Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (227)

Jack Wall

Question:

227. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reason an application for a warmer homes grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare agreed in June 2012 has now been withdrawn; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49107/12]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Better Energy: Warmer Homes delivers a range of energy efficiency measures to households that are vulnerable to energy poverty. The scheme is managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and delivered through a combination of SEAI appointed Community Based Organisations (CBOs), augmented by a panel of private contractors in order to ensure national coverage.

I am informed by the SEAI that the house in question was surveyed for suitability for attic insulation, at which time it was identified as a dormer bungalow. The practice of insulating dormer roofs through the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme was recently reviewed in respect of value for money, the overall effectiveness of the additional insulation which can only be undertaken in part of the roof space, and the significant costs associated with achieving appropriate ventilation in the roof space to avoid condensation problems. All of this is in the context of endeavouring to address the maximum number of vulnerable fuel-poor homes from within available resources. On balance it has been decided that the significant costs are not generally justified by the marginal insulation gains. Therefore insulation of dormer roofs is not currently implemented under the scheme. However, I am advised that SEAI will continue to keep the matter under review with my officials for feasible cost effective alternatives, particularly where the homes are in extreme fuel poverty, at which time affected houses may be revisited.

Queries in relation to individual applications are an operational matter for the SEAI and a dedicated hot line can be reached at 1800 250 204. In addition, the SEAI has established a specific email address for queries from Oireachtas members, which can be sent to oireachtas@seai.ie and will be dealt with promptly.