Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1261)

John Curran

Question:

1261. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied that those eligible for the free energy efficiency improvements scheme are being reached and are benefitting from the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19811/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers a number of residential energy efficiency schemes on behalf of my Department that are designed to support low income households. Two of these schemes are available free of charge to eligible applicants.

- The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households who meet the defined eligibility criteria and who are vulnerable to energy poverty. To date over 140,000 homes have received energy efficiency upgrades free of charge under the scheme, with over 28,000 applications received during the last 3 years.

- The Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme was launched in 2016 as a pilot initiative under the Government’s Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty and the Healthy Ireland Framework. The aim of the scheme, a joint policy initiative between my Department and the Department of Health, is to demonstrate the effects that making homes warmer and more energy efficient can have on the occupants’ health and wellbeing. Over 1,000 homes at risk of energy poverty have been upgraded to date under the scheme.

The following schemes are also open to low income households, and offer a very high level of grant support on the cost of a whole house upgrade.

- The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme which was launched in 2017 also offers grant support of up to 95% to homeowners in energy poverty. To date, a total of 214 homes have been upgraded under this scheme, including 82 homes at risk of energy poverty.

- The Better Energy Communities Scheme funds community based partnerships to improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in their area – homes, including those at risk of energy poverty, community facilities and businesses. Funding of 80% is available to privately owned homes in energy poverty. In 2018, 809 homes at risk of energy poverty received upgrades under this Scheme. This represents approximately, 75% of all homes upgraded under this Scheme.

The sustained level of interest and delivery seen in recent years is a strong indicator that eligible households are being reached and benefitting from the schemes.

Question No. 1262 answered with Question No. 1241.