I propose to take Questions Nos. 1502, 1503, 1508, 1520 and 1539 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 3 years and closed for applications on 19th 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 5 or more homes. SEAI evaluates each project against the scheme criteria and offers funding to successful applications via a grant approval letter of offer.
The 54 applications that were received before the July 19th closing date are currently under evaluation by the SEAI. I expect Service Providers to be informed of the status of their application later this month. All successful applications will be funded from within my Department’s budget allocation for energy efficiency retrofit schemes in 2019 and 2020. Works on homes should not commence until a grant approval letter of offer is received.
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 €3.7bn 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.