Frequently Asked Questions2020-07-15T15:51:36+01:00

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions by customers answered by our expert team. We have grouped the questions for your convenience, please click the question to reveal the answer.


Are your services COVID-19 safe?2020-07-14T20:52:18+01:00

We take the safety of our customers and staff very seriously. All staff have undertaken COVID-19 Construction Industry Federation safety training and we have COVID-19 protocols in place.

What measures do you have in place to ensure that customers are safe during COVID-19?2020-07-16T13:39:54+01:00

We have a long list of COVID-19 protocols, including the following:

  • Medical grade disinfectant and pressure sprayers which are used on surfaces, vans, tools etc
  • Necessary PPE – gloves, masks etc supplied to staff and sub-contractors
  • All our staff have done the CIF course and carry their picture cards
  • We have a Covid-19 protocol and manual
  • We have self declaration sheets available and we measure all staff / sub-contractor temperatures twice a day morning and evening
  • Staff have to bring their own lunch and tea / coffee etc rather than sourcing food outside

During lockdown periods staff are required to avoid socialising outside of their immediate family /households.


Which of your services are eligible for grants?2020-11-05T13:07:21+00:00

Most of our services are eligible for grants under a number of schemes:

National Home Retrofit Scheme: This is a new scheme offering large grants of up to €35,000 to enable you to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency. Application deadline is January – contact us now to get your application started.

Better Energy Homes (BEH): Single measure grants provide a fixed grant for a single measure, eg €400 for attic insulation available to all homes. Runs year round over 12 months.

Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS): Provides measures to a different standard for fuel poor homes at 100% grant. Runs year round over 12 months.

Warmth and Well Being (WW): Dublin only. Provides measures to a different standard for people with respiratory issues to improve health and comfort. 100% grant. Available until the money runs out. Only available on HSE approval.

Better Energy Communities (BEC): Application is part of a larger community based application, which may or may not be successful. Typically provides 30% to 35% grant for deeper multi-measure upgrades to minimum BER B2 standard, and covers all measures at the moment. Fuel poor homes can get up to 90% to the higher standard but it’s very hard to get through the process.

How much are the grants worth?2020-07-14T21:36:22+01:00

It depends on your personal situation. It can be between €1,000 and €35,000.

Can I get multiple grants?2020-07-14T21:37:53+01:00

Yes, but any dwelling only gets one grant per measure. So if a dwelling has in the past received a grant for attic insulation, it will not receive another grant for attic insulation even if the level of insulation doubles at a future date. Only one grant per measure per dwelling. This means the BEC grant is generally more valuable as it is based on percentage of cost

How long will the grants be available for?2020-11-05T13:08:53+00:00

The National Home Retrofit Scheme is available on an annual basis. Every year the government updates the details according to available funding.

Note that currently you need to submit your application in January, which means you need to have your property audited in advance so that you have a plan of works ready to submit in January. Contact us today to ensure you get your application in on time.

This is probably the last year for PV grants. We would expect the other grants to be available for the next 5 to 10 years. It’s very dependent on Government policy.

How can I find out more about grants?2020-07-14T21:44:39+01:00

You can find out more information about grants at the SEAI website. However, there is a lot of information there and without specialist guidance you may be confused as to which grants you are eligible for. We will help you with all of this as part of our service.


Can I get a consultation to advise me of what work is required to upgrade my home?2020-07-14T21:46:35+01:00

Yes. We offer a Viability Audit which comprises a complete survey of your house and full consultation regarding our recommendations. We will explain to you the work that is required to bring your house up to a BER rating of A, how this will benefit you and the work process. You will be able to get all your questions answered. We will issue you with a report for your records.

The viability audit usually costs around €500, more for larger houses. The audit fee will be deducted from the cost of the work once the work is completed within 12 months of the audit.

Do you offer any kind of heating controls to allow for different temperatures in different parts of the house?2020-07-14T21:47:47+01:00

Yes.  Most systems now allow for separate heating temperatures upstairs and downstairs.  Almost all systems we install also have remote control via a smartphone app. 

What is a passive house?2020-07-14T21:48:44+01:00

A passive house is usually a new build house. It is a highly efficient building with extremely high levels of insulation and air tightness. It is designed to reduce heating needs and energy demand to a minimum. It is not normally possible to achieve a passive house standard with a home retrofit unless the house is being stripped back to the four outside walls and rebuilt from a new floor all the way to a new roof.

Is it a good idea to make my house air tight?2020-07-14T21:53:23+01:00

Yes. At least 15% of heat loss is through gaps and draughts. This can rise to over 30% in houses with badly warped or poorly fitted windows and doors. We do not fit or allow letter boxes in doors to increase airtightness.

Houses which have an air tightness below 5 at 50Pa, q50(M³/h.M²) will require a demand control ventilation system (DCV) or a heat recovery ventilation (MHRV) to be fitted to ensure good quality fresh air in the house.

We regularly deliver retrofit houses of below 3 50Pa, q50(M³/h.M²) which is considered very very airtight for a retrofit.


What is a home retrofit?2020-10-04T21:12:39+01:00

It starts with an assessment of your existing house to identify areas where your house is wasting energy.  We advise you on what work needs to be done and arrange a date to commence work.  We then complete the work as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to your daily life. You get to enjoy your warmer home, lower energy bills and do your bit for the environment.

Why get a deep retrofit?2020-10-04T22:01:36+01:00

Apart from the obvious benefits of a warmer home, lower energy bills and going green, getting a home retrofit will ensure that you get the best solution for your home.  

You will get an upgrade plan for your whole house, ensuring solutions that compliment each other, rather than a piecemeal approach where you could end up with installations that work against each other and cause problems in the long run.  

Best of all, you only have to deal with one contractor and the whole job will be done.

Will a deep retrofit result in lower energy bills?2020-10-04T22:04:54+01:00

After a home retrofit, your house will be much better at holding in the warmth.  As a result, many of our customers see significant savings on energy bills.  

Some customers, however, choose not to reduce their energy usage.  Where they were previously keeping their bills down by only heating one room, they can now heat the whole house for the same price and enjoy the entirety of their home. 

Here is a chart from the SEAI which shows the running costs for various types of property at a range of BER ratings.  This will give you an idea of how much money you could be saving on your bills.

Click the diagram or HERE to download the SEAI Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners

Cost savings2020-10-04T22:06:03+01:00

Here is a chart from the SEAI which shows the running costs for various types of property at a range of BER ratings.  This will give you an idea of how much money you could be saving on your bills.

Click the diagram or HERE to download the SEAI Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners

Will my house be warmer after a deep retrofit?2020-10-04T22:07:01+01:00

The majority of homes in Ireland have deficiencies in insulation and other areas that cause heat loss, therefore most homeowners will experience a noticeable improvement in warmth.

What elements are considered in a home retrofit?2020-10-04T22:07:31+01:00

We survey your house to ensure it is structurally sound and suitable for the retrofit work that is required. We assess moisture levels, ventilation, identify any problems with damp, and where heat is escaping from the property. We then put together a complete package of works to upgrade your house.

Is construction work sometimes recommended as part of the retrofit process?2020-10-04T22:08:09+01:00

The work recommended within a deep retrofit really depends on the existing condition of your house, which is why our first step is always to survey your home and report to you with our recommendations. Some construction work may be recommended.

Greenwatt is a fully registered building contractor specialising in deep retrofit. Unlike most building contractors, we have expertise in every area required to undertake every aspect of the retrofit process. We also have our very own architect to oversee every project.

When is the best time to carry out a deep retrofit?2020-10-04T22:08:49+01:00

We will work with you to find a suitable time for your home retrofit. Once we have carried out an evaluation of your requirements, we will advise you on what work needs to be completed as part of your retrofit and how long it will take. Then we can work out a suitable date to start work.

If you are considering any type of construction work on your property, it would be ideal to do all the retrofit work around the same time. (Please note that we are a fully registered building contractor, so we can complete many construction jobs that you may be considering for your home, for example, extensions.)

Will we need to vacate the property during the retrofit?2020-10-04T22:09:26+01:00

It’s not always necessary for you to vacate the property for the entire duration of our works, so we will advise you on how long you’ll need to stay elsewhere and when it will be possible to move back in.

We pride ourselves on being the fastest in the industry, so rest assured we’ll have you back in your house as quickly as we can.


Which type of insulation is suitable for my house?2020-07-14T22:13:39+01:00

It depends on how the house is constructed and how you want it to look afterwards.

While there are similarities in house typologies, every house needs a custom solution.

I have a problem with damp – can you fix this when you’re installing new insulation?2020-07-14T22:14:41+01:00

Under the grant regulations, we are not allowed to make any repairs to houses to make the house insulation ready as part of the grant works. Of course, the repairs are necessary, so we can address this as part of a larger works package, or separately outside of the grant works.

How do you deal with existing damp issues?2020-07-14T22:15:24+01:00

Establish (if possible) the cause of the moisture source and fix the problem.

Normally this is quite straight-forward. However, sometimes this may require invasive work to determine the cause as the source of the moisture can be remote to where it is appearing.

How soon can the job be done after I call/have a consultation?2020-07-14T22:16:25+01:00

This depends whether there is a grant involved and if so, which grant, and which process is used.

Under the Better Energy Homes (BEH) it could be a week or two, under the Better Energy Communities (BEC) it could be a few months or a year.

It also depends on your preferred time line and our work schedule.

Extensive deep retrofits can require people to move out of the house for a month or two.

What impact will new insulation have on my BER / carbon footprint?2020-07-14T22:18:35+01:00

This is a difficult question to answer. It really depends on how much you’ve upgraded, the level of insulation and the number of BER levels the house is raised by. Take a look at the chart below and this will give you some idea of the impact of your work on emissions.

Click the diagram or HERE to download the SEAI Guide to Building Energy Rating for Homeowners

Does your insulation help to reduce noise levels from outside/our neighbours?2020-07-14T22:19:39+01:00

It depends on the type and amount of insulation used. It will make some difference, especially when combined with new double glazing it will. New triple glazing will make a noticeable difference when combined with air tightness measures.

My friend had external insulation installed and there was a choice of finish and colour – what finishes/colours do you offer?2020-07-14T22:20:27+01:00

Depending on the finish coat specification there are hundreds of colours, as well as slip brick and other finishes. Some colours have longer lead times of 4 to 6 weeks but the most popular colours are normally readily available.

The insulation in my attic is very thin, but if I add more it will rise above the joists – do you have a solution for this?2020-07-14T22:21:46+01:00

This is normal. There is usually 100mm (4 inches) or 150mm (6 inches) of insulation in place. If the existing insulation between the timbers is good enough, it is normally left in place. If not, it is removed and replaced. Additional is rolled on top between the timbers and then across the timbers as required, at 90 degrees to the layers below to provide better coverage. We normally increase the depth of attic insulation to 400mm (15¾ inches). If a floored area for storage is required in the attic we counter batten to raise the new floor area above the new insulation level.


What do I need to do to prepare my house for installation?2020-07-14T22:23:08+01:00

For internal wall insulation you would need to clear all furniture, paintings, etc away from the walls to be insulated.

For external insulation you would need to contact the ESB a month before to have an extension piece added to high level the electrical connection to the house to allow the EWI to fitted. Then clear a space around the house to allow for scaffolding to be erected.

For ground floor insulation you would need to clear everything out of the ground floor and move out for a few weeks.

For attic insulation, clear all stored items out of the attic before we arrive on site.


Will there be any toxic fumes during installation?2020-07-14T22:24:07+01:00

Some spray foam insulation is toxic but we don’t use nasty stuff like that.

I have a semi-detached house, will installation affect my neighbours?2020-07-14T22:24:54+01:00

External insulation will overlap slightly into your neighbour’s property.

Will there be any mess or noise during/after installation?2020-07-14T22:27:55+01:00

It’s construction, so yes, there will be noise and a bit of mess. The noise levels and disruption will depend on the level of work being undertaken. We clean up every evening.

Does the work take place inside or outside of the house?2020-07-14T22:28:35+01:00

It depends on what’s involved, but generally both inside and outside.

How long will installation take?2020-07-14T22:29:21+01:00

Again, it depends on what type of insulation, where it’s going and how much of it.

A straight-forward attic is normally 2 days.

A typical three bed semi, internal and/or external takes about 5 to 7 days including replacing the windows and doors.

A typical three bed semi, floor insulation takes about 5 to 7 days

Will installing insulation affect the building structure?2020-07-14T22:30:00+01:00


Does it make holes in the walls?2020-07-14T22:31:24+01:00

For cavity pumping insulation holes are drilled at about 500 to 600mm centres to pump the insulation into the cavity and pull brush stops in if it’s a terraced or semi detached house.

For external and internal insulation holes are drilled to mechanically fix the boards to the walls.

As previously mentioned, none of this will affect the integrity of the building, and our work always includes the cosmetic work necessary to ensure your house looks as good as new once we are finished.

Will the installation process be delayed by poor weather?2020-07-14T22:32:07+01:00

External insulation can be delayed by very bad weather and four days of good weather are required after the finish coat is applied to allow it to set and harden. We put a lot of work planning around the weather in order to minimise delays.


Does the house need to be ventilated for a while after?2020-07-14T22:33:11+01:00

Generally, no. Sometimes it’s necessary after the application of spray foam insulation. Not because of fumes, simply because there is heat generated from the chemical reaction and it can get very warm for a while.

Is the insulation child and pet safe after installation?2020-07-14T22:41:38+01:00

When it has been completed, yes.

How long do we need to wait after installation before we can resume normal life?2020-07-14T22:42:22+01:00

Generally once we finish and leave site your life can get back to normal.

Can we put on the heating / light a fire straight away after installation?2020-07-14T22:43:14+01:00


Will future work on the house affect the insulation?2020-07-14T22:44:05+01:00

It depends what type of work you are planning. Any major work you are planning to areas that have had insulation installed will obviously affect it, for example an attic conversion will affect attic insulation, or an extension will affect external insulation.

Is there any maintenance involved?2020-07-14T22:44:44+01:00

Generally, no. Although you should be aware to take care of your insulation. For example, for attic fibre insulation, do not place anything on it which will compact the insulation as this will reduce its performance. Similarly with external insulation, if the finish coat gets damaged or broken it must be fixed to prevent water penetration.

How long will the insulation last?2020-07-14T22:45:31+01:00

Longer than you or me. Indefinitely. Attic roll out fibre may slump a bit after fifty years and need to be refreshed.

When will we feel the difference in warmth in the house?2020-07-14T22:46:13+01:00


How soon will we recoup the costs of our new insulation?2020-07-14T22:47:00+01:00

It depends on the extent of the work you’ve had done. For example, for simply upgrading your attic insulation, you’ll recoup the costs in about two or three years. However, a full deep retrofit depends on how poorly insulated the house was to start with. Paybacks can range from 10 to 16 years depending on the level of upgrade and the extent of the work.


Can I Use Batteries To Store Excess Electricity2020-07-14T22:47:44+01:00

Technically there are a number of options available, allowing you to store electricity through the night, or for 24 hours, or for a full week. With a 10 or 12kWh system, houses will typically be completely off grid for 5 months of the year.

However, currently we do not recommend batteries for home use as the cost is very high and availability limited due to insufficient battery production to meet electric car production demand. This will change in coming years as EV production ramps up battery production.

Are there any safety issues with home batteries?2020-07-14T22:48:21+01:00

Not normally. They are self contained and well made. But they are high capacity electricity storage units and must be treated as such, ie leave them alone and don’t mess with them. Currently we do not recommend batteries for home use as the cost is very high and availability limited.

How would I know if my batteries need replacing?2020-07-14T22:49:03+01:00

You really wouldn’t have to, but you would have to check the production from the system to see how it’s producing. Currently we do not recommend batteries for home use as the cost is very high and availability limited.

SEAI Grants Available

SEAI offers a range of grants for multiple elements of the deep retrofit process, which can amount to up to €35,000. We’ll simplify the application process for you.


SEAI Registered Contractor
Greenwatt is a SEAI
Registered contractor (17045)

NSAI Registered Contractor
Greenwatt is an NSAI
Registered contractor (IAB/E443)

IGBC Member
Member of the Irish Green Building Council IGBC

SEAI Registered Contractor
Greenwatt is a SEAI
Registered contractor (17045)

NSAI Registered Contractor
Greenwatt is an NSAI
Registered contractor (IAB/E443)

IGBC Member
Member of the Irish Green Building Council IGBC

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