Energy poverty is defined as the inability of a household to attain an acceptable standard of warmth and energy services at an affordable cost. This is primarily due to low household income, the cost of energy and poor, energy inefficient housing. The inefficiency is often a combination of:
- No insulation in roof, walls etc.
- Draughts coming in around poor windows and doors.
- No insulation on heating pipes or hot water cylinders.
- No central heating system.
- Poor distribution and control of heat around the house.
An 'energy poor' household is often defined as one where the cost of energy services exceeds 10% of a household's income. The Limerick Clare Energy Agency is working with community groups in Clare and Limerick to provide solutions to energy poverty under the “Warmer Homes Scheme”. The Warmer Homes Scheme is administered by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. A wide range of solutions are available under the scheme, including: -
- Attic Insulation
- External wall insulation
- Internal wall insulation
- Draught proofing
- Lagging jackets for hot water cylinders
- Energy Efficient light bulbs
- Energy advice and tips (see also the publications page)
- Cavity wall insulation (where none already exists)
Information on the Warmer Homes Scheme is available on the LCEA website. For more, in-depth, information on the scheme and on eligibility criteria, visit the SEAI website.