The National Development Plan (NDP) demonstrates the Government’s commitment to meeting Ireland’s infrastructure and investment needs over the period 2018-2027. The Plan commits to investing €21.8bn in climate and low carbon related actions, of which, approx. €3.7bn is identified for funding residential energy efficiency upgrades and retrofitting oil heated homes with heat pumps and solar PV. The NDP also allocates funding of €800m for public building energy retrofits, along with further funding for school energy retrofits and third level building renovations.
In 2018, the total expenditure allocated to sustainable energy schemes administered by the SEAI was €134m. The equivalent figure for this year is €141m. The allocation for the Energy Programme in 2020 will be agreed during this year's Estimates process.
It is clear that the Exchequer alone will not be able to fund the scale and depth of retrofit activity that needs to happen in order for us meet our climate targets. For that reason, alternative financing options will have to play a part in Ireland’s strategy to decarbonise our buildings. Examples of these alternative approaches could include, for instance, the introduction of new mechanisms to lower the interest rates applicable to loans for energy efficiency works as well as energy performance contracting.
The forthcoming All of Government Climate Plan will set out the actions to be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change and at a minimum meet our targets for the period to 2030.