Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1497)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1497. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35359/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme provides 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. These upgrades are provided free of charge to the homeowner. To be eligible to receive works under the scheme, an applicant’s property must have been built and occupied before 2006. One of the aims of the scheme is to improve the energy efficiency of our built environment, in a way which represents the best possible use of Exchequer funding. This involves targeting supports in particular ways such as by limiting certain grants to homes built and occupied before 2006.

While the Department has no function in relation to individual grant applications, officials in the Department have contacted SEAI regarding this application.

The SEAI have examined the details for this property and have confirmed that the electricity meter was not connected until March 2006. Therefore it is very unlikely that the property was occupied before 2006. The scheme rules must be applied consistently to all applicants to ensure fairness as well as value for money for the Exchequer. Therefore the SEAI is unable to proceed with this application. I understand that the SEAI have written to the applicant directly communicating the position.

SEAI operate under a Customer Charter and a complaints and appeals procedure is in place. If after following this procedure an applicant is not satisfied with the outcome, they can ask the Office of the Ombudsman for an independent review of the complaint. Further details are available here: http://www.seai.ie/customer-charter/