Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (831)

Richard Boyd Barrett


831. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the parameters for the section of budget 2020, which proposes to provide free upgrades to lower income households to make their homes warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient; the definition of the proposed financial outlay from the State regarding free upgrades; the definition of a lower income household; the measures proposed to make such homes warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45248/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Supporting home owners on low incomes to retrofit their homes is a priority for Government. In Budget 2020, the Government allocated €52.8 million for the Warmer Homes Scheme to support the retrofitting of the homes of people living in or at risk of energy poverty. This represents the biggest ever allocation for the Scheme – more than double the initial allocation for 2019. €13 million of this funding is ring-fenced revenue arising from the increase in the carbon price. Income eligibility for the Warmer Homes Scheme requires applicants to be in receipt of one of the following Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection payments:

- Fuel Allowance

- Job Seekers Allowance for over 6 months and have a child under seven years of age

- Working Family Payment

- One-Parent Family Payment

- Domiciliary Care Allowance and

- Carers Allowance and live with the person you are caring for

The measures that can be carried out under the Warmer Homes Scheme include the following:

- Attic Insulation

- Cavity Wall Insulation

- External Wall Insulation

- Internal Wall Insulation

- Ventilation

- Lagging Jackets, Draught Proofing and Energy Efficient Lighting and

- Heating Systems and Windows (only when recommended by SEAI surveyor)

The exact mix of measures provided to each property depends on the existing condition of the home and the recommendations of an SEAI survey of the home.

Additional funding is also being made available to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to retrofit local authority homes. This includes €20 million of carbon price revenue which has been allocated to deliver grouped upgrades as promised in the Climate Action Plan. Targeted at the Midlands, the new scheme will be built around core work on some of the social housing stock in the region but also designed to allow other homeowners to “opt in” to the aggregation model which will streamline services on an area basis. The specific design of the scheme will be led by the Retrofit Taskforce which is chaired by my Department.