20 June 2016
By Elaine Murphy
A Cork based company has become the first in Ireland to implement incentives for employees to make their homes more energy efficient.
EPS Group, which is based in Mallow and specialises in water and wastewater treatment systems, established a home salary incentive in collaboration with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). This was achieved by making energy upgrades more affordable and accessible through the provision of free home energy audits and advice, interest-free loans, as well as grant subsidies.
Under the pilot scheme, EPS Group co-ordinated energy audits which were carried out at employees’ homes to identify energy upgrades in areas such as insulation, boilers, controls and heating systems, windows and doors, and solar panels. Through the scheme, EPS employees received works to a value of over €200,000. On average, each employee who participated received approximately €6,000 worth of energy upgrades, of which up to 50% was funded through various subsidies. To finance the cost of the upgrades, EPS Group provided a tax and interest-free loan to its employees.
The EPS Group pilot scheme involved 94 home surveys, 32 upgraded homes, 26 insulation measure upgrades, 24 boiler and heating control upgrades, and six solar installations. The company’s energy manager, Declan O’Riordan, said the scheme can be compared to the Bike to Work scheme, whereby the employer provides the employee with an interest-free loan to purchase the product/service.
“However, the scheme goes further by creating long-term cost savings for homeowners while increasing the value of their property,” said Mr O’Riordan.
“An added benefit is that every participant received a BER along with oil monitors to measure and verify the savings achieved. As a result of the success we achieved having completed this pilot programme a number of companies throughout Ireland are now in the process of implementing similar schemes.”