Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Mr. William Walsh:

Okay. The thing with energy poverty and our energy poverty scheme is that was as much as we could deliver in 2020 and 2021. For 2022, we have a budget of €110 million to deliver the 4,800 homes that we can retrofit. That is contractor capacity. That is what we can do based on the industry right now. We are looking to grow that industry. Dr. Byrne has outlined some of those plans. From our perspective, we have been funded to do what is needed and deliverable in the fuel poverty sector. Dr. Byrne has referenced the numbers that we have delivered. Last year, we did an average of around 180 homes a month. We are getting up to a ramp rate of 400 now. We have faced costs relating to inflation. The procurement exercise was completed in 2019 for the warmer homes contractors. Clearly, we have been faced with construction inflation. We are facing off those challenges, but we are still delivering those numbers. To go back to the Senator's point about the EV and solar PV schemes, they are programmes that are there. There are grants available because there is market failure in them for the uptake levels that we need need from an "Ireland Inc." perspective to hit our 2030 targets. Where we see opportunity and there is underspend in conditions such as those we experienced in 2020 and 2021, we will look to do that.