The Tipperary Healthy Homes Scheme by the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) aims to move homeowners away from fossil fuel heating systems and replace with a heatpump. It provides the homeowner with a warmer, healthier home; lowering running costs, energy consumption and health benefits. The homeowner will be at the cutting edge of energy performance of houses.
This scheme has been running since 2017 and has completed forty life-changing retrofits for the people of Tipperary. Since 2017 the scheme has prioritised homes for those suffering with illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Asthma. It is open to those in receipt of certain social welfare supplements.
All existing combustion appliances are replaced with a heatpump and ventilation system. This rids the home of dust and damp and removes fumes which are known to exacerbate serious respiratory health illnesses. Combined with other energy measures such as insulation and air tightness measures, the upgrade transforms the home and vastly improves the comfort and health of the occupants. The home will consume less energy, which will result in lower running costs. One such homeowner whose house has been transformed is Aileen McCarthy. Aileen and her husband John live in their bungalow, built in 1976 in Cullen village Co. Tipperary. She was going to convert to an oil boiler, but then a health worker told her about the Tipperary Healthy Homes Scheme.
Prior to the renovations, their home was cold, which meant that when Aileen got up in the middle of the night to feed the fire in the kitchen. The temperature in the house was constantly changing depending on the strength of the fire.
Aileen says “Since the job was done I seem to have improved immensely. Now there’s no dirt, no dust and no fumes. It’s absolutely fantastic. I have been able to reduce the oxygen. Now I am on oxygen all through the night and for an hour or two in the afternoon. Before, I could have been on it all day. I couldn’t even hang clothes on the line without oxygen I was so tired.”.
The plan for 2020 is to retrofit up to 25 homes in County Tipperary.