Energy Efficiency Grant Scheme for Homes launched

The long-awaited grant scheme to help home owners make their homes more energy efficient will start accepting applications from today. The scheme is for improvements in home insulation and central heating systems and apparently has €50m in the pot.

To find out more, visit the Home Energy Savings Scheme section of the Sustainable Energy Ireland website, where you will also find a very good Homeowners FAQ section.

Source : RTE News

How clean is your car?

Sustainable Energy Ireland has a useful energy emissions calculator for all models of car purchased since 2000. I tried this out for my 2003 Renault Scenic and was quite shocked at how poor the emissions were (173 gC02/km) and that it could cost €600 under the new motor taxation scheme, compared to €292 under the current scheme. Fortunately, it will not cost this since it was registered prior to July 2008 and is thus exempt from the new system.

I was also very surprised to see how little by comparison a brand new 2008 BMW 520 Diesel is going to cost under the new scheme (€290 compared to €689 under the current scheme). This car is very efficient and emits a mere 149 gCO2/km.

The times they are a’ changin’

Motor Tax changes

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the new motor taxation system being introduced in Ireland at the start of July 2008, so I did a little research of my own to see what impact, if any, this will have on me (and my family). I found the answers to most of my questions on the Citizens Information website and for me, it basically boils down to this:

  1. Cars registered before 1 January 2008 will continue to pay motor tax on the basis of engine size.
  2. New cars registered from 1 July 2008 will pay motor tax charges on the basis of seven CO2 emissions.
  3. The CO2 emissions are measured in terms of grammes of Carbon Dioxide emitted per kilometer travelled, or gCO2/km.
  4. There are 7 different bands of emissions, ranging in price from €100 to €2,00.

So for me (and most others I know) nothing changes in the short term and we will continue to pay motor tax based on the older system of engine size, which ironically increased its rates in January 2008. Only when we trade up to a car newer than July 2008 will these changes affect us.