Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (458)

Michael Healy-Rae


458. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 1497 of 6 September 2019 (details supplied), if he will address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39395/19]

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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. As Minister I have no function in relation to individual applications. These upgrades are provided free of charge to the homeowner. As stated in response to Parliamentary Question number 1497 of 2019, in order to be eligible to receive works under the scheme, an applicant’s property must have been built and occupied before 2006. This rule is in place on the basis that these properties should have been constructed to the 2003 Building Regulations and so should not require significant insulation or heating system upgrades. SEAI link this to the date of the electricity meter being installed, as it is unlikely that a property is completed and occupied before that date.

The SEAI have examined the details for this application and Electric Ireland have confirmed that the electricity meter was not connected until March 2006. The scheme rules must be applied consistently to all applications to ensure fairness as well as value for money for the Exchequer. Therefore the SEAI are not proceeding with this application.

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/