The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. The scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty.
The 2019 budget allocation for the Warmer Homes Scheme is €39.8 million. The budget for 2020 will be €52.8 million - a record level of funding for the scheme. €13 million of this funding will come from the increase in the carbon price.
In 2018, the measures available under the scheme were expanded. Previously, those homes which were not suitable for cavity wall insulation could not get their walls insulated under the scheme. Since the expansion of measures, the scheme can now, in certain circumstances, provide internal or external wall insulation. This is permitting the upgrade of a wider range of property types, such as homes with solid walls, and also increases the energy savings and emissions reductions that the scheme can achieve. In addition, it will enable future fuel switching.
Demand for the scheme is extremely high, reflecting the shift to deeper measures, and is impacted by longer delivery times associated with these types of works and the available budget.
Action 173 of the Climate Action Plan commits to reviewing ways to improve how current energy poverty schemes target those most in need. This review is underway and is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.