Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
158. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of funding provided for each SEAI scheme, the amount allocated through grants, the amount drawn down fully, the amount of unspent funding returned to the parent Department and Exchequer in relation to each individual grant scheme operated by SEAI in each of the years 2016 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58561/21]
159. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason only 15% is allocated to CO2 reduction in relation to the EXEED grant scheme scoring system given the context of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 26 and other international opinion that CO2 is the critical element that needs to be addressed yet this scheme currently ranks elements (details supplied) higher; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58562/21]
160. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider amending the EXEED grant scheme scoring system for 2022 to reflect prioritisation of CO2 reduction (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58563/21]
161. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider reviewing the criteria of the EXEED grant scheme to make EXEED certification optional for SMEs thereby allowing them to avail of the funding and advice without the additional bureaucracy of certification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58564/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 to 161, inclusive, together.
The Programme for Government commits to achieving an average 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030 and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
In order to ensure alignment to these commitments, last year I approved changes to the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design (EXEED) Programme. These changes included setting the programme's primary objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting businesses and other organisations in adopting the EXEED Certified approach to energy efficient design management.
Following the EXEED standard encourages innovation in design projects. It drives adoption of long-term solutions thereby future proofing investment and reducing energy consumption, emissions, and costs for the lifetime of the asset. The evaluation criteria applied is appropriate to accurately score the energy and emissions reduction arising from projects while also ensuring value for money for the exchequer.
The revised programme was launched in January 2021 and will operate for three years. A review will be carried out in mid-2022 to assess the programme’s performance and impact, at which point changes to the programme may be considered. I do not intend to make changes to the scheme in advance of the completion of that review.
The SEAI provides other grant schemes which may be more suitable for SMEs. Further details can be found at Business Grants & Supports | Business & Public Sector | SEAI