Energy Schemes Issues

Questions (206, 207)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

206. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the energy efficiency fund can potentially be accessed by local authorities to allow them secure alternative sustainable energy supplies for their operations, including from micro-generation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10679/13]

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Michelle Mulherin

Question:

207. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the way the energy efficiency fund, recently established by Government, will operate; the agency that will be charged with administering the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10680/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 206 and 207 together.

The Energy Efficiency Fund (the Fund) will be established with the aim of providing finance to energy efficiency initiatives in the public and private sectors. The aim is to attract matching funding from the private sector, such that the overall amount available for investment is greater than €70 million.

The Fund will be managed by an independent third party, not by a Government agency. Government will be represented in its capacity as an investor in the Fund, on the same basis as other investors in the Fund.

NewEra has been asked by Government to coordinate Government activities in ensuring that the Fund is established and appropriately managed, and has been meeting with sector participants and parties with experience in making and managing investments in the energy efficiency sector.

While renewable energy can play a part in energy efficiency projects it is not envisaged that projects that are solely renewable energy based (without seeking, at the same time, to reduce energy consumption) will be financed by the Fund.

The Fund will be supported by the creation of a National Energy Performance Contracting Policy Framework, which will standardise energy performance contracting in Ireland and provide a robust process for establishing the investment-ready projects. Work on the Framework is well advanced with a public/private group established late last year.

I intend to launch the details of the Fund alongside the second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan tomorrow. As part of the launch I will also issue a call for exemplar projects to test the Framework.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (208)

Seán Fleming

Question:

208. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of agency and contract staff currently employed under the aegis of his Department; and the mechanism in place for monitoring and managing the associated costs. [10979/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department currently employs a full time equivalent of 10 staff on fixed term contracts. These staff are employed in the Private Offices of the Minister and Minister of State and the number includes four civilian drivers. Their pay and associated costs are accounted for in the Department’s Vote, which is reported on a monthly basis to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

In addition, my Department discharges a limited number of specialist functions which are provided on an outsourced basis.

Information in respect of bodies and agencies under the aegis of my Department is a day to day matter for those organisations and my Department does not have the information sought by the Deputy. I will, however, request the relevant Agencies and bodies under the aegis of my Department to respond directly to the Deputy in the matter.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (209)

Joan Collins

Question:

209. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of public sector workers who have retired in the past three years within his Department or any office or body under his aegis who have been reinstated; if he will provide details on the pay rates they are receiving; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10991/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I can confirm that two former members of staff, who have retired from within my Department, were reinstated for a very short period following their retirement for specific projects, which required their previous expertise and experience. One has not yet sought payment for his brief employment on a translation project. The other was employed in 2012 as a petroleum affairs expert at a cost of €1,600.

In addition and on a very limited basis, retired former staff, from other parts of the public service, are re-engaged from time to time by my Department in areas where specific expertise is required for a short fixed period, and these staff provide a level of knowledge, experience and background compatible with such requirements.

The abatement principle, which ensures that the fee paid plus pension does not exceed the rate of pay the pensioner would receive if he/she had continued service in their former post, applies to payments as appropriate.

I have asked the Agencies under the aegis of my Department to supply the requested information, where relevant, in respect of those Agencies, directly to the Deputy.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (210)

Clare Daly

Question:

210. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will outline the numbers and cost of agency staff under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11059/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department does not employ any agency staff.

Local Authority Housing Repossessions

Questions (211)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

211. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of houses repossessed by each local authority in 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10458/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Repossession remains extremely rare for local authority borrowers, with only 128 repossessions across all local authority areas carried out between 2005 and 2010. Where repossession does occur it is only as a last resort.

Data on local authority mortgage repossessions broken down by local authorities are provided in tabular format below for 2011. Data in relation to 2012 are currently being collated.

2011 Repossessions

Forced

Voluntary

County Councils

Carlow

0

0

Cavan

0

0

Clare

0

0

Cork

0

7

Donegal

0

0

DL/Rathdown

0

0

Fingal

0

0

Galway

0

1

Kerry

0

1

Kildare

20

0

Kilkenny

0

2

Laois

2

8

Leitrim

0

0

Limerick

0

0

Longford

0

0

Louth

0

0

Mayo

0

0

Meath

0

1

Monaghan

0

0

North Tipperary

0

1

Offaly

0

2

Roscommon

0

0

Sligo

0

0

South Dublin

4

0

South Tipperary

1

1

Waterford

0

0

Westmeath

3

4

Wexford

0

2

Wicklow

0

2

2011 Repossessions

Forced

Voluntary

City Councils

0

0

Cork

0

0

Dublin

16

2

Galway

0

0

Limerick

0

0

Waterford

7

0

Borough Councils

0

0

Clonmel

0

0

Drogheda

0

0

Kilkenny

0

0

Sligo

0

0

Wexford

0

1

Town Councils

Ballina

0

0

Bray

0

0

Athlone

0

0

Longford

1

14

Nenagh

0

0

Dundalk

0

0

Total

54

49

Social and Affordable Housing Expenditure

Questions (212)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

212. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the total cost of social housing leasing initiatives for the years 2011 and 2012 respectively; and the projected cost for 2013. [10485/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Expenditure on the Social Housing Leasing Initiative since it was introduced in 2009 came to just over €47.45 million to the end of January 2013. This includes an amount of €8.35 million, under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility, in repayable advances to Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs ). I have detailed below the cost per year to date. The estimated cost of leased units in 2013 (both existing units and new supply) is €29 million. Spending on CALF in 2013 will be dependent on project delivery.

Year/Type

SHLI

CALF

Overall

2009

642,178

 

642,178

2010

3,774,920

 

3,774,920

2011

13,817,464

401,850

14,219,314

2012

20,814,526

7,955,646

28,770,172

2013 Jan

49,057

49,057

TOTAL

39,098,145

8,357,496

47,455,641

Planning Issues

Questions (213)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

213. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the options open to him to initiate an investigation into a planning decision by a local authority or An Bord Pleanála where he feels the decision was not in accordance with good planning and development or where he may have other grounds to suspect that an investigation is warranted. [10548/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

While under Section 255 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2012 I may initiate a review of procedures and systems employed by a planning authority in the performance of its functions under the Acts I am precluded , under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, from involvement in relation to any particular case, including an enforcement matter, with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned.

Planning Issues

Questions (214)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

214. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will clarify the meaning of guidelines regarding waivers in relation to change of use requests in planning applications (details supplied). [10665/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The adoption of individual development contribution schemes is a reserved function of the locally elected members of each planning authority. It is a matter for the members to determine the level of contribution and the types of development to which they will apply. It is my understanding that Dublin City Council’s development contribution scheme was adopted before the final guidelines were published but that it is very substantially in accordance with the content of the draft guidelines published by my Department for public consultation in July 2012.