The Low Carbon Homes Programme, which will be administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), will provide grants of up to 40% of eligible expenditure to encourage large developments of new homes to achieve an energy performance standard well in excess of the recently adopted Building Regulations. Homes built under the Programme will be at least 70% more energy efficient and produce at least 70% less carbon dioxide than homes built to 2005 Building Regulation standards and will have a Building Energy Rating (BER) of at least A2. Homes built to the standard of the recently adopted Building Regulations, would typically have a BER of B1, two points below the minimum standard of the new Programme.
With a capital budget of €9 million until the end of 2011, the Programme seeks to achieve zero or very low carbon emissions from supported homes by requiring a significant element of auto-generation of electricity from renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaic, micro-wind and micro combined heat and power (CHP). The programme will demonstrate the efficiencies that can be achieved in low carbon housing and will also inform future policy decisions in the area.
The Programme will provide capital grants to developers for eligible works. Supported homes will maximise solar heat gain, minimise heat loss through insulation and ventilation control, maximise heat recovery and will apply electricity demand management technologies including smart metering. Heating will be provided using renewable energy technologies including solar hot water and pellet fuel stoves.
The following minimum eligibility criteria will apply to supported homes:
· A Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 or better for each unit in the project.
· An energy performance coefficient less than 0.25.
· A carbon dioxide performance coefficient less than 0.30.
· Generate electricity onsite (for supply or export) to the equivalent of 10 kWh/m2/yr or greater per unit.
Further information can be found on the SEI website.