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Departmental Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (16)

Bríd Smith


16. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to review the work and schemes of the SEAI; the way he plans to ensure the authority will enable average income households to retrofit their homes to cut energy and CO2 emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53665/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan set ambitious targets to retrofit 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating of B2, cost optimal or carbon equivalent and to install 400,000 heat pumps in existing buildings over the next 10 years.

A new National Residential Retrofit Plan will be published shortly. The Plan is designed to address barriers to retrofit across four key areas: driving demand and activity; financing and funding; supply chain, skills and standards; and governance. Residential retrofit is also a major focus of the funding provided in the National Development Plan Review. €5 billion of the expected €9.5 billion in additional carbon tax receipts will be invested in energy efficiency and will underpin the National Retrofit Plan.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) residential and community energy efficiency schemes will be a central element of the retrofit plan.  Budget 2022 commits €202 million in carbon tax revenue to fund these schemes and a further €10 million from the Exchequer for the Solar PV scheme. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform published a spending review of the Better Energy Homes and Better Energy Communities Schemes and a separate Social Impact Assessment of the Warmer Homes Scheme in October 2020.

My Department is also engaging with Department of Finance and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland in relation to the development of a residential retrofit loan guarantee scheme. The loan guarantee, which is co-funded by the EU, will enable credit institutions to offer loans with reduced interest rates and make comprehensive home energy efficiency upgrades more affordable to consumers.

Question No. 17 answered orally.