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Departmental Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (29)

Colm Burke


29. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the role that his Department is playing in the development of a low-cost loan scheme to support households to undertake retrofitting programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53552/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Programme for Government and the 2019 Climate Action Plan set ambitious targets to upgrade 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 by 2030. These targets represent a very significant increase in both the volume and depth of retrofit activity in Ireland.  

My Department is engaging with the Department of Finance and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland in relation to the development of a residential retrofit loan guarantee scheme. This project has been selected for inclusion in Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The specific features of the scheme as well as its costing are still under development. However, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan estimated the cost at €60 million, inclusive of €40 million from European funding but excluding operational costs.

The part-Exchequer and part-EU funded loan guarantee will provide risk protection to retail credit institutions participating in the scheme. This 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.

The loan guarantee is expected to increase the volume of retrofit activity within the State and improve the resilience of the supply chain within the retrofit sector. The scheme will also signal to the banking sector new viable business opportunities associated with the transition to a low carbon economy.