I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 55 together.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is funded by my Department to administer energy efficiency grant schemes to support homeowners to improve the energy performance of their properties. Since 2000, over 400,000 homeowners have received direct support under these schemes.
Social housing upgrades are primarily a matter for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. A budget of €25 million has been allocated to that Department for the social housing energy efficiency retrofit programme in both 2019 and 2020.
Budget 2020 has also provided an additional €20 million from revenues arising from the increase in the carbon tax for the retrofitting of social housing in the Midlands. This scheme will operate in a different way to the traditional local authority retrofit scheme by focusing on upgrading much larger batches of homes in distinct, compact geographical areas and providing the opportunity for private homeowners to retrofit their homes. This will determine the savings that can be achieved through a larger scale and more structured approach to the renovation of our housing stock. It will also provide an economic stimulus for the region. The specific design of the project will be driven by the Retrofit Taskforce which is chaired by my Department.
Although Local Authorities have in recent years received some limited funding through the Better Energy Communities and Warmth and Wellbeing Pilot Schemes, the SEAI does not have a ring-fenced allocation for local authority homes. Since 2016, the total expenditure on the Warmth and Wellbeing Pilot Scheme is €26.3 million and the SEAI estimate approximately 15% of this amount has been spent on local authority homes. It is not intended to have an SEAI ring-fenced allocation for local authorities in 2020.