Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
599. Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the amount allocated to the warmer homes scheme for 2006, 2007 and 2008; the amount spent for each of those years; the person who is in charge of administering this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19549/08]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): The Warmer Homes Scheme provides insulation and other energy efficiency solutions to low income homes across Ireland. The service is coordinated by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and is delivered principally through Community Based Organisations. The scheme is targeted at householders who are in receipt of the Fuel Allowance, Disability Benefit or Invalidity Benefit and is provided either free of charge or for a nominal fee (less than €100). Households are identified by community based installers working closely in association with other intermediaries including the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Health Services and GP networks. The following table summarises the expenditure on the Warmer Homes Scheme since 2006.
600. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the steps he is taking to promote the use of domestic renewable energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19668/08]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): The Greener Homes Scheme provides support to homeowners to invest in a range of domestic renewable energy heating technologies including solar panels, biomass boilers and stoves and heat pumps. There has been a strong interest in the scheme since it was launched in March 2006. On foot of the achievement of the scheme targets a full three years ahead of schedule, Phase I of the Greener Homes Scheme was closed on 3 September 2007. Phase II of the scheme was opened on 1 October 2007.
The objective in Greener Homes Phase II is to consolidate the market, underpinning it with quality standards and training and providing for a long-term future that is not grant dependent. The aim is to ensure that the market for these products, services and fuels continues to develop strongly in a robust manner and that consumers continue to be guided towards discerning choices. Continuing the scheme will help secure a range of objectives including more competitive offerings, revised product standards, improved training standards and stable growth across the renewable heating industry. The Greener Homes Scheme will continue to be kept under review and will continue to evolve in light of maturing technologies and market developments.
I have also recently announced an electricity microgeneration programme whereby grant support to meet 50% of the initial start up costs will be made available for the installation of microgeneration systems in approximately 50 trials to be conducted nationwide. This programme is being administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and will focus on commercial/organisational on-site generation in its initial phases. It will subsequently concentrate on generation by individual householders.
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