Climate Action Plan 2023 accelerates retrofit delivery ambition
22nd February 2023
Almost 23,000 new workers needed for retrofit goals
22nd February 2023
Climate Action Plan 2023 accelerates retrofit delivery ambition
22nd February 2023
Almost 23,000 new workers needed for retrofit goals
22nd February 2023

SSE Airtricity retrofit upgrades improving homes and benefitting communities

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 2022 Retrofit of Beaufort Housing Complex, under the EERP program.

The Irish Government introduced its Climate Bill in 2021, which sets out the agenda for how Ireland will reduce carbon emissions and achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

Part of Climate Act 2021 includes a national retrofit program aiming to see 500,000 homes, one-third of Ireland’s housing stock, retrofitted to a B2 building energy rating by 2030. SSE Airtricity Energy Services (SSE AES) is supporting the retrofit of an additional 30,000 homes in Ireland over the next 10 years, with around 4,000 upgrades already completed. These works will drastically reduce the emissions of thousands of homes, saving millions on energy costs for consumers and making their homes warmer, healthier, and safer. Once delivered, this will equal approximately €20 million in reduced energy costs every year.

Stuart Hobbs is the Director of SSE AES, a business dedicated to building and home energy upgrades and utilising energy efficiency technologies to deliver a cleaner greener environment. SSE AES offers home energy upgrades under three different programmes: Warmer Homes, One-Stop Shop and Local Authority EERP retrofit programs. These upgrades typically include external wall insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, heat pumps, solar PV and battery systems, and electric vehicle (EV) charging points. Hobbs explains the importance of the national retrofit program and how it has real and tangible impacts on householders and their quality of life.

“Retrofitting is an investment in the home, and not just a long-term investment,” says Hobbs. “In the context of the current cost-of-living crisis, priorities on spending in households remain sharply in focus. Consumers are understandably wary of engaging with seemingly complex projects with perceived large costs but engaging with SSE gives them a sense of assurance. A completed retrofit upgrade has many benefits: a warmer home that costs less to heat, a potential increase in the future sale value of the property, and knowing you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping to tackle climate change.

“Our dedicated teams in SSE AES evaluate customers’ needs to guide them through the process from start to finish. The Generation Green Home Upgrade cuts through the complexity by providing a whole-home retrofit solution alongside straightforward low-cost finance options.

“We offer a one-stop shop and provide project management from pre-project energy assessments, contractor management to grant application and completion, simplifying and streamlining the whole process.

“We have seen from recent partnerships that local authorities are leading the way driving for green change in their local communities, to the benefit of the whole community.

“SSE can and do support this leadership role for local authorities when it comes to retrofitting and upgrading their social housing stock and this fits with SSE’s overall sustainability goals.”

SSE Airtricity has been providing home energy upgrades since 2012, working with SEAI, local authorities and other housing bodies on joint initiatives. In 2022, SSE AES partnered with two local authorities, to help deliver their respective DECC funded Energy Efficency Retrofit Program (EERP)
targets and upgrade more than 130 homes in local communities. Going forward, SSE AES hopes to work with more local authorities across the country on their EERP funded programs.

Hobbs states: “We can help local authorities deliver their EERP obligations by taking a lot of the hassle and complexity away, enabling them to deliver larger projects at a better cost and with more flexibility than their own resources might allow.

Limerick City and County Council 2022 Retrofit of Bishops Street, under the EERP program.

“Over the last decade, SSE AES has worked with many local authorities and housing bodies to deliver significant energy upgrades to fuel poor and social housing units and we have significant ambitions to expand and increase these partnerships.”

SSE manages the works from start to finish for both the individual applicant and on a partnership basis with local authorities or housing bodies. SSE also offers bridging finance for local authority EERP projects and has the contractors and resources ready and able to deliver in all 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland.

SSE EERP partnerships with local authorities in 2022

Limerick City and County Council (LCCC):

SSE AES partnered with LCCC to complete the significant domestic energy upgrade work to 54 local authority homes under the EERP programme. Most of the homes lacked reliable heat sources, insulation, and ventilation which left them with an average BER of G and resulted in the homes being cold, damp, and expensive to heat. Through extensive community engagement, residents were informed about the advantages of this retrofit program and how it would benefit them. Residents were also shown how to operate their new heating systems (mainly heat pumps) to ensure they knew how to heat their homes effectively and efficiently. In total there was an 80 per cent reduction in the energy usage across all units, due to the energy upgrades. In addition, costs associated with oil and solid fuels have been eliminated, providing additional savings to the residents. Improved air quality due to new mechanical ventilation systems means the homes are healthier and more comfortable to live in and cost efficient to run. This in turn helps both the tenants and the council to achieve their EERP targets and deliver on their aims in reducing energy usage as part of Climate Action policies.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLR):

SSE AES worked with DLR to upgrade 82 local authority vulnerable and fuel poor homes, under the EERP program. The properties had a BER rating of between E and F and were upgraded to B2 and above. The units upgraded included 58 OAP residential apartments in Beaufort. Typical upgrade works for deep retrofit included attic and external insulation, new A-rated windows and doors, solar PV, heating controls, and installation of heat pumps. The unique aspect of the apartment upgrades involved the first installed 14 kW cascade heat pump system, grouping 8 (14kW) Ecodan units, to replace three centralised gas fired boilers. This gave increased resilience and better certified energy efficiency per unit than installing a larger commercial heat pump system, with higher temperature outputs as the hot water in each unit was delivered via Solar PV and i-Boost systems.

For further information on SSE’s AES EERP programme supports, contact Stuart Hobbs on:

T: 087 923 6404