I welcome the publication of the Engineers Ireland review of housing and infrastructure in Ireland. This report includes recommendations on a range of issues related to the housing stock, including the development and implementation of a national renovation strategy.
As noted in the Report, the recently published Climate Action Plan sets a target of retrofitting 500,000 houses to BER B2, cost optimal equivalent or carbon equivalent by 2030. This will help us to meet our 2030 targets for emissions reductions. Achieving our 2050 targets will require a further step up and many more houses will have to be retrofitted in the decades to come.
Project Ireland 2040 has provided €3bn for the period to 2027 to support the achievement of the 2030 target. While this is clearly a substantial amount of Government financial support, Exchequer funding alone will not be enough to meet the level of activity required. In this regard, the Plan commits to providing easier access to tailored finance for residential energy efficiency investment in addition to optimising Government funding and grant schemes.
The Plan also incorporates a range of other measures that will be used to achieve this target. This includes the development and implementation of a new delivery model that groups retrofits together to achieve economies of scale, leverage private finance, and ensure easy pay-back methods. This area-based approach will seek to capitalise on critical mass, leveraging economies of scale that will benefit both householders and the supply chain. The savings on electricity bills from using less energy can help fund this, while homes will be warmer and produce fewer emissions.