The National Retrofit Plan, published last month as part of the Climate Action Plan, set ambitious targets to retrofit 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating of B2 or carbon equivalent and to install 400,000 heat pumps in existing buildings by the end of 2030. These targets represent a very significant increase in both the volume and depth of retrofit activity in Ireland.
COVID-19 related restrictions on construction activity in the residential sector between January and April have had a significant impact on activity this year. The SEAI estimates that approximately 16,000 retrofits will be supported by SEAI in 2021. Of this number 2,350 will be energy poverty retrofits and 4,700 will be B2 retrofits. To the end of October, 11,418 retrofits had been delivered, including 3,103 B2 retrofits and 1,625 energy poverty homes.
Budget 2022 commits €202 million in carbon tax revenue to fund the SEAI residential and community retrofit schemes and a further €10 million from the Exchequer for the Solar PV scheme. This investment will support over 22,000 home energy upgrades, including over 6,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B2 and over 4,500 upgrades under the SEAI energy poverty schemes. It will deliver warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes with lower energy bills. It will also reduce emissions from the residential sector and improve air quality.
The detailed current and capital allocations for 2022 are being finalised as part of my Department's annual business planning process. The final Programme allocations will be included in the Revised Estimates Volume to be published later this month. These will be reflected in the SEAI business planning process.
The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage will invest a further €85m as part of the Local Authority Retrofit Programme in 2022. This will deliver approximately 2,400 B2 / cost optimal retrofits next year.
The total spend that is attributable to labour costs and the average spend per unit of housing is not readily available. However, retrofitting homes is highly labour-intensive and creates quality sustainable jobs in local communities throughout the country, it is estimated that up to 60% of total retrofit cost can be labour. The request for detailed information has been sent to the SEAI and available data will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible upon receipt.
The SEAI's total spend and no. of homes completed on retrofitting schemes* for 2018 - 2020 were:
- 2018 €91.5m 21,478
- 2019 €104.1m 24,742
- 2020** €78.25m 17,671 *Includes Better Energy Homes, Better Energy Warmer Homes, Warmth and Wellbeing, Deep Retrofit, Communities Energy Grants, Solar P.V and Better Energy Finance schemes.
** In 2020, in line with public health and Government guidelines in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, all works under SEAI funded schemes were advised to pause for a period of time.