Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (480)

John Brassil

Ceist:

480. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if details have been finalised regarding changes to the warmer homes scheme; if so, the details of these changes; when applications for the new measures will be available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21014/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Warmer Homes scheme is the Government’s energy efficiency support scheme for people in or at risk of energy poverty. The scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. To date over 130,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme, leaving the occupants better able to afford heat their homes to an adequate level.

Under the scheme home energy efficiency upgrades are provided free of charge to eligible homeowners. The average cost per home upgraded in 2017 was €3,000.

Eligibility for the scheme is determined by being in receipt of one of the following payments:

- Fuel Allowance

- One Parent Family Payment

- Working Family Payment

- Jobseekers’ Allowance for more than 6 months with children under 7

- Domiciliary Care Allowance

In addition homes must be owned by the applicant and must have been owned and occupied before 2006.

While homes that previously received works under the scheme are not currently eligible for a second visit consideration will be given to revisiting these properties in mid 2019, where feasible and appropriate.

In March I announced the expansion of the Warmer Homes scheme to cover all types of wall insulation. Previously only cavity wall insulation was provided as standard. This will mean that more homes can receive upgrades as not all homes were suitable for cavity wall insulation. In certain cases homes may also receive heating system and window upgrades –the measures a home receives under the scheme depend on a technical survey of the home, carried out by SEAI. This survey will indicate what measures are appropriate for the home, from the measures available under the scheme.  

This expansion will also increase the average cost per home and waiting times for the scheme as surveyors and contractors will need additional time per home to carry out the new measures.

Applications are open on an on-going basis, and these changes will be operational as of June 1 2018. Eligible homeowners can apply via email or through the post using the application form available on SEAI’s website. https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/warmer-homes-scheme/