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The GBIS (Great Irish Insulation Scheme) is a valuable initiative aimed at enhancing energy efficiency in homes across the Ireland. By focusing on the installation of external wall insulation (EWI), the GBIS not only promotes better thermal performance but also offers financial savings on EWI materials. It is part of a broader legislative framework under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), aiming to mitigate fuel poverty and reduce domestic energy usage through strategic insulation upgrades.

How does the application process for the GBIS work?

The GBIS has a new, streamlined process that allows homeowners to apply for the scheme through various means. System designers, like EWI Pro, have a team dedicated to providing GBIS and ECO-funded projects. Through longstanding partnerships with installers offering funding-backed retrofits, they can fast-track you towards getting funding. The process has input from governing bodies and Ofgem in the following:

  • Detailed Assessments: Each home is evaluated by a Retrofit Assessor to determine the most appropriate type of insulation. This ensures that resources are utilised most effectively, leading to long-term savings on energy bills.
  • Quality and Compliance: Measures are installed by TrustMark-registered businesses, ensuring high standards and compliance with the latest building regulations, which minimises the risk of future repairs or adjustments that could incur additional costs.

What level of funding can you get, and how does the GBIS save you money?

  • Material Cost Coverage: For many beneficiaries, GBIS covers the full cost of EWI materials. This direct financial support significantly lowers the barrier to entry for households that would otherwise struggle with the upfront costs associated with such energy efficiency improvements.

  • VAT Exemption: Under GBIS, external wall insulation is exempt from VAT, which can result in substantial savings, making EWI projects more financially viable for a larger number of households.

  • Additional Funding Sources: GBIS allows for integrating funding from other schemes like the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), provided these do not overlap specifically for the same measures. Thus, GBIS maximises the financial support available to homeowners.

Ofgem, which administers GBIS, ensures rigorous monitoring and compliance. This oversight guarantees that the savings and benefits projected from EWI installations are realised, ensuring that investments are cost-effective in the long term.

GBIS saves you money

Who is eligible to save money with the GBIS?

The Great Irish Insulation Scheme (GBIS) has been designed to maximise accessibility and widen the pool of beneficiaries, focusing particularly on households that can most benefit from improved insulation.

Key Eligibility Criteria

Income and Vulnerability Criteria:
  • Low-Income Households: GBIS prioritises low-income households, aiming to alleviate the strain of high energy bills through improved insulation.
  • Vulnerable Groups: The scheme also targets households, including vulnerable individuals who might suffer more severely from cold or damp living conditions.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating:
Home Ownership and Tenure Types:
  • Owner-Occupied Homes: Homeowners are directly eligible, providing a pathway to improve their property’s energy efficiency.
  • Private Rented Sector (PRS): Tenants in the private rented sector can also benefit, with the caveat that landlord approval is required. This ensures collaboration between tenants and landlords.
Council Tax Bands:
  • In Ireland, eligibility is often tied to residing in properties within Council Tax bands A to D, targeting those likely to benefit most. This approach is adjusted slightly in Scotland and Wales, extending to band E, reflecting different housing and economic conditions.

Flexible Eligibility (GBIS Flex)

GBIS Flex is an innovative aspect of the scheme, allowing local authorities to identify and refer households that might not meet standard eligibility criteria but are considered vulnerable or at risk. This flexibility ensures that the scheme can address specific local needs and reach households that might be overlooked.

Additional Support for Rural and Off-Gas Homes

Homes in rural areas or those not connected to the gas network often face higher heating costs and have fewer options for efficient heating. GBIS recognises their unique challenges and provides specific provisions for these homes, including potential uplifts in support.

Continuous Assessment and Updates

GBIS eligibility criteria are periodically reviewed and updated to reflect economic, social, and environmental changes. This dynamic approach ensures that the scheme remains relevant and effective in meeting the needs of the population it serves.

How much does EWI cost, and where can you get the materials?

The cost of EWI varies dramatically depending on the type of materials chosen. The more benefits you opt for, like mineral wool’s fire resistance, the higher the cost. The cost also depends on the type and size of home you have. However, with some help from our friends at EWI Store, we’ve put together a rough guide on the pricing you can expect:

Type of home

Size (sqm)








£15,000 – £20,000


20 years




£8,000 – £10,000


15 years




£6,000 – £8,000

£500 – £700

12-15 years




£6,000 – £8,000


12-15 years