Ireland’s greenest homes

As more households drive electric, recycle and switch to cleaner, more efficient sources of energy - we’ve researched, analysed and compiled the counties with the greenest homes in Ireland.

Earlier this year, many local authorities launched their five-year climate action plans as part of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill.

With ambitious climate targets, government grants and sky-high energy prices, ever more Irish households are reducing their waste and making their homes warmer and more energy efficient.

Take a look at these stats:

  • 47,900 home energy upgrades were completed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in 2023; an increase of 76% from 2022.
  • 22,789 new electric cars were registered in 2023, a 45.4% jump from the previous year, according to the Society of Motoring of Ireland (SIMI).
  • 119,300 homes were using solar renewable energy sources in 2022, according to the CSO.

Besides, lowering the carbon footprint, cleaner energy alternatives like electric cars, solar panels and heat pumps offer families longer-term ways to save.’s newest study - Ireland’s Greenest Homes - ranks counties on their recycling habits, renewable energy sources, electric cars and SEAI grants.

How did we measure sustainability?

For each county, we compared the total number of:

  • BERs of B2 and above
  • Tonnes of recycled waste
  • Newly registered electric vehicles
  • Properties using solar energy
  • SEAI solar panel installations
  • SEAI roof insulations
  • SEAI property upgrades

Although counties with the most solar panels, EVs and the highest BERs ratings fared well in our study, rural counties with a higher number of SEAI grants also ranked in our top ten.

You can find the full index with all of our data ranked here.

Figures are calculated per 1,000 of a county’s population and taken from the most up-to-date data across all sources; mostly 2023 and 2022.

Top 10 counties

The greenest homes were in counties with the highest EV ownership, the largest quantities of recycling, the most energy-efficient homes and SEAI grants.

More affluent, urban counties like Wicklow, Meath, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kildare made our top ten; as well as Sligo, Wexford, Waterford and Kerry.

The latter three counties punched above their weight when it came to sustainable homes; with plenty of warm, energy efficient properties, and a significant number of solar panels compared to other regions..

Wicklow Sustainable Homes

1. Wicklow

Wicklow claimed top spot as the county with some of the most sustainable homes in the country.

‘The garden’ county, hailed as one of the most scenic spots in Ireland, had the second highest number of EVs and energy efficient homes, and beat many other regions when it came to recycling, solar energy, and SEAI grants.

Here’s a snapshot of the main stats:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
5.84 per 1,000 (908) 55.4 per 1,000 (8,625)  27.6 per 1,000 (4,297) 62 per 1,000 (9,640)  

2. Meath

With a robust population and higher than average income, Meath claimed second place in our index.

It had the highest number of residential solar panels of any county, ranked third for the most energy-efficient homes, and fourth for the most EVs.

Here’s a snapshot of the main stats:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
4.7 per 1,000 (1,048) 55.2 per 1,000 (12,164)  34.6 per 1,000 (7,629) 57 per 1,000 (12,557)  

3. Dublin

With the most expensive properties in the country and higher than average incomes, Dublin claimed third spot for greenest homes in Ireland.

The capital had the highest number of registered EVs and recycled waste, and was fourth highest for number of properties with a BER of over B2.

Top figures include:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
7.5 per 1,000 (10,999) 52.3 per 1,000 (75,938)  18.8 per 1,000 (27,325 ) 215 per 1,000 (311,901)  

wexford sustainable county

4. Wexford

Wexford took fourth place as the county with the greenest homes in the country, and was the second best county when it came to residential solar energy.

Despite having a lower than average income than others in the top ten, it excelled across most of the areas in our study.

It was one of the only counties to rank in the top ten for all areas: recycling, energy efficient homes, SEAI grants and EVs.

Here’s a snapshot of the main stats:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
3.1 per 1,000 (513) 33.9 per 1,000 (5,552) 29.8 per 1,000 (4,881) 60 per 1,000 (9,812)  

5. Sligo

Despite being one of the most rural spots in our top ten, Sligo had a considerable number of energy-efficient homes and received some of the highest numbers of SEAI grants last year.

Although recycling and EV figures were lower than some other highly-ranked counties, Sligo scored second highest for SEAI property upgrades in 2023, and fourth highest for solar panel installations.

Here’s some top-line numbers:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
2.6 per 1,000 (183) 31.8 per 1,000 (2,222) 20.5 per 1,000 (1,433) 38 per 1,000 (2,653)  

6. Cork

The affluent, urban and picturesque rebel county came in at number six, and was the second best county for recycling after Dublin.

It was also sixth best for energy efficient homes and number of EVs, and made it into tenth place for having the most properties with solar panels.

More detailed figures include:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
4 per 1,000 (2,327) 42.2 per 1,000 (24,549) 25.6 per 1,000 (14,886) 110 per 1,000 (63,935)  

7. Kildare

While Kildare was the seventh best county overall, it ranked number one for warmest homes; claiming the most properties with a BER of B2 and over.

It has some of the highest incomes in the country, and though the county was third best for EVs and solar energy, its recycling and SEAI grants figures were lower than others.

Some insights here:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
5.1 per 1,000 (1,261) 65.8 per 1,000 (16,251) 29.4 per 1,000 (7,282) 42 per 1,000 (10,373)  

kerry sustainable homes

8. Kerry

Although a more rural, lower income region compared to others in our top ten, Kerry beat eighteen other counties to rank at number eight.

Kerry received a significant number of SEAI grants in 2023. It also had plenty of energy efficient homes, and ranked eighth for properties with solar panels.

Some data on the main areas includes:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
1.9 per 1,000 (310) 31.9 per 1,000 (4,955 ) 27.4 per 1,000 (4,264) 43 per 1,000 (6,676)  

9. Waterford

In ninth position, Waterford was another county which fared well for homes that received grants for solar panel installations and roof insulations, and it was fifth highest for SEAI property upgrades in 2023.

It was also the seventh best county for homes with a BER of over B2.

Find more information for Waterford:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
3.2 per 1,000 (417) 37 per 1,000 (4,714) 22.1 per 1,000 (2,808) 50 per 1,000 ( 6,354)  

10. Galway

Galway was the tenth best county for sustainable homes.

Similarly to Waterford, Kerry and Sligo, Galway received some of the highest numbers of SEAI grants in 2023.

It also fared well in other areas , such as energy-efficient homes, properties with solar panels, and EVs, hitting the middle ground for each.

Here’s some main stats for Galway:

Registered EVs B2+ properties Properties with solar Tonnes of recycling  
3 per 1,000 (830) 31.6 per 1,000 (8,759) 22.4 per 1,000 (6,218) 46 per 1,000 (12,717)  

Best counties for renewable energy

Wexford has taken the top spot as county with homes with the most renewable energy, scoring highly across heat pump and solar panel grants, and second highest for properties with the most solar panels.

Solar Panel Installation sunshine

Top 5 for renewable energy

To calculate the best counties for renewable energy, we summed index scores for SEAI solar panel and heat pump grants, alongside the number of properties with solar energy.

  1. Wexford
  2. Kerry
  3. Meath
  4. Clare
  5. Wicklow

Counties with the most SEAI grants

In 2023, the SEAI completed over 47,900 home energy upgrades, up 76% year on year.

In our study, Roscommon had the most SEAI property upgrades per 1,000 in 2023, followed closely by counties Sligo and Leitrim.

Here’s our top five:

  1. Roscommon
  2. Sligo
  3. Leitrim
  4. Mayo
  5. Waterford

Counties with the warmest homes

A high BER rating - the cert that measures a home’s energy efficiency - means your home is better at conserving heat, making it more sustainable, warmer and cheaper to run.

To work out the top five, we indexed and ranked the counties that had the highest number of properties with a BER rating of B2 or more.

  1. Kildare
  2. Wicklow
  3. Meath
  4. Dublin
  5. Louth

Best counties for electric cars

Electric cars are 60% cheaper to run, and with the volatile price of petrol and diesel and SEAI grants of up to €3,500 for a new EV, more Irish households are going electric.

Here’s our top 5 based on new, registered electric vehicles in 2023:

  1. Dublin
  2. Wicklow
  3. Kildare
  4. Meath
  5. Kilkenny

Green mortgages

If you upgrade the BER of your property, you could also enjoy the benefits of a green mortgage.

  • A green mortgage offers a lower interest rate for those buying - or living in - an energy efficient home.
  • In most cases, for a green mortgage, your property needs to have a BER of at least B3 or higher.
  • Some providers offer higher discounts depending on your specific BER Rating - so the higher your rating, the larger the discount.

Five steps to a more sustainable home

If you’re switching to an electric car, retrofitting your home, or just looking at ways to reduce your energy bills, here’s five ways to make your journey that little bit easier.

Improve your BER

There are some quick, easy fixes to make your home warmer like insulating your hot water cylinder, as well as installing draught or chimney excluders or thermal curtains.

But if you want to invest in larger works, upgrade the energy efficiency of your home and increase your BER rating, you could qualify for a government grant.

Works included in the grant include:

  • Attic insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • External wall insulation
  • Internal wall insulation

Read our in-depth guides on how to improve your BER rating, or how to retrofit our home including costs, grants, and choosing the right installers.

Home insurance

Though retrofitting your home not only provides a warmer house with lower bills, it can also increase the value of your property.

While it can be a good investment, if you’re doing any large renovations it’s worth letting your home insurance company know so they can review your level of cover.

If you don’t, you could be at risk of underinsurance - when the amount insured on your policy is less than the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, or replacing its contents.

Renewable energy

Replacing your boiler with a cleaner, renewable energy source like solar panels or heat pumps can also reduce your bills and lower your carbon footprint.

The SEAI also offers grants of up to €2,400 towards the cost solar panels, and €2,400 for heat pumps.

Our guide to solar panels and heat pumps incudes the different systems, costs, and how much you might save. .

Electric cars

If you have a smart meter installed and an electric vehicle, switching to an EV smart tariff could save hundreds each year on charging costs.

Smart meter plans often come with an app so you can choose when to charge your car and view your usage data, too.

Read our guide on charging your electric vehicle at home.


Reduce how much you spend on recycling by choosing a bin collection company with lower fees. Though that’s easier in an urban area, you can also reduce how much you spend on waste, by

  • Reducing your general waste
  • Take recycling to an approved facility, for free
  • Choose a lighter package if you use less waste, Pay by Weight or Pay by Lift package

For more information, read our guide on waste collection.

Ireland’s greenest homes index

Rank County Population Index score EVs B2+   Solar energy Mixed dry recyclables Roof insulations Property upgrades Solar panels  
      Normalised, per 1,000 Registered Properties  Properties Tonnes SEAI Installations SEAI upgrades SEAI Installations  
1 Wicklow 155,485 3.93 908 8,625 4,297 9,640 243 1,627 1,013  
2 Meath 220,296 3.75 1,048 12,164 7,629 12,557 342 2,138 1,186  
3 Dublin 1,450,701 3.33 10,999 75,938 27,325 311,901 2,312 11,073 5,319  
4 Wexford 163,527 3.31 513 5,552 4,881 9,812 461 1,848 855  
5 Sligo 69,819 3.23 183 2,222 1,433 2,653 281 956 368  
6 Cork 581,231 3.23 2,327 24,549 14,886 63,935 1,403 5,732 2,792  
7 Kildare 246,977 3.14 1,261 16,251 7,282 10,373 295 1,974 1,172  
8 Kerry 155,258 2.97 310 4,955 4,264 6,676 594 1,806 671  
9 Waterford 127,085 2.97 417 4,714 2,808 6,354 396 1,488 633  
10 Galway 276,451 2.87 830 8,759 6,218 12,717 897 3,190 1,422  
11 Roscommon 69,995 2.84 123 1,376 1,488 2,730 290 966 352  
12 Louth 139,100 2.67 456 6,384 3,915 7,929 233 1,179 686  
13 Mayo 137,231 2.63 247 3,598 3,044 5,901 602 1,654 542  
14 Kilkenny 103,685 2.59 276 2,712 2,856 4,873 198 977 547  
15 Clare 127,419 2.55 422 3,295 3,599 7,008 186 1,172 764  
16 Leitrim 35,087 2.48 58 682 767 1,403 156 433 137  
17 Tipperary 167,661 2.24 378 3,515 4,220 10,730 486 1,703 709  
18 Carlow 61,931 2.18 214 2,049 1,346 3,716 145 553 274  
19 Laois 91,657 2.17 214 2,961 2,168 5,041 250 871 368  
20 Limerick 205,444 1.89 589 6,022 3,908 13,765 442 1,981 880  
21 Westmeath 95,840 1.59 276 2,212 2,031 3,738 155 854 452  
22 Monaghan 64,832 1.57 97 1,961 1,792 3,177 96 504 257  
23 Offaly 82,668 1.37 167 1,937 1,666 4,381 167 745 310  
24 Cavan 81,201 1.15 162 1,804 1,816 3,248 131 638 315  
25 Donegal 166,321 1.14 305 3,735 2,822 4,158 425 1,594 572  
26 Longford 46,634 0.24 72 929 839 1,772 76 297 124  


  1. To work out the greenest counties in Ireland, we gathered data related to sustainability for each region; and calculated it per 1,000 of the population.
  2. We then ‘normalised’ all the data, (using the max-min method from 0 to 1.) or standardised the numbers across each data source, which allowed us to compare each county, and rank them.
  3. Counties with the most sustainable features per 1,000 scored closest to 1, while ones with the least features scored closest to 0.
  4. The normalisation scores were summed up, and each county was ranked to create the Ireland’s Greenest Home’s index. The potential maximum index score was 10.

The data included;

  • BERs of B2 and above.
  • Tonnes of recycled waste
  • Newly registered electric vehicles
  • Properties using solar energy
  • SEAI solar panel installations
  • SEAI roof insulations
  • SEAI property upgrades

The data was collected and analysed in April 2024.



  • BER ratings: Domestic Building Energy Ratings Quarter 3 2023,
  • Electric Vehicle: Society of the Irish Motoring Industry (SIMI) or ‘Motorstats.’ Registration type: Total new registrations. Engine type: Electric. Region: All counties. Year: 2023.
  • Mixed, dry recycling: Figure 3: Bin waste collected from households (per capita) and bin collection services (per local authority) - 2021
  • Solar renewable energy sources: Permanent private households using solar renewable energy sources by administrative county, 2022,
  • SEAI roof insulation grants: Statistics for National Home Retrofit Programmes. Measure: ‘Roof insulation.’
  • SEAI solar grants: Statistics for National Home Retrofit Programmes. Measure: ‘Solar panels.’
  • SEAI property upgrades: Statistics for National Home Retrofit Programmes. Property Upgrades.
Things of note

There are some caveats to bear in mind when looking at the results of the data. Some restrictions may have resulted in some counties faring better or worse than others - for example, the age of a property when it comes to grant eligibility as well as access to recycling facilities in rural areas.

  • SEAI grants depend on the age of a property. To qualify, a home must have been built and occupied prior to 2021 for heat pump systems and solar heating and 2011 for all other measures, and measures must not comprise an extension or a material alteration as defined in the Building Regulations.
  • Recycling is easier in cities, with more access to organic waste bins, and if you live in a rural area with a low population, you may not have a collection service. In this case, you must bring your domestic waste to an approved waste facility in your area.