I missed a phone call last Friday.
It was on my mobile phone and I didn’t discover it until late. The number mystified me a bit so I did some research. It was from the SEAI mob.
Some time back, our Glorious Gubmint decided to start a scheme to make all our houses energy efficient. They set up a qango called the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and for once an acronym was desirable and less of a mouthful – the SEAI. They were to visit every house in the country and advise as to the work required to make our homes energy efficient. Having lots of taxpayers’ money to play with, they offered grants for any work required.
I went into their site to see what kind of grants were available and made an interesting discovery. There were various scales of grant and there was even a 100% grant if you were born on a Tuesday, had red hair and were born before 1870. You get my drift? To qualify for a 100% grant you had to fall into a very narrow category with all sorts of conditions. To my surprise, I ticked all the requirements so should get a 100% grant.
A while back I had a visitor. He worked for a company employed by the SEAI to grade houses to see which ones required work. He ws a very pleasant chap and happily wandered around the place measuring rooms and tapping all the radiators. He said he reckoned at first glance that we deserved an upgrade. Fair enough. Before he left he confirmed that yes, I was due a free upgrade. Woopee!
Anyhows, back to the phonecall. I phoned the number this morning. I got onto a very nice chap and after a bit of confusion he found my details. “Ah yes”, says he, “you’re down for the FREE upgrade”. He was very happy about this and kept confirming that it was a FREE upgrade. He explained that as a FREE client I had been moved up to the next level and would be visited by a quantity surveyor to assess the exact work required. This visit he assured me was FREE.
Just out of interest I asked him what his colleague had rated my energy efficiency. Apparent, on a scale of A to G, I’m at F. I wonder what elevated me from the humiliating G?
So anyway, after I have been surveyed I will be assigned a contractor to do the work. This, my new friend assured me was FREE. They would do the actual upgrading and on no account was I to give them any money as I am on the FREE scheme. .
Now I am waiting for the quantity surveyor who will call in the next few weeks. Naturally it’s a FREE visit.
There is so much emphasis on this FREE lark that I am getting suspicious.
Where’s the catch?