Sunday, April 27, 2008

Luke-Warm Insulation Grant


What is the Goal
of the Green Grant Scheme?

I find myself asking more and more question about the new green grant scheme. I am finding it hard to grasp the underlying rationale. The system is just too complex and puts too many high-jumps in the way of the punter.

Is the scheme actually to promote energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint? Is the scheme aiming to get a majority of ordinary people on-board, or just a few die-hards?

What Motivates People?

What do you think will make people actually do something about energy efficiency? I say real saving of money and/or a bargain!! Plus simplicity, if you make it simple people will go for it!!

What will make people refuse to take up the offer? Too much trouble, being asked to spend an undefined amount of money, too complicated a set of hoops to have to jump through!!

CFL Bulbs = Major Savings

If the scheme is aiming to save energy the first line of attack and the biggest pay out for the smallest investment has to be CFL bulbs. A few TV adverts showing how much electricity you can save with CFL bulbs and grant aided cost of the bulbs would work.

If CFL bulbs were grant aided and the price to the customer was One Euro per bulb, and you could simply bring a voucher to your friendly store and buy your 20 bulbs for €20 – do you not think this would encourage A LOT of people to go and fit CFL bulbs???

Simplify the darn System

If the intention of the “Green Grant Scheme” is to increase energy efficiency in the ONE MILLION older homes in Ireland, would it not be a good idea to offer a very simple segmented scheme of financial inducements for a prioritised list of energy saving works?? You don't need a survey to tell you that 8 or more inches of insulation in the attic will save you energy and money!!

Works like;

a. CFL Bulbs.
b. Attic Insulation.
c. Wall Insulation.
d. Heating Control systems.
e. Double Glazing.
f. High Efficiency Heaters.

With attic insulation, would it not be a good idea to fix the price of the materials – because this is so vital to the National Interest – then give a voucher scheme for the purchase of the materials. The householder could self-fit or have a local handyman fit for them.

I had my attic insulated 30 years ago on a grant scheme through the ESB. It was simple, easy and cheap. Lots of people took up the offer – because it was so simple, easy to understand, and cheap.

I predict that the new Green Grant Scheme is way to complicated for many people to understand and asks too much of a householder. It will therefore have a very luke-warm take up.


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