1. What is the Home Energy Saving Kit?
The Home Energy Saving Kit contains five tools and six practical exercises that will help you understand your energy consumption at home and identify where savings can be made. It helps you take the first step to becoming more energy efficient by identifying possible problem areas in your home.
2. Where can I get a Home Energy Saving Kit?
The Home Energy Saving Kit is available to borrow free-of-charge from the majority of libraries in Dublin and from a growing selection of libraries in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow. For a more detailed breakdown of all the library branches in Ireland that stock the kit, please click here.
3. What tools are contained in the Home Energy Saving Kit?
Each Home Energy Saving Kit contains:
- Fridge/ Freezer Thermometer - to measure the temperature of your fridge and freezer accurately and adjust accordingly.
- Thermal Leak Detector - to detect energy leaks in your home by showing you the temperature differences with a coloured LED spot. This helps to spot thermal air leaks and identify areas for additional insulation and/or draught proofing.
- Temperature & Humidity Meter - to identify both the temperature as well as the humidity levels in the home.
- Plug-In Energy Monitor - to understand how much energy the appliances in the home use and help calculate their running cost.
- Radiator Key - to bleed radiators if a wet central heating system is in place by releasing trapped air and making the radiators run more efficiently.
- User Manual - to provide very simple and visual instructions on how to use each tool in the kit.
- Manufacturer’s Guidelines - to give you further information on each of the tools, you can avail of the manufacturer’s original guidelines.
- Stopwatch* - to measure the flow rate of water taps, showers and bath to ensure that no water or energy is wasted
*only included in older kits. If not included in your kit, you can use your phone's stopwatch to complete this exercise.
4. Is the Home Energy Saving Kit easy to use?
Absolutely. We have designed the kit in such a way that it is very easy to use and can appeal to homeowners with even the most basic knowledge of energy-saving. The kit is accompanied by a step-by-step user manual and demonstration video, both of which explain how to use each tool correctly in a way that is very easy to understand.
5. Can I borrow a kit if I am not a library member?
No. You must be a library member to borrow the Home Energy Saving Kit. Simply enquire with your local library to find out how you can sign up.
6. What is the lending period for the Home Energy Saving Kit?
The lending period for the Home Energy Saving Kit can vary between library networks, but it is typically between 2-3 weeks. To ensure maximum use and availability to the public, the toolkit is catalogued as a non-renewable item.
7. Why doesn’t my local library have a Home Energy Saving Kit?
Our aim is to ultimately make the kits available in every library branch in Ireland but this obviously takes time and can be dependent on the budget and resources of different library networks. The kits are currently available in over 170 library branches listed here, and there will be even more locations launching throughout 2023.
8. I have borrowed the Home Energy Saving Kit but one of the tools doesn’t suit my house or the appliances I have.
The items in the Home Energy Saving Kit have been carefully selected so that they cater to the most common housing types, heating systems, etc., in Ireland. In certain circumstances, you may find that one of the tools is not relevant to the type of environment you live in. For example, you may live in an apartment that has storage heating. You can simply use the other tools in the Home Energy Saving Kit as there are still lots of great savings to be made!
9. How much energy can I expect to save from using the Home Energy Saving Kit?
There is no definite answer as there are a number of key factors that will determine this; your house type, the upgrades you are able to carry out, your own behaviour and how willing you are to ditch bad habits! To get a better insight into your energy performance at home, we recommend that you download our Worksheets to help record the results you get from each tool in the Home Energy Saving Kit. Make sure to keep these worksheets in a safe place so that when you borrow the Home Energy Saving Kit in 3 months, 6 months or even a year later, you can compare results and see the progress you are making.
10. I have used the Home Energy Saving Kit and it has helped me identify a number of problem areas in my home. Now what do I do?
As a first step, you can download a copy of our Guide to Home Energy Savings which provides simple tips on how to save energy across a number of key areas in your home, including possible solutions to the issues identified while using the tools in Home Energy Saving Kit. There are also a range of energy-saving tips available on our website, simply click here.
If you would like more detailed information on upgrading the energy efficiency of your home, please visit the Links section on our website. This section contains lots of useful resources such as organisations you can contact for help, details of registered Building Energy Rating (BER) assessors, links to registered contractors, grants available, etc, so that you can make an impartial, informed choice on what’s right for your home.
11. I have brought the Home Energy Saving Kit home and one of the tools is not working. What do I do?
In the unlikely event that you have any difficulty using these tools, please refer to the manufacturers’ guidelines contained in the Home Energy Saving Kit. If the problem persists, please notify staff when returning the toolkit back to your library.
12. Who developed the Home Energy Saving Kit?
The Home Energy Saving Kit has been developed by Codema, Dublin’s Energy Agency, and was initially funded through the INTERREG NWE project Academy of Champions for Energy (ACE) project, and was extended in recent years with support from organisations such as SEAI, DCCAE and Dublin City Public Libraries. The Home Energy Saving Kit is based on toolkits developed by the Department of State Development of the Government of South Australia and has been redesigned to specifically suit Irish households and conditions.