Some €30 million has been secured under the Government’s stimulus package to increase investment in the 'Better Energy and Warmer Home' energy-efficiency schemes to a total of €57 million, it was announced in the Budget. These schemes fund energy efficiency improvements by householders as well as upgrades in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, making the homes more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run while also creating jobs in the construction sector.
According to Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, these programmes will assist in the realisation of energy saving of over 600GWh next year – a significant contribution towards reaching Ireland's 2020 energy efficiency targets.
Additional funding will be provided for the 'Better Energy and Warmer Homes' scheme in 2014. The programme provides energy efficiency measures free of charge to low-income households. Over 15,000 homes are expected to benefit from an energy efficiency upgrade under this programme in 2014, bringing the total number of homes supported under the programme to more than 120,000 since it was launched.
A further 17,000 homes will receive energy efficiency upgrades in 2014 under the 'Better Energy and Warmer Homes' programme, which provides grants to homeowners towards the costs of insulation and heating system upgrades. This will bring the total number of households that have received a retrofit measure under this programme to over 170,000 – delivering energy savings of more than €60 million each year.
“The continued investment by Government in energy retrofit is a key support to smaller firms in the building sector and the funding next year will support about 3,000 full time jobs and make further progress in addressing energy poverty,” said Rabbitte. “It's additional to Department of Environment spending on energy measures in local authority homes and to the €70 million fund I've established to encourage similar works in public and commercial buildings, which will also boost employment."