’s privacy rights. If any exemptions are necessary, the reasons will be provided and explained to you by the FOI Unit.
How to make a request to SEAI under the Freedom of Information legislation?
To make a request to SEAI under Freedom of Information legislation, please send your request to our FOI Unit via email: FOI@seai.ie or alternatively via post at:
Freedom of Information Officer
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Wilton Park House
In your request, we would ask that you:
- Specify that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act;
- Give as much detail as possible to support your request to enable us to process it efficiently; and
- Include your return address or email address.
Is there a Fee for making the request?
When the request is for personal information there are no charges unless there is a significant number of records.
In the case of requests which relate to non-personal information there are charges are applied for search retrieval and copying. The relevant section of the Act here is Section 27(2) and these fees relate to:
(a) Determining whether it holds the information requested;
(b) Locating the information or documents containing the information
(c) Retrieving such information or documents
(d) Extracting the information from the files, documents, electronic or other information sources containing both it and other material not relevant to the request, and
(e) Preparing a schedule specifying the records for consideration for release.
In relation to the search, retrieval and copying charges there is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying charges can be charged. Once the charge reaches the €101 full fees apply. There is a cap on the amount that can be charged and this is set at €500. These is also a further upper ceiling limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees set at €700 above which a body can refuse to process a request unless the requester is prepared to refine the request below the limit.
How is a Freedom of Information request processed by SEAI?
The FOI Unit will issue an acknowledgement letter to you within 10 working days (excluding Public Holidays) of your request being received. The next stages of the process will be clearly explained in this letter.
A decision regarding your request will normally be issued by the FOI Unit within 20 working days of the receipt of your request.
In some cases, an extension of time may be necessary to complete the decision. If this occurs while processing your request, the FOI Unit will contact you and explain this requirement.
Can you appeal a decision?
Yes. If you would like to appeal the decision made by the FOI Unit, you can do so by sending a request in writing asking for an internal review of the decision to the Freedom Of Information Officer.
An internal review fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) is applicable when appealing a decision and this is to be sent with your written submission.
The appeal process will involve a full reassessment of your original Freedom of Information request at a more senior level.
If, after the internal review, you are unsatisfied with the decision and you would like to appeal again, your appeal should be directed to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
The fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner is €50 and €15 for medical card holders and their dependants.
SEAI Terms and Conditions of Purchase
Website of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
This statement relates to our privacy practices in connection with this website. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of other websites. Any external links to other websites are clearly identifiable as such. Some technical terms used in this statement are explained at the end of this page.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) fully respects your right to privacy. This Data Protection and Privacy Notice relates to our privacy practices in connection with the use of personal data.
This Data Protection and Privacy Notice is intended to help you understand what Personal Data SEAI collects about you, why we collect it, what we do with it, who we may share it with and how we protect it.
It also details the rights available to you in relation to how we hold and use your personal data, how to exercise those rights, and what to do if you require more information or wish to make a complaint.
The use of “we”, “us”, “our” and “ours” in this Data Protection and Privacy Notice refer to SEAI. For more information about us, please see our annual report or you can find out more on our About Us webpage
What is Personal Data?
“Personal Data” is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (“Data Subject”); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier such as a user IP address or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person and includes Special Categories of Personal Data.
"Special Categories of Personal Data" means any Personal Data that reveals racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership; genetic data or biometric data and data concerning health or sex life and sexual orientation.
We ensure that the personal information we collect is appropriate to the purposes for which it is obtained and is processed in compliance with the provisions of Applicable Data Protection Law which means in no particular order:
- The General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the “GDPR”));
- The Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018;
- The European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks & Services) (Privacy & Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011;
- The EU ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC (as amended) (the “ePrivacy Directive”);
- Any successor or replacement to the laws set out above; and
All other industry guidelines (whether statutory or non-statutory) or applicable codes of practice and guidance notes issued from time to time by the Data Protection Commission relating to the processing of Personal Data or privacy.
SEAI is a "Controller" under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) ("GDPR") in respect of certain Personal Data you furnish to us.
What sort of Personal Data do we collect and process?
We collect and process Personal Data relating to you in connection with our relationship with you. Types of Personal Data includes but are not limited to:
- your name and contact details, including your address, phone number, mobile number and email address;
- your IP address;
- your payment information such as bank account details;
- details regarding your property: Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), Gas Point Reference Number (GPRN), dwelling type, year home built and occupied, works or measures carried out or to be carried out on your property;
- information about you which you provide us with when you apply to different schemes that we offer, including information that demonstrates your eligibility for the scheme;
- information about your interactions with us, such as customer service records, including complaints and claims;
- recordings of telephone conversations between you and our customer support teams;
- any details provided in making statutory information requests: Freedom of Information requests, Access to Environmental Information requests, Ombudsman appeals, or Subject Access request; and
- any other Personal Data relating to you that you provide to us or that we generate about you in connection with our relationship with you, including records of any consent you have given and your use of the SEAI website.
We also collect Special Categories of Personal Data in relation to customers who have special requirements based on health grounds. Information regarding the disability or difficulty requiring the special services is collected in order to assist SEAI to meet the needs of those applicants.
How do we collect Personal Data?
We mainly collect and record your personal data from you. You will provide this information directly to us, when you contact us in writing, by telephone or electronically. For example,
- when you make a Freedom of Information Request, we collect certain personal data;
- if you apply for a grant, we collect information you provide us in the grant application form and we may use this information to link it to other grant applications you have made; and
- through your participation in the grant approval process, e-mails you send us or verbal information which you provide by phone is recorded or entered into our systems.
When you visit the SEAI website, we gather statistical and other analytical information collected on an aggregate basis of all visitors to our website. This non-personal data comprises information that cannot be used to identify or contact you, such as demographic information regarding, for example, user IP addresses where they have been clipped or anonymised, browser types and other anonymous statistical data involving the use of our website.
SEAI does not collect any personal data about you on this website, apart from information which you volunteer (for example by e-mailing us or by completing an online registration form).
We also obtain information from third parties, for example, information provided to us by the contractors you have engaged to carry out works or measures on your home or business under SEAI grant programmes. If you purchase an electronic vehicle, the car dealer you have engaged with will share your personal data with us when they apply for an EV grant on your behalf. A BER assessor may provide us with certain information in order to provide you with a BER certificate for your home. Energy Suppliers who have carried out measures in your home may supply us with certain limited information to receive energy credits and where the measure is to be audited they may provide us with further personal data to facilitate a visit to your home to inspect the work. A grantee may nominate you as their representative to act on their behalf.
What are the purposes for which Personal Data is processed and what are our legal bases for carrying out this processing?
The Personal Data that is referred to above will be processed for the purposes of:
- performing our functions as a public authority, including operating the various energy efficiency programmes;
- providing customer service to you and contacting you if required to respond to any communications you might send to us;
- complying with our legal obligations;
- protecting or enforcing our rights or the rights of any third party;
- processing of a grant application;
- establishing, exercising or defending legal claims;
- sending you promotional and marketing materials;
- improving the services which we provide to you;
- improving our existing schemes;
- developing new schemes;
- responding to requests and providing information;
- detecting and preventing fraud and other crime; and
- a range of other activities which we are obliged to undertake, or which we have gained your consent to complete.
Our legal bases for collecting and using this information in accordance with the provisions of this Data Protection and Privacy Notice are:
- that it is necessary for the performance of a contract with you;
- that it is necessary in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you;
- that it is necessary for the performance of tasks that we carry out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us by law (including the Sustainable Energy Act, 2002)
- that it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation that applies to us; or
- that you have provided consent to us for the use of your Personal Data.
Where you have provided consent for the use of your Personal Data, you can withdraw it at any time by informing firstname.lastname@example.org, however, this will not affect the lawfulness of processing which was carried out based on your consent prior to its withdrawal.
Disclosure of your Personal Data to Third Parties
As part of our ongoing operations, SEAI contracts certain third parties to carry out services on our behalf and, we may share your information with our service providers who provide us with support services. We disclose your personal data to various recipients in connection with the above purposes, examples include:
- third parties who we engage to provide services to us, such as outsourced service providers, IT service providers, professional advisers, lawyers, consultants and auditors;
- other public authorities and bodies where required or permitted by law, such as the Revenue Commissioners, the Comptroller and Auditor General, An Garda Síochána or other law enforcement authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation or detection of crime; and
- comply with any applicable law or regulation, a summons, search warrant, court or regulatory order, or other statutory requirement.
SEAI expects such third parties to process any data disclosed to them in accordance with applicable law, including with respect to data confidentiality and security. Where these third parties act as a “data processor” (for example, a call centre operator) they carry out their tasks on our behalf and upon our instructions for the above mentioned purposes. In this case your personal data will only be disclosed to these parties to the extent necessary to provide required services.
Security of your Personal Data
Where you communicate with us via the SEAI website, the nature of the internet is such that we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us via the internet. No data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. However, we will take all reasonable steps (including appropriate technical and organisational measures) to protect your Personal Data.
- We keep our computer systems, files and buildings secure by following legal requirements and international security guidance.
- We make sure that our staff, and anyone with access to personal data that we are responsible for, are fully trained on how to protect personal data.
- We ensure that our processes clearly identify the requirements for managing personal data and that they are up to date.
- We regularly audit our systems and processes to ensure that we remain compliant with these policies and legal obligations.
Your rights regarding your Personal Data
SEAI aims to ensure that all personal data are correct. SEAI captures, stores and processes your personal data in order to carry out a range of activities, you have a range of rights available to you to give you confidence that your data is appropriately managed.
You have the right, without undue delay, to:
Gain access to and copies of your personal data: you are entitled to receive, on request and free of charge, a copy of all your personal data that we hold. There are some limitations to this right. For example, if the data also relates to another person and we do not have that person’s consent, or if the data is subject to legal privilege. Where there is data that we cannot disclose, we will explain this to you.
Ensuring that your data is accurate: our aim is to ensure that the data we hold about you is correct and up to date. From time to time we may contact you to verify the information that we hold. You may also contact us to correct any errors that you notice.
Granting or Removing consent: where we require your consent for any processing, for example, to provide you with direct marketing communications, we will clearly explain what the consent is for, and any consequences of giving or refusing consent, and will provide that consent can only be given by way of a positive action by you. We will also ensure that you are able to withdraw any such consent at any time.
Restricting processing of your data: you have the right to request us to restrict the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances, for example, if there is a dispute over our rights to carry out specific processing activities, or where you do not want us to delete data. We will respond promptly to your request and will provide an explanation if we cannot fully comply.
Deletion of your data: in certain circumstances, you may have the right to have some or all of your personal data deleted from our records. This is sometimes referred to as the “right to be forgotten”. This may occur if, for example, we retain data which is no longer required by us, or if you withdraw a consent. If you continue to have a relationship with us, we must retain the data we need to manage this relationship. We will respond promptly to your request, and provide reasons if we object to the deletion of any of your personal data.
International Transfers of Data: in certain circumstances, we may transfer your personal information internationally, including outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Should we do this, we ensure that all transfers are made in accordance with data protection law and that your data it will be given an equivalent level of protection that it has when it is being managed in Ireland.
Right to Complain: You also have a right to complain to the Data Protection Commissioner if we fail to meet the required standards of data protection. You can contact the Office of the Data Protection Commission at:
Telephone: +353 (0)57 868 4800 or Lo Call Number 1890 252 231
Fax: +353 (0)57 868 4757
Postal Address: Data Protection Commissioner, Canal House, Station Road, Portarlington, Co. Laois, R32 AP23
In certain circumstances, you have the right to pursue a remedy through the Courts if we fail to meet the required standards of data protection.
How to exercise your rights, make a request or lodge a complaint with SEAI:
The collection and use of your personal data by SEAI is overseen by SEAI’s Data Protection Officer.
If you wish to exercise any of your rights above or if, for any reason, you have a request or complaint about our use of your personal information, or you are unhappy in any way with the information we provide to you, we would like you to contact us directly so that we can address your complaint.
If you wish to contact our Data Protection Officer, you can do so in the following ways:
By email: email@example.com
By post: Data Protection Officer, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Wilton Park House, Dublin 2, D02 T228
By phone: +353 (0)1 8082100
How long we retain your Personal Data
SEAI endeavours to ensure that personal data are kept as current as possible and that irrelevant or excessive data are deleted or made anonymous as soon as reasonably practicable. We generally retain personal data for as long as is required to satisfy the purpose for which it was collected. We are required to keep certain types of information for a specific period of time in order to comply with legal requirements. The length of time we keep any part of your personal information will depend on the type of information and the purpose for which it was obtained.
Your rights regarding data supplied via this website
You have a right to be given a copy of your personal data which you may have supplied via this website. To exercise this right, you must write to SEAI at the address below, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include any personal identifiers which you supplied earlier via the website (e.g. Name; address; phone number; e-mail address). Your request will be dealt with as soon as possible and will take not more than 40 days to process.
You also have a right to have inaccurate information corrected. If you discover that SEAI does hold inaccurate information about you, you have a right to instruct SEAI to correct that information. Such an instruction must be in writing or via e-mail. A request will be dealt with as soon as possible and will take not more than 40 days to process.
In certain circumstance you may also request that data which you have supplied via the website be deleted. To exercise this right you would generally be expected to identify some contravention of data protection law in the manner in which SEAI processes the data concerned.
Complaints about data processed via the website.
If you are concerned about how personal data are processed via this website, please do not hesitate to bring such concerns to the attention of SEAI at the contact details below.
Changes to the website Data Protection and Privacy Notice
- To measure visitor traffic to our website and their usage patterns
- To store information about your preferences, and so allow us to customise our website according to your individual interests
- To speed up your searches
- To recognise you when you return to our website
The table below explains the cookies we use and why.
- Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.
- To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
|These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited||Click here for an overview of privacy at Google|
|Online form session cookie||ASP.NET_SessionId||
This cookie is created when a user connects to an ASP.NET application and will expire when the user closes their browser. This cookie is essential for use of forms on our site to store the session id of the user’s current session.
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|Accessibility/ contrast stylesheets||css||This cookie is used to remember which accessibility/contrast/standard style sheet the user prefers. The website checks this cookie when the page loads up and displays the page using which stylesheet the user last used|
|Session cookie||.ASPXUSERCMS||This cookie is used to contain information about the session when the user logs in. Relates to Board Members area and trustee e-learning section only|
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You are always free to decline such cookies, if your browser permits, or to ask your browser to indicate when a cookie is being sent. You can also delete cookie files from your computer at your discretion.
To disable cookies, please see links to the following websites for the procedures to follow to view and disable cookies on your computer:
This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"), to gather statistics on our website. The statistics we gather help us to provide a better web service for the visitors. For more information on Google Analytics, please visit Google's website.
Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland will make no attempt to identify individual visitors, or to associate the technical details listed above with any individual.
You should note that technical details, which we cannot associate with any identifiable individual, do not constitute "personal data" for the purposes of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.
Glossary of technical terms used
The piece of software you use to read web pages. Examples are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox.
The identifying details for your computer (or your internet company’s computer), expressed in "internet protocol" code (for example 192.168.72.34). Every computer connected to the web has a unique IP address, although the address may not be the same every time a connection is made.
Small pieces of information, stored in simple text files, placed on your computer by a web site. Cookies can be read by the web site on your subsequent visits. The information stored in a cookie may relate to your browsing habits on the web page, or a unique identification number so that the web site can "remember" you on your return visit. Generally speaking, cookies do not contain personal information from which you can be identified, unless you have furnished such information to the web site.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Wilton Park House