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.
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, and will not collect any personal information about you on this website without your clear permission. Any personal information which you volunteer to SEAI will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003.
Collection and use of personal information
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 the online registration form). Any information which you provide in this way is used by SEAI only in line with the purpose for which you provided it. Any personal information which you volunteer to SEAI will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with applicable data protection legislation.”
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.
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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
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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