I thank Deputy Canney for his question. The better energy warmer homes scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low-income households who are vulnerable to energy poverty. In order to qualify for support, applicants must own and live in their home, which must have been built and occupied before 2006, and must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments. To date, over 143,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme. In 2020 the average value of the energy efficiency measures provided per household was over €14,800.
There are nearly 8,000 homes on the warmer homes scheme work programme. These homes have not previously received any free upgrades under the scheme and for that reason are the priority to receive upgrades. Recommendations on the implementation of changes to the scheme to better target those most in need are being developed and I anticipate that they will be finalised shortly.
It is important to note that I have secured additional resources this year to expand the capacity of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, SEAI, to deliver the scheme. Funding for the energy poverty retrofit schemes has also increased to over €109 million in 2021. This is an increase of €47 million on the 2020 allocation. In addition, delivery capacity has increased due to a new, broader contractor panel that commenced at the end of 2020.