Cork City Energy Agency is an integrated part of the Environment Directorate of Cork City Council. The main function of the Energy Agency is to advise City Council on issues related to energy and sustainable development. The energy agency also provides independent information and advice to the general public on energy usage, renewable energy, building energy performance, etc.
Yes, the Energy Agency does provide a home energy audit service carried out by a qualified Building Energy Performance assessor. The cost of an audit of a typical domestic house will cost approx. €350-400 depending on the size and condition of the house. Please contact us for more details.
Grant assistance for home insulation is provided through the Warmer Home Scheme. However, only low-income families qualify for the Warmer Home Scheme. In regard to heating systems, the Greener Home Scheme provides grant assistance for renewable energy heating technologies such as Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal Panels and Wood chip/pellet boilers and stoves. Both the Warmer Home Scheme and the Greener Home Scheme are operated by Sustainable Energy Ireland.
Insulation is critical to the energy performance of your house. It is a waste of money to put a heating system into a house before it is well insulated. Generally, insulation takes place in the following areas of a house:
Roof/Attic: This area accounts for 20-30% of the heat loss of a house. Insulation is used at ceiling level or on the roof when the attic is heated. Commonly used insulation materials for the ceiling level are glass fibre or wool while materials such as semi-rigid insulation boards, spray-on cellulose fibre or polyurethane foam are used at the roof level.
Wall: Heat loss through walls accounts for 30% of the total heat loss in a house. For existing houses with cavity walls, bonded polystyrene bead can be injected into the cavity while externally or internally fixed dryline insulation can be used for walls with no cavity.
Windows: Windows should be at least double glazed and stripe-proofed. Single glazed windows cause much heat loss.
Hot water cylinder and hot water pipes: This is the easiest step towards good energy performance. Puting a lagging jacket on the hot water cylinder and insulating the hot water primary pipe will make a great difference.
Before installing a solar heating system, these are the things you will need to consider:
On March 2nd, 2007, the government announced a new regulation for exempting micro-Renewable development from planning permission. Please click to see more detail.
Generally, a renewable heating system e.g. geothermal heat pump, wool pellet/chip boiler, costs more on the initial investment than a typical gas fired system. However, a well designed renewable system will bring savings to the householder in the long term.
The Building Energy Rating (BER) is an indication of the energy performance of a building. It reflects energy use for space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting calculated on the basis of standard occupancy. It is expressed as primary energy use per unit floor area per year (kWh/m2/yr).
All new homes built since January 1st 2007 need to have a BER assessment. All houses that are to be sold or rented from January 1st 2009 also need to have a building energy rating.
The BER will promote awareness of the performance of buildings in terms of comfort, energy costs and CO2 emissions and will ultimately lead to a demand for better design and construction of buildings to give higher ratings.