SEAI published a report today giving details on the 47,900 home energy upgrades supported through Government funded SEAI grant schemes last year.

  • Almost 6,000 energy-poor homes were supported with free energy upgrades. 
  • Full year review published by SEAI shows clear evidence of momentum, both in demand and supply.

This represents an increase of 76% on the number of upgrades delivered in 2022. The target set for 2023 was 37,000 so the near 48,000 retrofits completed means this was exceeded by 30%. Of the homes upgraded, 17,600 achieved a BER B2 or better rating and almost 5,900 were energy-poor homes which benefitted from free energy upgrades. 

The headline outcomes for 2023, across all schemes administered by SEAI, were: 

  • Over 47,900 home energy upgrades (up 76% year on year) 
  • Capital expenditure of €319.6 million (up 70% year on year) 
  • Over 17,600 BER B2 upgrades completed (up 108% year on year) 
  • Over 67,400 applications processed (up 35% year on year) 
  • Almost 5,900 fully funded energy upgrades for low-income households (up 33% year on year) 
  • 664 Approved Housing Body upgrades supported under the One-Stop-Shop Service 
  • 44 fuel-poor homes supported under the Community Energy Grants Scheme. 

In addition, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, recently published data showing that a further 2,445 homes were retrofitted under the Local Authority Energy Efficiency Programme. This means that a total of almost 50,400 upgrades were supported by Government last year. 

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD said: 

“The numbers speak for themselves. Retrofitting is working and Irish people in their thousands want to make their homes warmer, cleaner and more efficient to run. When we set out our targets, we were told they couldn’t be reached, but 2023 shows that they can, and that they can be exceeded.  I am confident, particularly when we look at the number of applications and the interest already for 2024 that we will continue to meet our targets and that we will achieve our ambitious 2030 targets of retrofitting 500,000 homes."
“This year’s record budget of approximately €430 million for SEAI residential and community energy upgrade schemes will allow us to further ramp up delivery. That will mean more households with better homes, cheaper bills and less use of polluting and climate damaging fossil fuels.” 

Minister Ryan added:

“I particularly welcome the delivery of nearly 6,000 fully funded energy upgrades for households at risk of energy poverty through the Warmer Homes Scheme and 664 Approved Housing Body upgrades under the National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme. In total that’s nearly 130 lower income homes every week being upgraded under SEAI schemes. These upgrades are a crucial support for low-income households at a time of high energy prices.” 

Dr Ciaran Byrne, Director of National Retrofit at SEAI said:  

“2023 was a positive year for home energy upgrades, with clear evidence of momentum both in supply and demand. Applications were up 35% on 2022 suggesting a growing appreciation by homeowners of the benefits of retrofitting their homes, not only in terms of the warmth and comfort and reduced running costs but also how it significantly increases the value of the home. All of this was achieved against a challenging backdrop. While inflation decreased gradually through the year, the combined impact of ten ECB interest rate hikes undoubtedly impacted on disposable funds available to homeowner to invest in areas like retrofitting. There were also some supply side challenges, where the shortage of retrofit labour, particularly in specialist areas such as plumbing and heat pump installation, impacted on some companies’ ability to scale.” 

Dr Byrne continued:  

“The standout performance last year was on the residential solar photovoltaic scheme. This is likely a combination of the range of incentives available, the ease of installation and use, along the immediate benefits offered to the homeowner, both in terms of reduced energy costs and the self-generation of renewable, sustainable electricity. At the same time, while heat pumps installations were up 65% last year, we need even faster uptake in coming years. Heat pumps are a more challenging technology to deploy than say solar panels, because the home insulation and air tightness must be adequate for efficient operation. However, as heat pumps become the norm in new build homes, more people are experiencing the increased warmth and comfort a heat pump gives. This year we will focus considerable attention on homeowner awareness and education as well as supply chain development to build towards the ambitious Climate Action Plan targets.” 

The Government backed low-cost loan scheme is expected to be launched in the coming weeks and SEAI expects this to significantly address the affordability challenge which has been identified in SEAI surveys as one of the biggest barriers for homeowners to undertake a retrofit.  

For more information visit Home Energy Upgrades or listen to the SEAI 180 Degrees Podcast.

Download the SEAI Retrofit Full Year Report 2023