Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (56, 70)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

56. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of local authority homes that will be retrofitted in 2019 in order to protect tenants from high energy costs and to address climate change; if he has a monitoring process in place to ensure that the work is done and the funding allocated to local authorities is spent in a timely manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

70. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans for the retrofitting of council-owned dwellings; the grants and supports available for those that own their home to complete similar retrofitting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 70 together.

My Department has operated an Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme for local authority social housing since 2013, under which close to 70,000 social homes have been insulated to date with funding support of some €134 million. The programme improves the insulation standards and overall energy performance of local authority housing stock, which can benefit those at risk of fuel poverty, as well as contributing to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction and energy reduction targets.

Support under this Programme is continuing in 2019, with €25 million available in grant aid to the local authorities. It is the local authorities' own responsibility to select properties for inclusion in the programme and to determine the level of works; accordingly, pending their decisions on 2019 activity, my Department does not have detailed information at this stage on the number of homes that will be retrofitted in all 31 Council areas.

The Programme is being implemented in two phases: Phase 1 is classed as a shallow retrofit and aims to ensure that the entire social housing stock has, as a minimum, cavity wall and attic insulation. Phase 2 focuses on the fabric upgrade works to those dwellings with solid/hollow block wall construction and includes the provision of heating upgrades; this is deemed to be a more deep retrofit. In transitioning to the deep retrofit implementation, my Department has requested local authorities to achieve a 'B2' or equivalent building energy rating for their housing stock.

In addition to the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme, energy efficiency improvements have also been incorporated into the approximately 11,000 vacant social housing homes that have been returned to productive use under the Voids Programme since 2014.

Policy and programmes in relation to supports for insulation of privately owned homes falls within the remit of the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.