Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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155. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if there are guidelines or standards in place to ensure that all local authority houses are provided with heating and insulation to a sufficient standard; if such standards are specific to Ireland or correspond with specific European directives or regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47555/13]

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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The statutory minimum energy performance standards (including insulation requirements) for dwellings are addressed under Part L of the building Regulations and the accompanying Technical Guidance Document (TGD L Dwellings). These regulatory requirements have been reviewed and upgraded intensively in recent times. Amendments to t he regulatory requirements generally apply to new dwellings and do not apply retrospectively to existing dwellings save in specific circumstances where an existing dwelling undergoes a material alteration or is subject to an extension.

Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings requires EU Member States, inter alia , to ensure that statutory energy performance standards are set at a cost optimal level and to plan and work towards defining and achieving nearly zero-energy standards for new and existing buildings by 2020. The Directive does not specify minimum heating and insulation standards along the lines suggested. Ireland has made significant progress in this regard as previously outlined in the reply to Question No. 187 of 18 April 2013 which dealt comprehensively with the matter.

My Department is committed to the improvement of the insulation and general energy efficiency of local authority houses and to that end has in recent years run several funding programmes , accompanied by comprehensive technical guidance , directed at improving the overall energy performance standards within the existing social housing stock. In this regard there are currently a n estimated 25,000 older local authority dwellings with low levels of energy performance due mainly to heat loss through the fabric of the building.

The Government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Plan announced earlier this year includes a provision of €50 million for energy efficiency upgrade works for these 25,000 local authority homes.

My Department has notified allocations to local authorities totalling €10 million for spending this year on a suite of works to include roof, attic and wall insulation together with draught-proofing of windows and doors. Funding of €25 million in 2014 and €15 million in 2015 will enable appropriate insulation and energy efficiency measures to be undertaken on all 25,000 properties.

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