Tuesday, 31 May 2022
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
73. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the heat loss indicator study; the timeline for its completion; if there are any preliminary results; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27445/22]
74. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated potential cost savings for the retrofit schemes of a heat loss indicator result of between 2.3 and 2.6 that enabled the installation of a heat pump with fewer energy efficiency upgrades. [27446/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 and 74 together.
The Programme for Government and Climate Action Plan set ambitious targets to retrofit the equivalent of 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B2/cost optimal and the installation of 400,000 heat pumps in existing homes to replace older, less efficient heating systems by end-2030.
Heat pump heating systems are most efficient when they operate in homes with a low level of heat loss. The metric used to determine if the dwelling has a sufficiently low level of heat loss is the “Heat Loss Indicator” (HLI).
Homeowners that apply for SEAI heat pump grants are required to ensure that the home has a suitably low HLI. This is to ensure the new heating system is appropriate for the home and protects the homeowner from excessive heating costs. Grants are available for insulation and other energy efficiency measures to help a homeowner to improve their HLI if their home is not already suitable.
Reducing the HLI can be expensive for some homes and may discourage homeowners from undertaking the upgrade to a heat pump. The National Retrofit Plan commits to a review of the existing requirements for SEAI grant support for a heat pump installation to see whether heat pumps could be installed in more homes without needing additional upgrade works. This could help to reduce the cost of the overall upgrade project.
This review will be carried out through a research project on homes which do not currently meet the requirements. The research will look at a number of variables including the operating cost and the efficiency of the system. Until the review is complete the estimated potential cost savings from relaxing the HLI will not be known.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers a range of grant schemes to support homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Grants of up to 50% are now available for individuals who can afford to contribute to the cost of upgrades as well as free energy efficiency retrofits for people at risk of energy poverty. A total of €267 million in capital funding has been provided this year for SEAI residential and community schemes. The upgrades that are recommended for any given property depend on many factors including age, size, type and condition of the property. Based on the cost data linked to the National Home Retrofit One Stop Shop Development call, the average cost of a retrofit to a building energy rating of B2 which does not involve a heat pump is in the order of €30,200. The range of costs vary from €13,000 to €52,000.
76. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the emissions saved in each retrofit scheme from the homes that were retrofitted to BER B2 standard in each of the years from 2019 to date in tabular form. [27448/22]
77. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of charities or not-for-profit run facilities that were beneficiaries in the community energy grant in each of the years 2019-2021 and to date in 2022; the average cost of retrofitting them; and the average depth of retrofit and the average emissions savings in tabular form. [27449/22]
The Community Energy Grant Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and supports cross-sectoral and community-oriented partnership approaches that deliver energy savings to a range of building types including public, commercial and community buildings with a particular focus on using the projects to deliver home retrofits.The Community Energy Grant Scheme brings together groups of buildings under the same retrofit programme to facilitate community-wide energy improvements more efficiently and cost effectively than might otherwise be possible.
The largest ever budget of €43 million has been provided for the Community Energy Grant scheme in 2022, this is an increase of 43% on the 2021 allocation of €30m.
The 2022 Call for Projects went live on 21st March and remains open for applications.
My Department has contacted SEAI to request the specific information sought and it will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.