‘Our energy bills dropped 30pc after fabulous retrofit of home’

“We wanted a very energy-efficient house, and hoped to get rid of the oil tank which I could see outside the kitchen window,” Mrs Hoyne said. “We were getting to the point that we needed to change the windows, and the back door was starting to go. Today, the comfort levels in the house are just fabulous. It’s just the right temperature. I feel better about the fact we’re not burning oil.”

Works were completed by the Tipperary Energy Agency, which has just secured €1.5m in European Investment Bank lending for similar projects.

It will employ an additional 10 people, who will provide technical guidance and help convince families to invest in deep retrofits. It has completed 70 over the past two years, with each costing up to €40,000 but yielding annual energy savings of up to €2,000.

CEO Paul Kenny said it planned to roll-out its programme across the country, and upgrade at least 500 houses over the next three years. A condition of the EIB funding is it secures investment of €37m out to 2020 to fund retrofits. Half will cover homes, with the remainder for SMEs, and community groups,

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