The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers a number of schemes on behalf of my Department which are aimed at supporting householders to retrofit their homes. Approximately €100 million has been allocated to these schemes in 2019. An overview of what is available is set out below. The Better Energy Homes Scheme provides grants covering up to 30% of the cost of home energy upgrades. The measures covered by this scheme, such as cavity wall insulation, attic insulation, solar thermal, heating controls and a BER certificate, were expanded over the last year to include deeper measures such as external wall insulation and heat pumps. €22 million was allocated in 2019 with 14,361 homes receiving funding for upgrades to end of October.
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households who meet the defined eligibility criteria and who are vulnerable to energy poverty. The measures were expanded in 2018 to include internal and external insulation. In 2019, €39.8 million was allocated to the scheme with 2,891 homes upgraded by end of October.
The Better Energy Communities Scheme funds community based partnerships to improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in their area – homes, including those at risk of energy poverty, community facilities and businesses. It also encourages innovative measures and solutions. These partnerships can be between the public and private sectors, domestic and non-domestic sectors, commercial and not-for-profit organisations and energy suppliers. The scheme leverages considerable additional private investment. In 2019, €23 million was allocated to the scheme, with 57 projects granted approval including 685 homes.
The Climate Action Plan has committed to increasing the scale and depth of retrofit activity in order to meet our emissions reduction targets from the Built Environment. This will involve 500,000 homes being upgraded to a BER B2/cost optimal or carbon equivalent by 2030. A Retrofit Taskforce, chaired by my Department, is driving the achievement of this target. A key part of the Taskforce’s work will be designing a national retrofit delivery model that groups homes together to achieve economies of scale and provides smart financing options and easy pay back methods. 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.
Budget 2020 has allocated €146 million for retrofitting homes and businesses which will support the upgrade of 24,000 properties in 2020.