Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
39. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the national energy efficiency retrofit programme; if the expenditure on existing energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes is still behind profile; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44978/10]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): My Department has concluded a consultation process on the National Retrofit Programme, setting out a proposed framework and details of how it will operate over the next three years. The programme will be launched in 2011 and will entail the transition of the existing energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes over the course of the year. Expenditure on these schemes to date in 2010 amounts to over €68 million, with a substantial drawdown expected this week. I am advised by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) that they expect the final outturn to be close to the 2010 allocation of €81.756 million.
The Home Energy Saving Scheme (HES) commenced in late March 2009 and provides grant assistance to homeowners for energy efficiency measures. Applicants are given six months in which to undertake the work. Not all projects were completed by year end, leading to less than anticipated expenditure in 2009. To date in 2010, 40,159 homes have received grant payments for energy efficiency upgrades.
The Warmer Homes Scheme (WHS) provides energy efficiency upgrades to low-income houses. The scheme is delivered through a combination of community based organisations and private contractors, who were retained for programme delivery for the first time in 2009. Budget 2010 provided a substantial increase in funding which is allowing for 22,500 homes to be delivered this year, a target that the SEAI expect to exceed. Under the Scheme, structural improvements have been made to 20,711 low-income homes so far in 2010.
The Greener Homes Scheme (GHS), which has been in operation since 2006, currently provides capital support for the installation by householders of renewable energy heating technologies including wood-pellet and chip stoves and boilers, gasification boilers, solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. To date, 30,725 systems have been completed under the scheme. In advance of the transition to the new national retrofit programme, the HES, WHS, and GHS will continue to operate.
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