I propose to take Questions Nos. 383 and 384 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 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. Almost €2m has been paid in grants under the scheme to date in 2019.
As Minister, I have no function in relation to individual applications or the approval of applications. However, the SEAI has informed my officials that it has been in contact with all Service Providers in relation to their applications. Homeowners should contact their Service Provider directly for updates on project status. SEAI have further informed my Department that they expect to have cleared all applications within 4/5 weeks, depending on turnaround time with Service providers in relation to queries on elements of their applications.
While the Deep Retrofit Pilot is now closed to new applications, a number of other grants for energy efficiency works remain available. Further information on the grants available from SEAI can be found on their website. Since 2000, over 400,000 homeowners have received direct support under these schemes to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. This year €100 million has been allocated to these schemes.
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 Retrofit Taskforce that will drive the achievement of this target. The Taskforce will oversee 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 took place on 30 September.