I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 154 together. I propose to take Question Nos 60 and 154 together
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty. To date, over 143,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme and in 2020 the average value of the energy efficiency measures provided per household was over €14,800.
There are currently 7,805 people on the Warmer Homes Scheme work programme. SEAI data indicates that for homes completed in the first half of 2021, the average time from application to completion was almost 26 months. The SEAI has advised me that wait times vary, based on the demand for the scheme at the time of application as well as other factors including the scale of works to be completed, access to the property, availability of materials and the weather.
The average wait times have increased significantly in 2021 due to the extensive COVID-19 related restrictions on construction activity between March and June of 2020 as well as between January and April of 2021 when the scheme was fully paused in line with Government guidelines. Wait times have also been negatively impacted by challenges associated with availability and longer lead times for materials.
Funding for SEAI energy poverty retrofit schemes has increased significantly to over €109 million in 2021, with €100 million allocated to the Warmer Homes Scheme. This is an increase of €47 million on the 2020 allocation. I have also secured additional resources this year to expand the capacity of the SEAI to deliver the scheme. In addition, delivery capacity in the supply chain has increased due to a new, broader contractor panel that commenced at the end of 2020. Every effort is being made to maximise activity now that construction activity in the residential sector has recommenced.