The Better Energy Programme is funded by my Department and operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The Programme consists of three main schemes: Homes, Warmer Homes; and Communities. These schemes are supplemented by two pilot schemes exploring the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and the challenges of moving to deeper retrofit: the Warmth and Wellbeing Scheme; and the Deep Retrofit Pilot.
I have allocated €85 million to these schemes in 2019.
The recently published Climate Action Plan includes ambitious targets of 500,000 retrofits as well as the installation of 400,000 heat pumps in existing homes. The Plan commits government to developing a new retrofitting delivery model, which will group retrofits together to achieve economies of scale, leverage private finance, and ensure easy pay-back methods. The savings on electricity bills from using less energy can help fund this, while homes will be warmer and produce less emissions. An area based retrofit programme would seek to capitalise on critical mass, leveraging economies of scale that would benefit both householders and the supply chain. This type of programme would focus on designated areas in both rural and urban environments and could be designed and delivered to include local authorities, approved housing bodies or other strategic delivery partners. It would also take account of the priorities to achieve greater depth of retrofit and the targeted replacement of oil boilers with renewable alternatives.
Decisions in relation to funding allocations for residential retrofit in 2020 and future years will be made in the context of the ambitious programme of building energy efficiency upgrades set out in the Climate Action Plan, the annual Estimates processes and the €3.7 billion funding identified in Project Ireland 2040 to support residential energy efficiency upgrades and the installation of heat pumps and solar PV for the period 2018-2027.