Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Supporting a Just Transition: Discussion (Resumed)
Mr. Kieran Mulvey:
I have read only a little bit about retrofitting but it is bigger than people think it is. To engage in a programme of retrofitting dwelling houses in the midlands is a substantial investment that will require highly skilled companies and workers to carry it out, because the whole concept of retrofitting has changed significantly from the outer cladding of houses to inner insulation, to the roof, panels and everything else. Many specialist companies operate in retrofitting, though not necessarily in Ireland. I do not think that this is an easy solution or that it is easy to reskill to become a worker in that industry. We then have to establish what companies are likely to be engaged to do this and what social contract we put them into to engage local employment. It is a bigger issue than people anticipate it to be. There is also a question of how one undertakes the contracts. Does one go from estate to estate? How does one procure the company that will do it? If houses are retrofitted, is there an obligation on those whose homes are retrofitted to actually stay in them and not sell them the following week? These are all considerations that will have to be addressed. That is a little beyond my expertise.