Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (20)

Bríd Smith


20. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the budget for SEAI grants for improvements in home energy efficiency; and his plans to expand the budget in 2020. [28537/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Government currently funds a number of schemes, administered by the SEAI, to assist homeowners in upgrading the energy efficiency of their properties. These include:

- free upgrades for households in energy poverty;

- fixed grants for a defined list of energy efficiency measures, covering approximately 30% of the total cost; and

- 50% grants for people who want to upgrade to an A3 rating.

Since the year 2000, over 400,000 homes have received direct support under these schemes to carry out work such as installing insulation, heating controls or solar panels to heat their water. In 2018 alone, 21,350 households and 37 community groups received support to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. This year, I have allocated €85m funding for these schemes.

The Government’s Climate Action Plan has set a target of 500,000 retrofits to a BER B2 as well as the installation of 400,000 heat pumps in existing homes over the period to 2030. To achieve this, a new retrofitting delivery model is being developed that will group retrofits together to realise economies of scale, leverage private finance, and ensure easy pay-back methods. The Climate Action Plan commits to publishing a plan by Q3 2020 to ensure that the Government grant schemes, new finance models and delivery system are effectively integrated.

Decisions in relation to funding allocations for the residential retrofit programme in 2020 will be made in the context of:

- the ambitious programme of building energy efficiency upgrades set out in the Climate Action Plan;

- the annual Estimates processes; and

- the €3.7 billion funding identified in Project Ireland 2040 to support residential energy efficiency upgrades and the installation of heat pumps and solar PV for the period 2018-2027.