As the Deputy may be aware, my Department has already established a Climate Action Fund with the objective of funding initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland's climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner, or offer the potential for innovative interventions in these sectors. Following the first call for applications, I announced the seven successful projects which will receive up to €77 million in support, leveraging a total investment of €300 million in round one of the scheme. The Climate Action Plan sets out that the next call under the Climate Action Fund should commence by the end of this year. The Climate Action Plan also identifies a range of finance measures that will support the transition to a low carbon economy, particularly in the built environment sector. A Taskforce has been established to create a new retrofit delivery vehicle and commenced its work in September. As part of its work, the taskforce is developing novel financing schemes to fill the funding gap and to ensure affordable loan schemes and easy payback options are in place for householders.
My Department funds the SEAI’s Better Energy Financing scheme. The scheme supports innovative financing projects for residential retrofits on a small scale. The Credit Union Development Association has received support from SEAI to run their Pro-energy scheme – which offers a one stop shop to Credit Union members to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. The Department is working with the SEAI to identify how a scaling up of this approach and similar approaches could be supported further in 2020.
My Department will continue to explore further opportunities for engaging with finance providers and ensuring that the necessary funding is in place to enable us to meet our climate and energy targets.