Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (1469, 1470, 1511, 1512)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1469. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the historical application costs per application for the now closed deep retrofit scheme; the sum collected in application costs for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35563/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1470. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of applications received for the deep retrofit scheme since the pilot commenced to the date on which the scheme closed; the number approved; the number refused; the number pending on the closing date for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35564/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1511. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the historical application costs per application for the now closed deep retrofit scheme; the amount collected in application costs for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35584/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

1512. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of applications received for the deep retrofit scheme since the pilot commenced to the date on which the scheme closed; the number approved, refused and pending, respectively on the closing date for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35585/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1469, 1470, 1511 and 1512 together.

The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme was launched in 2017 as a time bound pilot to investigate the challenges and opportunities of deep retrofit in Ireland. The scheme was intended to run for three years and closed for applications on 19 July in line with the published Application Guidelines.

The scheme is funded by my Department and operated by the SEAI. The pilot provides 50% funding for energy upgrades to an A BER rating with 95% funding provided for low-income households. The total budget for the scheme this year is €10 million – double the amount spent on the scheme last year. The latest data available indicates that €1.2 million has been paid in grants under the scheme in 2019.

The scheme operates via a lead applicant, or service provider, which could apply for support for projects involving five or more homes. SEAI evaluates each project against the scheme criteria and offers funding to successful applications via a grant approval letter of offer.

SEAI has not collected any application fees in respect of the scheme. The information required as part of an application are set out in the scheme application guidelines. This can entail a pre BER assessment and an air tightness test being undertaken for each home in the project. SEAI provides financial support towards the associated cost for projects that are successfully completed, per the scheme application guidelines.

The table below sets out the number of applications received, approved, withdrawn and pending on the closing date of the scheme. Applications are classified as "received" when all necessary information is provided. Projects are classified as "complete" when all homes in a project are fully completed and Building Energy Ratings for each are published.

Project Status

2017

2018

2019

Total

Total Applications Received

7

41

67

115

Approved: Complete

1

24

9

34

Approved: In Progress

9

14

23

Pending: Under Evaluation

51

51

Withdrawn

7

7

The Government’s Climate Action Plan commits to reviewing and redesigning the existing grant schemes to ensure alignment with Government climate objectives and value for money. The Plan also sets an ambitious target of 500,000 energy efficiency retrofits by 2030. Achievement of this target will be supported by the Project Ireland 2040 allocation of €3.7 billion as well as the range of measures identified in the plan.

I recently announced the establishment of a taskforce that will drive the achievement of this target. The taskforce will primarily be responsible for the development of a new retrofitting delivery model, which will, inter alia, group retrofits together to achieve economies of scale, provide supports for households with lower incomes and leverage private finance and grant support. Development of the new model will be informed by the experience from existing schemes in Ireland including the Deep Retrofit Pilot as well as best practice in other jurisdictions.