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Written Answers — Department of Rural and Community Development: Refugee Resettlement Programme (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: 119. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her views on the best way that her Department can support Ukrainian refugees, particularly in relation to access to local services and mobility; the measures that have already been taken by her Department in relation to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17958/22]

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: We will begin in public session. Apologies have been received from Deputy BrĂ­d Smith. Deputy Paul Murphy is substituting for her. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the implementation of the new national retrofit plan and the broader issue of emissions from buildings. We are joined by witnesses from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, SEAI, which is responsible for...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Many thanks to Mr Walsh for his opening statement. There is quite a lot in it. It is interesting. I invite members to indicate if they wish to ask questions. Could I get agreement, as we usually do, that we will have two minutes for questions and we will have second, third and fourth rounds if we have time? Is that okay? Okay. I thank members and invite them to indicate if they wish to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Mr Walsh for that, and Dr. Byrne as well. I will move through the list of speakers. The first is Deputy Bruton who is joining us from his office.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Once those low-interest loans come out in the third or fourth quarter, does Dr. Byrne envisage there will be a very significant uptick in interest and people going down the route of deep retrofit?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Naturally, even people with money will wait until finance like that is available. I call Senator Higgins.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I am going to stop the Senator there. She has asked quite a few questions. I will bring her in again.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Mr. O'Mahony and Senator Higgins, who got a lot out of her two minutes. Fair play to her.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: A week does not go by that Cork does not get special mention at this committee. Maybe that will happen some time but it may not be for a while.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I call on Deputy Cronin.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Deputy Cronin for those questions and call Senator McGahon.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I believe Deputy Whitmore is the next contributor.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Quickly, Deputy.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: As we have reached the end of the first round, I will ask a few questions. It would not be fair to members to spend all the time I would need to go through all the questions I have, so I will put only a few of them to the witnesses. I am very happy to hear about the national heat study that was just mentioned by Mr. O'Mahony and referred to earlier in the session. I had a good read of the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I thank Ms McCarthy for that. I will finish reading the report on the train home on Thursday and will probably get some answers to my own questions. We will move to the second round of questioning. Senator Boylan is first up.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: There was a study UCC and, I believe, the Money Advice & Budgeting Service, MABS, conducted that showed that 9% of those who were eligible for the warmer homes scheme took it up. Speaking to the outreach piece again, how are we reaching those communities and cohorts that are eligible but perhaps do not know they are and are missing out on a very good scheme and the potential to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: Can the SEAI monitor that sector quite well so that, if the SEAI is agile, it can respond and know exactly what is going on in regard to take-up? Does the SEAI's data show if a property is a rental property versus privately owned? Can it say that, if at the end of the year landlords are not taking the opportunities that are in place, it needs to change its approach?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: I have a question on the energy performance of buildings directive. The building energy ratings we now have came from the original energy performance of buildings directive. Is there talk of it being reviewed, or are we happy with the system?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: So, a B2 in Ireland may not necessarily be a B2 in Sweden?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action: Implementation of the New National Retrofit Plan: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (5 Apr 2022)

Brian Leddin: That is very helpful. I thank Mr. Walsh for that.

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