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Retrofitting and upgrading your home

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The Cabinet this week announced substantial financial supports to help people retrofit and upgrade their homes.

A number of different schemes will help homeowners insulate or retrofit their homes to tackle heating and energy prices and fight the climate emergency.

The home energy upgrade scheme will cover almost half the cost (45-51%) of a retrofit that would improve a home's energy efficiency to a high B2 rating.

The scheme is one of the centrepieces of the Government’s Climate Action Plan and there is a target of retrofitting 500,000 homes to BER B2 standard by 2030 and installing 400,000 heat pumps. An extra incentive has been put on the Government due to the spiralling costs of household bills as inflation continues to rise.

Grants of more than €25,000 will be offered to individual householders to help pay for deep retrofits to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient. The average cost of a retrofit is calculated at about €50,000.
It will also provide 80% grants for minor works, such as insulating attics or cavity walls. Bringing a property's rating from as low as E up to B would reduce the heating bills by as much as two thirds.

The sums on offer depend on how much work a householder will be getting on their homes. The grants are fixed and applied per measure like the installation of a heat pump or external wall insulation.

One example of the kind of support on offer is the State contributing €26,000 of the €53,000 cost of deep-retrofitting works on an average hollow block semi-detached home with an E2 rating.

Schemes such as the free energy upgrades will have income limits but the main schemes in the programme will be open to all homeowners.

All-in-one service

The key part of the plan will be the rollout of “one-stop shops” that will offer a simplified all-in-one service for applicants. The size of the grant and work needed will differ from property to property. An assessment will be done in a one-stop shop, which will be run by a private company, with SEAI oversight for quality control purposes.

This will arrange an assessment of the property in the first instance, as well as construction and paperwork required for the grant application. It will organise a finished assessment afterward in order to establish the new rating.

This is a change from the existing system, where homeowners have to organise the application and construction work themselves. It is thought the new system will make the process much more simple.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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