Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2236)

Jan O'Sullivan


2236. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if there has been a reduction in funding for the SEAI better energy warmer homes scheme in view of the increase in waiting times for works to be carried out; his plans to increase funding to the scheme in order to reduce the waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32760/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Warmer Homes Scheme provides free energy efficiency upgrades to the homes of people living in or at risk of energy poverty. The Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on behalf of my Department. In June 2018 the range of energy efficiency measures available under the Scheme was expanded to include ‘deeper’ measures. Under the expanded scheme, in certain circumstances, external or internal wall insulation, central heating and replacement windows, can be provided where a technical assessment (by SEAI contractors) considers them necessary. Since the expansion of the scheme demand for the scheme has been very high resulting in longer waiting times for applicants.

The initial 2019 budget allocation for the Scheme of €24m was in line with the 2018 allocation. However, following a mid-year capital review conducted by the Department and SEAI, the budget has been increased to €39.8m for 2019. This revised budget is €4.3m more than the outturn for the scheme in 2018.

Decisions in relation to the 2020 budget allocation for the Warmer Homes Scheme and the other energy efficiency and sustainable energy grant schemes will be made as part of the annual Estimates process later this year.