A warm welcome for unprecedented grant supports for home energy upgrades
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
New Retrofit scheme will open retrofitting option to many more Midlands homes
Today I warmly welcomed the Government’s announcement of a package of supports which will make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to undertake home energy upgrades, for warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, with lower energy bills.
The measures address barriers to undertaking energy upgrades (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 the Government target of 500,000 home energy upgrades, to B2 Building Energy Rating (BER) standard, by 2030.
The changes represent an important step in delivery of the National Retrofit Plan, which 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,
This is wonderful news for the Midlands. Many of our social homes are already retrofitted because of our special status in transitioning away from fossil fuels, so we have seen the benefit of such work, and now, today’s announcements opens the retrofitting option to many more homeowners. The size of the grants will put the work within reach of many lower-income families, with Credit Unions expected to offer loans for the homeowners’ contribution.
It’s a huge investment in cutting our heating bills and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels which people have been calling on the Government to deliver. Now we are.
This development will also create new jobs for skilled tradesmen. That represents another opportunity for this area, given that we already have a Centre of Excellence for retrofitting training right here in the Laois-Offaly ETB.
The key measures include:
A new National Home Energy Upgrade Scheme providing increased grant levels in region of over 40% of the cost of a typical deep retrofit to a B2 BER standard (up from 30%-35% grants currently)
One Stop Shops to offer a hassle-free, start-to-finish project management service, including access to financing, for home energy upgrades
A significant increase in the number of free energy upgrades for those at risk of energy poverty (400 per month – up from an average of 177 per month in 2021)
A special enhanced grant rate, equivalent to 80% of the typical cost, for attic and cavity wall insulation for all households, to urgently reduce energy use as part of the Government’s response to current exceptionally high energy prices
An Exchequer investment of €8 billion to 2030 will enable the supply chain to scale up, creating thousands of high quality jobs and delivering on this critical national objective
The Schemes will be administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) through a nationwide network of One Stop Shops. The increased grant supports and the significant ramping up of free energy upgrades for those at risk of energy poverty is supported by ring-fenced funds from the carbon tax.
The full list of measures and grants is available at this link: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/.