Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (471)

Darragh O'Brien


471. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the SEAI deep retrofit scheme 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39667/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme was launched in 2017 as a time bound pilot to investigate the challenges and opportunities of deep retrofit in Ireland. The scheme was intended to run for 3 years and closed for applications on 19th July in line with the published Application Guidelines. The scheme is funded by my Department and operated by the SEAI. The Pilot provides 50% funding for energy upgrades to an A BER rating with 95% funding provided for low-income households. The total budget for the scheme this year is €10 million – double the amount spent on the scheme last year. The SEAI have informed me that 6 letters of offer have issued to successful applicants in September and that evaluation of the remaining project applications is on-going. €1.99 million has been paid in grants under the scheme in 2019.

While the Deep Retrofit Pilot is now closed to new applications, a number of other grants for energy efficiency works remain available. Further information on the grants available from SEAI can be found on their website. Since 2000, over 400,000 homeowners have received direct support under these schemes to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. This year €100m has been allocated to these schemes.

The Government’s Climate Action Plan commits to reviewing and redesigning the existing grant schemes to ensure alignment with Government climate objectives and value for money. The Plan also sets an ambitious target of 500,000 energy efficiency retrofits by 2030. Achievement of this target will be supported by the Project Ireland 2040 allocation of €3.7 billion as well as the range of measures identified in the Plan.

I recently announced the establishment of a Taskforce that will drive the achievement of this target. The Taskforce will oversee the development of a new national delivery model, which will group homes together, create easy pay back mechanisms and find smart financing. Development of the new model will be informed by the experience from existing schemes in Ireland as well as best practice in other jurisdictions. The first meeting of the Taskforce took place on 30 September.