Earlier this week, a press release was published on Gov.ie announcing a Retrofitting Programme for Social Homes, a resource allocation of €45 million to be invested into local authority housing. This announcement comes from the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan. The €45 million is due to be split in two strategies, with €35 million going towards the retrofitting of over 1,200 homes and €10 million towards various local authorities who “demonstrate an ability to complete additional work and spend their full allocation in 2021”. The Government has committed to changing the BER standard in nearly half a million homes to a B2 rating by 2030, with more than 36,500 homes of these being local authority housing.
In 2020, it was understood that changes needed to be put in place if Ireland wanted to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 50 percent. The Programme for Government set itself ambitious targets to achieve these goals over the next ten years, driven by the data showing that – on par with global trends – nearly 40 percent of Ireland’s carbon emissions come only from the built environment, which is why the Government will be targeting homes first. Under the Energy Efficient Retrofitting programme, the retrofitting of these homes will benefit homeowners in more ways than one. Not only will this be helping the environment in terms of reducing air pollution, it will also make homes more comfortable, much easier to heat and more cost efficient all around. Home occupiers can expect to see a drastic change in their energy bills.
Minister Darragh O’Brien spoke out after this information was made public saying, “We are being realistic in our initial allocation and taking account of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the works which can take place. We are taking an equitable approach ensuring that allocations are calculated on the basis of the number of social housing units each local authority has, as a percentage of the overall national stock, as well as the ability of individual local authorities to complete the programme and draw down all funding in 2021. This also ensures that those local authorities who have the capacity to deliver more are facilitated so that the 2021 retrofitting target of 2,400 homes is reached and the budget is spent.”
Minister of State Peter Burke also adds that the retrofitting of these 500,000 homes will also create a high number of jobs within many local communities across Ireland, which could also play a vital role in the recovery of our economy after a challenging year for the industry.
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