Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (228)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

228. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason residents who have moved out of dwellings which are being remediated under the pyrite remediation scheme are reimbursed for expenditure during their absence on electricity, gas and other utilities but not for the portion in relation to the PSO levy, VAT, standing charges and so on in view of the fact that they have had to pay the amount in properties they are renting during the remediation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21649/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides the statutory framework for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board, and for the making of a pyrite remediation scheme to be implemented by the Board with support from the Housing Agency. The pyrite remediation scheme is a scheme of “last resort” and is limited in its application and scope.  The full conditions for eligibility under the scheme are set out in the scheme which is available on the Board’s website, www.pyriteboard.ie.

In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Board is independent in the performance of its functions, and as Minister, I have no role in the operational matters pertaining to the implementation of the scheme. The Board may be contacted by phone at Lo call 1890 252842 or by email to info@pyriteboard.ie or alternatively at oireachtasinfo@pyriteboard.ie.

The scheme provides for the recoupment of the vouched cost of alternative accommodation, furniture removal and storage subject to limits of €3,000 and €2,500 (inclusive of VAT), respectively.  However, where a scheme participant can satisfy the Housing Agency, who will be making the payments, in advance that suitable rental accommodation cannot be obtained for €3,000 or less the expenses for the accommodation and furniture removal can be combined, subject to the overall limit of €5,500. 

My Department is in regular contact with the Pyrite Resolution Board and the Housing Agency in relation to the implementation of the scheme and is satisfied that the arrangements that are currently in place provide the necessary flexibility to support scheme participants in meeting their alternative accommodation needs while their homes are under remediation. 

In regard to expenditure on utilities, the Housing Agency's publication Guide for Scheme Participants provides information to applicants whose dwellings have been included in the Scheme. Section 3.4 Dwelling Remediation, provides that the Scheme participant is responsible for notifying service providers and is not required to disconnect their utility services. I understand from the Housing Agency that the works contractor will pay for any electricity used in connection with the remedial works.

The Public Service Obligation Levy (PSO) is mandated by the Government and approved by the European Commission to support the generation of electricity from sustainable, renewable and indigenous sources. The levy is calculated and certified annually by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in accordance with relevant legislation and all energy suppliers are required to collect this levy from customers. In this regard, neither I as Minister, nor the Pyrite Resolution Board have any role or function in relation to the payment of such levies or standing charges which is a matter for the CRU. Further information is available at www.cru.ie.