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Departmental Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (22, 38, 78, 212, 213)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

22. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the actions he will take to increase the grants for retrofitting in order that the monies available meet the actual cost of retrofitting homes to the highest standard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53675/21]

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Colm Burke

Question:

38. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the engagement his Department has had with other Departments on possible supports for householders in private accommodation for retrofitting to complement the social homes retrofit programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46329/21]

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Steven Matthews

Question:

78. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the steps he will take to ensure that middle income households are supported in accessing retrofitting programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53502/21]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

212. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties persons encounter in respect of meeting the full upfront costs of retrofitting in instances when they are in receipt of an SEAI grant; and his plans to reform the way in which grant aid can be used for retrofitting in the context of staged payments for works in order to ease the cost burden. [53935/21]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

213. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to establish a national frontloaded pay-as-you-save retrofitting programme which would allow persons to insulate their homes and pay as they save on their energy bills in 2022. [53936/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22, 38, 78, 212 and 213 together.

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 will set out measures designed to address barriers to retrofit in four key areas: driving demand and activity; financing and funding; supply chain, skills and standards; and governance. I and my officials have worked with other relevant Government Departments in relation to the development of the Plan. 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 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 Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will invest a further €85 million as part of the Social Housing Retrofit Programme in 2022.

A new National Home Retrofit Scheme will be launched in the coming months. The Scheme will support homeowners to achieve deeper (B2) retrofits with heat pumps and will facilitate continuous, year-round working and the multi-year planning which has long been identified as a crucial requirement by the supply chain and homeowners. Information on this scheme will be published at its launch. There are no plans for a national pay-as you save retrofitting scheme for 2022.

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. As a result, households will be able to enjoy more comfortable and healthier homes with a lower carbon footprint.

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