Over two-thirds of homeowners will need a loan to retrofit their homes

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Homeowners considering retrofitting their houses for energy efficiency are presented with an unprecedented opportunity following the Government announcement of the introduction of a groundbreaking Retrofit Loan Scheme. 

This €500 million scheme is welcomed by Electric Ireland Superhomes as a significant step in helping homeowners afford to invest in energy efficiency measures by offering homeowners access to Government-backed, low-interest loans of up to €75,000. 

PTSB is the first financial institution to offer the retrofit loan scheme, at an attractive rate of 3.55%. Other major lenders are set to follow. Such loans are designed to facilitate investments in retrofitting, ultimately making homes more energy-efficient, warmer, healthier and environmentally sustainable. 

Homeowners can avail of the scheme subject to certain conditions. The works must be carried out by an SEAI registered ‘One Stop Shop’, energy partner or communities project coordinator. To avail of the loan any home energy upgrade must achieve a minimum 20% improvement in the energy performance of the building.

This comes at a crucial time, as recent Red C research commissioned by Electric Ireland Superhomes indicates that nearly half of homeowners (44%) are planning to carry out home energy improvements in their homes within the next two years. But two thirds (67%) of these homeowners say they are likely to need a loan to do these upgrades, underscoring the importance of this new loan scheme in overcoming financial barriers hindering progress towards energy-efficient homes.

According to the Red C research, the most common energy upgrades are floor wall and roof insulations, followed by upgrades to windows and doors. 

The top five benefits to homeowners taking a low-cost loan to finance house retrofitting are affordable access to retrofitting; energy efficiency savings; increased property value; environmental impact; and improved comfort and health.