Written answers

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Energy Conservation

Photo of Pádraig O'SullivanPádraig O'Sullivan (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

149. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the deep retrofit scheme will be in place and ready for contractors to begin work; if he is concerned that labour and material shortages may impact the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28485/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

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.

The National Retrofit Plan, published as part of the Climate Action Plan identifies a range of measures aimed at driving demand for retrofit, expanding the size and capacity of the supply chain, as well as making retrofits more affordable. In February, as part of the delivery of the Retrofit Plan, the Government approved a package of supports including a new National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme (NHEUS) providing increased grant levels of up to 50% (up from 30%-35%) of the cost of a typical deep retrofit to a B2 BER standard. These supports address the barriers to undertaking deeper energy retrofits reported by homeowners and those working in the industry. They also reflect the step-change needed – in pace and scale of delivery – to achieve our Climate Action Plan target.

Since the launch of the NHEUS and other enhanced supports in February, demand for SEAI retrofit schemes has been exceptionally high with a very significant increase in the number of applications year to date when compared to the same period in 2021. The SEAI advise that five One Stop Shops have now been registered and can be found listed on the SEAI website at: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/one-stop-shop/registered-providers/.  The SEAI is actively working with other applicant organisations to support them through this registration process.

The National Retrofit Plan includes supply chain development as one of its pillars and has a range of measures that aim to increase the capacity of the sector.  The Plan also sets out the unprecedented level of funding to support the achievement of our retrofit targets – €8 billion of Exchequer funding to 2030.  This funding will give confidence and certainty to the sector to grow, take on staff, invest and innovate.

The Government has also taken a number of tangible steps to ensure that we have the required number of skilled workers to deliver on our targets. These include:

- 4,550 retrofit and NZEB standard places this year as part of the Department of Further and Higher Education Green Skills Action Programme

- Three retrofit centres of excellence are in operation with 2 more to be in place by the end of the year.

- Supports available for employers to take on apprentices.

- The Housing for All “FutureBuilding” initiative to recruit construction workers was launched by Minister Humphreys and Minister Harris on 5th May.

We also want to make it easier and more attractive for school leavers to take the option of a career in the new green economy. For that reason, the CAO website now includes information on apprenticeship options with a link to www.apprenticeship.ie.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.