Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (419, 421, 422, 429, 431, 432)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

419. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of doubling the grant for solar thermal heating under the better energy home scheme, assuming an increase in uptake. [38623/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

David Cullinane

Ceist:

421. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing the grant under the better energy home scheme by €1,000 for air to water heat pump, ground source to water heat pump and water to water heat pump, assuming an increase in uptake. [38625/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

David Cullinane

Ceist:

422. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing the grant under the better energy home scheme for air to air heat pumps by €400, assuming an increase in uptake. [38626/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

429. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of doubling the grant for solar thermal heating under the better energy home scheme. [38638/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

431. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the cost of increasing the grant under the better energy home scheme by €1000 for air to water heat pump, ground source to water heat pump and water to water heat pump. [38640/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

432. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing the grant under the better energy home scheme for air to air heat pumps by €400. [38641/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 419, 421, 422, 429, 431 and 432 together.

The residential energy efficiency schemes administered by the SEAI are funded by my Department. This year, I have allocated approximately €100 million to these schemes.

The Better Energy Homes grants are available to homeowners for insulation, heating controls, heat pumps, solar PV and solar thermal hot water heating systems. Grants typically cover 30% of the cost of carrying out these works in a home.

Since the introduction of these grants nearly 400,000 homes across the country have received an energy efficiency upgrade, representing nearly one home in four across the country.

The grants for air, water and ground source heat pumps were introduced in April 2018. Home heating is a significant investment for most households, especially if changing from familiar fuels and systems.

Increased demand for 2020 cannot be predicted with any certainty as there are a number of steps a homeowner must go through before deciding to carry out energy efficiency work on their home:

- familiarise themselves with the grants on offer and the grant levels

- Decide to carry out works

- Obtain quotes

- Submit an application

- Complete the works

- Return declaration of works.

The following table sets out the potential costs of increasing the grants by the amounts indicated in the Questions, for different levels of increased uptake over 2019 demand levels.

Grant change

Cost

increased demand over 2019 levels

100%

500%

1000%

5000%

Doubling solar thermal grant (€2,400)

€2,484,000

€7,452,000

€13,662,000

€63,342,000

Increasing heat pump grant by €1,000 (€4,500)

€3,658,500

€10,975,500

€20,121,750

€93,291,750

increasing air to air heat pump grant by €400 (€1,000)

€12,000

€36,000

€66,000

€306,000

The Government’s Climate Action Plan 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. This will involve a change to the current approach to retrofitting.

I recently announced the establishment of a Taskforce that will drive the achievement of this target. The Taskforce will drive the development of a new national delivery model, which will group homes together, create easy pay back mechanisms and find smart financing. Development of the new model will be informed by the experience from existing schemes in Ireland as well as best practice in other jurisdictions. The first meeting of the Taskforce will take place later this month.