I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 36 together.
The national retrofit plan, published last month as part of the climate action plan, set ambitious targets to retrofit 500,000 homes to a building energy rating of B2 or carbon equivalent and to install 400,000 heat pumps in existing buildings by the end of 2030. These targets represent a significant increase in the volume and depth of retrofit activity in Ireland.
The national retrofit plan is designed to address barriers to retrofit across four key areas. These are: driving demand and activity; financing and funding; supply chain, skills and standards; and governance. The initiatives outlined in the plan will cover all housing types and consumer segments. This includes a commitment to develop a new guidance document on retrofitting older homes built before 1940.
SEAI grant schemes will continue to be a central element of the Government's strategy to encourage homeowners to retrofit their homes. A new national retrofit scheme will be launched early next year which will focus on the delivery of B2 retrofits with heat pumps as well as the development and expansion of the one-stop shop and retrofit market.
The plan provides an unprecedented €8 billion in Exchequer funding to support homeowners to upgrade their homes through SEAI retrofit schemes, including free energy upgrades for households at risk of energy poverty. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will also provide additional funding for the local authority retrofit scheme. This is in line with the principles of fairness and universality which underpin the plan.
My Department is also engaging with the Department of Finance and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland on the development of a residential retrofit loan guarantee scheme. This will enable credit institutions to offer loans with reduced interest rates to private homeowners and non-corporate landlords to make comprehensive home energy efficiency upgrades more affordable to consumers. The target for the introduction of the loan guarantee scheme is mid-2022.