Information on the government bike scheme

February 15, 2009

So… things are beginning to look a bit like spring, so isn’t it time for you to think about making use of the government bike scheme… here are the details…

The government have put in place a scheme for employers to buy bikes for their employees. Before tax. This means that if you are lucky enough to be on the top rate of tax, you can essentially get new bike at 45% off. You can also get reflectors, locks and other bike accessories.


Think of it like this, take the top €1,000 of your wages (the one over €35,400 and so in top rate of tax-41% plus 4% prsi, more if your a civil servant). When paying it to you the employer they give you €550 and the tax man €450. Instead your employer can spend €1000 on a bike, and give it to you. The shop owner still gets the €1000, but you only lose out by €550. The one who loses out? The taxman!


If you only pay the lower rate of tax, the same thing applies, but you will only be saving €250.


If you only want to spend a smaller amount, that’s fine too. Any number up to €1,000 is ok.

Whats the catch? New bikes only! And from a shop/supplier who is tax registered, and of your employers choosing. Most of the big bike suppliers have schemes in place to make it easy for your employer though.


Other points

You need your employer to administrate the scheme, and it is voluntary for them, so you have to explain to them that it won’t cost them a penny, just a bit of administrative hassle!

Your employer doesn’t have to pay employers PRSI on the money, so saving between 8.5% and 10.75% of the money spent.

You can only make use of the scheme once every 5 years.

Electric bikes are eligible. Electric bikes are limited to those with an electric motor with a maximum rated power of 0.25 kilowatts and a max speed of 25 km/h

You also need to use a bike shop who has registered for tax. No Swedish imports for you!


The Greens have put together a nice little website here

Raleigh have a good site here


Irish Government Home Insulation Grant Scheme

February 9, 2009

Well it’s official. The “Home Energy Saving Scheme (HES)” has gone national. I reported on the pilot scheme which ran in a few regions some time ago, but now here we are, with the national role out. The gist of the scheme is that it provides grants for home owners to improve the insulation and draft proofing levels in their homes.

So how much are the grants?
Grants are fixed for each type of measure as indicated in the table below. If the cost of the work (vat inclusive) is less than the fixed grant amount, the actual cost will be reimbursed. You can apply for one, some or all of these measures.





Roof Insulation



Cavity wall insulation



Internal Wall Dry-Lining



External wall insulation


Heating Controls

High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Heating Controls Upgrade*



Heating Controls Upgrade*


BER Assessment (Building Energy Rating)

A Before works and an After works BER assessment


* Minimum requirement of: 2 zones (space and water) with 7 day programmer (time and temperature) control and boiler interlock, time and temperature control of electric immersion heater and either 1 more zone control or 3 TRV’s.

* There is a minimum grant amount of €500. The BER grant cannot form part of this €500 amount.

So what’s the catch (s)??
No DIY. All works must be completed by a contractor from SEI’s Registered List, which will be published when the scheme opens for homeowner applications. The list is being assembled as of now. If undertaking a BER, these must be completed by a registered BER assessor. A list of registered assessors is available on the SEI website

No grants for work you’ve already done.

Hold your horses!!!

The scheme is not open to home owners just yet. The plan is to put together a list of installers put together. ASAP. Then get going. As you need a grant approval before you start, you can’t start yet. Hold it now!!!


Want to know more? Check out