Warmer Homes Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (536)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

536. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the value of work grant aided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, SEAI, under the better energy, warmer home scheme in 2017 and 2018; and the number households aided. [5606/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Warmer Homes scheme has been in operation since 2000 and provides free energy efficiency upgrades to low income homeowners living in or at risk of energy poverty. The number of homes upgraded and overall funding for 2017 and 2018 is set out below. Subject to survey by SEAI and assessment of potential for improved energy performance, the scheme can provide energy efficiency upgrades including attic and wall insulation. In 2018 the scheme was expanded to permit the upgrade of more property types such as homes with solid walls. This will increase the energy savings and emissions reductions that the scheme can achieve and will also enable future fuel switching. As a result of these changes fewer homes were upgraded. However, more homes received more expensive measures that will result in more carbon savings.

Warmer Homes Scheme

2017

2018

Number of Homes

6,555

5,255

Cost (€m)

22.621

35.512

Building Energy Rating Compliance

Ceisteanna (537)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

537. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of households that have successfully applied for deep retrofit grants from the SEAI by county; and the value of these grants in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form. [5607/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme is investigating how to create a scalable offering for the deep retrofit of Ireland’s housing stock to an A3 Building Energy Rating (BER), while building consumer demand and contractor capacity for deep retrofit. Under the scheme Government is currently funding up to 50% of the total capital and project management costs for homes that achieve an A3 Building Energy Rating post retrofit. This will inform a model that can make deep retrofit available to individual homeowners on a larger scale post 2020, and will help Ireland move away from fossil fuels to clean renewable heating systems, such as solar and heat pumps. Any final model will also have to ensure value for money from the State's investment.

Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme

2017

2018

No. of Homes Completed

Amount Paid (€)

No. of Homes Completed

Amount Paid (€m)

Carlow

Cavan

Clare

2

Cork

2

4

Donegal

16

Dublin

45

Galway

6

Kerry

2

Kildare

3

Kilkenny

3

Laois

1

Leitrim

Limerick

6

Longford

Louth

1

Mayo

64

Meath

1

1

Monaghan

Offaly

Roscommon

Sligo

Tipperary

26

Waterford

11

Westmeath

1

Wexford

17

Wicklow

2

Total

3

€861,000*

211

€4.72

*€861,000 spend in 2017 relates to 3 completed homes and 37 homes partially completed.

Better Energy Homes Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (538)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

538. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of households that applied for and received grant aid from the SEAI for attic, wall and other insulation grants in 2017 and 2018, by county in tabular form. [5608/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Better Energy Homes Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on behalf of my Department. The Better Energy Homes Scheme provides a financial incentive to private homeowners who wish to improve the energy performance of their home. Fixed grants covering 30% of the works are provided towards the cost of a range of measures including attic insulation, wall insulation, heating systems upgrades, solar thermal panels and accompanying Building Energy Rating (BER).

In 2018, 14,238 homes received energy efficiency grants worth €17.21million.

The specific information requested is set out in the following table.

Better Energy Homes Scheme

2017

2018

No. of Homes Completed

No. of Homes Completed

Roof Insulation

4,498

3,248

Cavity Wall Insulation

3,869

2,553

Dry Lining Insulation

618

434

External Wall Insulation

1,183

1,174

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Ceisteanna (539)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

539. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan at a location (details supplied); when it will be connected; the rationale for not including it and a number of other houses in the area with connection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5611/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The specific premises referred to by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP. This intervention is the subject of an ongoing procurement process. The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. My priority is to bring the procurement process to a fair and impartial conclusion as quickly as possible and I will bring a recommendation to Government in this regard in the coming weeks.

I note that the Deputy makes reference to the deployment of infrastructure by eir close to this premises. This is part of that company’s ongoing rural fibre roll out to some 300,000 premises.

Eir’s rural investment in high speed broadband is an entirely commercial undertaking, and not part of the planned State Intervention network. Although the deployment is monitored under the terms of a Commitment Agreement signed between the company and my Department, it is not funded by the State and it is not planned, designed or directed by my Department in any capacity.

The selection of what premises are to be served under eir’s deployment is a commercial decision for that company. My Department has no statutory authority or function to intervene in the company’s commercial decisions, nor in any decisions relating to the roll out and siting of infrastructure throughout Ireland by service providers operating in a liberalised market.

For those premises currently awaiting access to high speed broadband, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the Broadband Officers is continuing. These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities. The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements.

Water Pollution

Ceisteanna (540)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

540. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the expected time for an inner lough waterway to refresh itself following a pollution incident; and the research that has taken place to provide this information. [5690/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I have no role or function in the matter raised. The matter should be raised with the relevant Local Authority and, if appropriate, with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sports Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (541, 548)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

541. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the supports available for clubs (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5117/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

548. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the supports available for clubs (details supplied) in view of the development of a location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5038/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 and 548 together.

In relation to capital works, the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The most recent round of the SCP closed for applications on 19 October 2019.

It will be open to any organisation with a suitable project to apply for funding under future rounds of the SCP. While the programme does not fund the purchase of land, a club without its own land can apply for non-personal sports equipment or for small scale capital works, with a maximum grant of €50,000, provided they have they permission of their landlord to make such an application. The most recent guide to the programme explains this process in detail and is available on my Department's website at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie.

With regard to current funding for sports clubs, Sport Ireland is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding to sports bodies. While it does not provide direct funding for clubs or individuals, the agency does channel funding through the relevant National Governing Body of Sport, in this case the GAA. There is no mechanism by which Sport Ireland can allocate funding outside of this process. Accordingly, the clubs in question may wish to contact the GAA to see if they can assist in any way.

Fáilte Ireland Funding

Ceisteanna (542)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

542. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the criteria included in the decision-making process regarding funding (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5577/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy. While it provides funding to Fáilte Ireland for investment in national and regional festivals, my Department has no role in the administration of the related programmes.

I have asked Fáilte Ireland to reply directly to the Deputy with further information on the matters raised. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

Fáilte will be in a position to provide more details, but in regard to the recently announced funding allocations to which the Deputy refers these related only to festivals being funded through Fáilte Ireland’s 2019 National Festival Programmes. There is a separate programme for Regional Festivals and Participative Events, for which Fáilte provides the funding to each of the Local Authorities which, in turn, are responsible for the administration of the programme in their respective areas and related funding allocations.

Railway Stations

Ceisteanna (543)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

543. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the service that is out of order at a train station (details supplied); the length of time it is out of order; and the timeline for it to be repaired. [4951/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding of public transport. The operation of the rail network and stations on the network including lifts at train stations, is a matter for Iarnród Éireann in the first instance.

In view of Iarnród Éireann's responsibility in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's questions to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland Projects

Ceisteanna (544)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

544. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the costing of the M7 upgrades; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4952/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. My Department allocates the national capital roads programme budget to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to manage and deliver (in accordance with the Roads Acts 1993-2015) the planning, design, and construction of all national roads developments, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have, therefore, referred the question, on the costing of the M7 upgrade, to TII for a direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Fáilte Ireland

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (545)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

545. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if Fáilte Ireland’s website will be updated to reflect more accurately tourism products and offerings in north County Cork region. [4972/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of developing national tourism policy, and the information contained in Fáilte Ireland's websites is a matter for that agency.

I am informed, however, that Fáilte Ireland regularly review and update the content across their websites. In doing so they seek to ensure that they are accurately representing the breadth of experiences across the whole country and feature them appropriately on their websites in a timely manner.

I have asked Fáilte Ireland to respond to the Deputy. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (546)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

546. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the level of funding available by county under the specific improvement grant scheme; if multiple schemes from one county can be submitted for funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5007/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant County or City Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is a matter for each Council.

Before the financial crisis, local authorities could apply on a regular basis for grants for Specific and Strategic Improvement Grants to improve roads. However, the extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant these grant schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.

Project Ireland 2040 does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but it will take some years yet to reach the level required for the adequate maintenance and renewal of the network. For this reason there is limited scope at present for funding projects under the Specific or Strategic Grant Programme.

Any projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Specific or Strategic Grant Programmes are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case project basis, not a County basis, and must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework.

The overall total allocation in 2019 for Specific Improvement Grants is €15.2 million.

Cycling Facilities Provision

Question No. 548 answered with Question No. 541.

Ceisteanna (547)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

547. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to consultations undertaken by his counterpart in France (details supplied); his plans to engage in a similar fashion with an organisation here on the development of a comprehensive policy regarding cycling here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5010/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I thank the Deputy for bringing this matter to my attention, I was not aware of the French Minister's consultation with the particular organisation referred to by the Deputy.

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department has committed to undertake a review of public transport policy “to ensure services are sustainable into the future and are meeting the needs of a modern economy”. This is line with a commitment given in the Programme for a Partnership Government.

This review is a significant and substantial resource commitment and my Department has commenced and substantially completed the research and analysis required to inform the proposed period of public consultation which I expect to launch in the near future.

The review is premised on the concept of integrated and sustainable transport, in keeping with the objectives of Smarter Travel – A Sustainable Transport Future which formed the overarching policy backdrop to the development of the National Cycling Policy Framework. As part of the overall review therefore, analysis of the National Cycling Policy Framework , its implementation and impact is being conducted and will be published as part of the overall review.

Last year, as part of this review I hosted a Public Transport Stakeholder Forum in the Mansion House at which representatives from a broad spectrum of interest groups in the wider public and sustainable transport sector attended, including those representing cyclists.

As stated I expect to initiate a public consultation process in the coming months and I look forward to engaging with the public on this important work.

Question No. 548 answered with Question No. 541.

Driver Test Waiting Lists

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (549)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

549. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of persons awaiting driver tests in the Cork city, Mallow, Skibbereen, Killarney and Tralee testing centres. [5073/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As this is a matter for the Road Safety Authority, I have referred your question to the Authority for direct response. If you do not receive a response within 10 working days, please contact my office directly.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (550)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

550. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application by a centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5082/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding.

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

I can confirm that a new application has been submitted by the organisation referred to by the Deputy. For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round will be given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be at least the second quarter of this year before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Cothabháil Bóithre

Ceisteanna (551)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

551. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Iompair, Turasóireachta agus Spóirt cén uair a dhéanfar cinneadh maidir le hiarratas a cuireadh chuig a Roinn maidir le hacmhainní cuí a fháil chun caoi níos fearr a chur ar Bhóthar Dhoire Fhatharta; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [5094/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Is é an tÚdarás Áitiúla a bhfuil an dualghas reachtúil orthu na bóithre réigiúnach agus áitiúl a fheabhsú agus a caomhnú. Cuireann an tÚdarás Áitiúla na hachmainní ar fáill le haghaidh oibreacha, le cabhair deontais bóithre an Stáit, nuair atá sé oiriúnach. Déanann an t-Údarás an toghaidh agus an tosaíocht maidir leis na toinscnimh comh maith.

Sheoil mé fógra chuig Chomhairle Contae na Gaillimhe maidir le dáiliú airgid €300,000 i gcór Bhóthar Dhoire Fharatha faoin Scéim Deontais Áirithe.

Ports Development

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (552)

James Browne

Ceist:

552. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the recruitment of a business development manager at Rosslare Europort; the responsibilities associated with the role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5133/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Bus Éireann Services

Ceisteanna (553)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

553. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the annual operating costs of the Navan, Athlone and Sligo Bus Éireann town bus service, respectively; and the cost of fuel, insurance, staffing, maintenance and so on. [5152/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is an operational matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.