Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
994. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to reintroduce the deep retrofit grant scheme for homeowners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2568/20]
The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme was launched in 2017 as a time bound pilot to investigate the challenges and opportunities of deep retrofit in Ireland. The scheme was closed for new applications in July 2019 in line with the published Application Guidelines. Successful projects that were not completed in 2019 will be funded this year.
A range of other grants for energy efficiency upgrades continue to be available from the SEAI. The Budget 2020 allocation of €146 million (capital and current) is the highest ever budget for these schemes. More information is available from . A record level of funding (€45 million) for retrofitting social housing is also being made available to Local Authorities by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. This investment is an important step towards realising the Government's Climate Action Plan targets.
The Climate Action Plan commits to reviewing and redesigning the existing grant schemes to ensure alignment with Government climate objectives and value for money. The Plan also sets an ambitious target of 500,000 energy efficiency retrofits by 2030. Achievement of this target will be supported by the Project Ireland 2040 allocation of €3.7 billion as well as the range of measures identified in the Plan.
To deliver our Climate Action Plan target, a Retrofit Taskforce has been established which will develop a new retrofitting delivery model. Our plan will:
- Group homes in the same area together to drive down cost
- Start with social homes owned by the local authorities, but will embrace privately owned homes in the wider community
- Develop smart finance options (e.g. loan guarantee models)
- Introduce easy pay back models (e.g. through your utility bill)
Budget 2020 provided €20 million to commence this process, starting with groups of social homes in the Midlands to be upgraded at the same time. Private homeowners will be encouraged to participate through the provision of SEAI grants.
The selection of the Midlands to start rolling out this plan is ideal because of the structural changes occurring there.