Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
56. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of households that have applied for the warmer homes scheme retrofit grant that have children in their homes. [33638/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 to 57, inclusive, together.
The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty. To date over 142,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme, leaving the occupants better able to afford to heat their homes to an adequate level. The approximate average value of the energy efficiency measures provided to households under the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme was €14,800 in 2020.
A total of €221.5 million in capital funding has been provided for SEAI residential and community retrofit schemes in 2021. Of this amount, €109 million is provided to support lower income households to retrofit their homes, with €100 million allocated to the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. This represents an increase of €47 million on the 2020 allocation for energy poverty schemes and means that almost half of the total SEAI residential and community retrofit budget will support people vulnerable to energy poverty. The funding will mean that more households can receive free energy efficiency upgrades making their homes warmer, healthier and cheaper to run, in line with the Programme for Government. However, COVID-19 public health restrictions on construction activity in 2020 and between January and April 2021 have unfortunately negatively impacted on the programme. The number of new applicants for the Warmer Homes Scheme in 2019, 2020 and year to date 2021 is set out in the table below.
Table 1: New Applicants for the Warmer Homes Scheme - 2019-2021
|YEAR||NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVED|
|2021 (to end May)||1,140|
The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the number of households who have applied for the warmer homes scheme retrofit grant that have children in their homes is not available as neither my Department nor the SEAI collects such information.
Data provided by SEAI following a review of applications indicates that the approximate breakdown of homes on the work programme by qualifying grant payment is as set out in the table below. This is subject to change as additional applications are made and as others are completed.
Table 2: Review of Applications by SEAI
|QUALIFYING PAYMENT||% BREAKDOWN|
|Domiciliary Care Allowance||10%|
|Job Seekers Allowance, and child under 7||1%|
|One-Parent Family Payment||1%|
|Working Family Payment||5%|