Saturday, February 24, 2007

Insulation Grants and Free CFL Bulbs


Free CFL bulbs for Everyone
50% Insulation Grants


Let me preface this piece by saying that I am no expert and that the figures I am suggesting are mere guesstimates. Nevertheless, the amount it takes to heat the average home I know, I have an average home. The experts tell us what insulation saves as a percentage of the total. I am merely extrapolating from these figures. I stand to be corrected and indeed I would love to have some expert input.

In Ireland, up to 80% of all but the newest homes are not properly insulated. Attic insulation can save up to 35% of heat loss in a house. Attic insulation is a relatively lost cost investment with a very big payback. Therefore, grant aiding attic insulation would be a very inexpensive exercise compared to the current SEI wood pellet grants of up to €4200 for one boiler and up to €6500 for one house installing geo-thermal.

One Geo-Thermal Grant Would Insulate 40 Houses

€6500 would give 100% grants to approximately 20 average houses for full attic insulation. It would give a 50% grant to 40 homes. In many cases what is needed is to improve existing insulation. In this case, One Single Geo-Thermal Grant, which by the way are only taken up by fairly well off families anyway, would give a 50% insulation improvement grant to 80 homes.

One Geo-Thermal Grant put to Insulation = €90,000 saving!

If you take the average yearly household heating bill at around €1500, and you were to save even 15% of that figure using attic insulation, that gives a saving per house of €225 per year. Going back to the 50% grant for 40 homes getting full attic insulation put in, that gives you a saving PER YEAR of €225 per house multiplied by 40 = €9000 per year. Spread over 10 years the €6500 grant would save €90,000!!!!!!!!!!

Double Glazing Grants

The same sort of logic would apply to grant aiding the installation of double glazing but the saving, while better than the geo-thermal payback, would not be as spectacular as for attic insulation but would be well worth the investment compared to wood pellet grants or geo-thermal grants. Insulation savings on fuel are immediate and last for many years into the future.

Free Light Bulbs for the Nation!!!

The modern energy saving and long-lasting CFLs or Compact Florescent Lights can be purchased in bulk at under 2 Euro each. It would pay the Irish Government to purchase 20 million or so and to give them away free to the population. At the same time banning the sales of the older incandescent bulbs.

The move would save up to 10% on our imported electricity energy costs. Remember 85% of our electricity comes from imported hydrocarbon fuels, coal and oil essentially.

The move would significantly reduce carbon our emissions, reduce imports, and the benefits would be long lasting. The CFL bulbs last for up to 10 years and use only one fifth of the power.

Currently No Home Insulation Grants Available

It should be mentioned that there are essentially no home insulation grants available. This is despite the glaring logic of substantial saving to be made. There are also no incentives to using CFL bulbs.

Does anyone out there agree with these ideas?


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