Sligo/North Leitrim Deputy, Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has said that the plans announced by Minister for Public Expenditure, Brendan Howlin, to provide a fund for the insulation retrofitting of buildings falls far short of what is needed. Speaking on the issue Deputy
Colreavy said: “Minister Howlin announced that he would make €35million available to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, to encourage the retrofitting industry. However, this proposal falls far short of what is needed to ensure that all homes and buildings are energy compliant, and to provide a much needed boost to the construction industry. Sinn Féin, in our Jobs Plan document released this year outlined what is needed for the area.
“In Sinn Féin’s document it was highlighted that there are 1.4 million houses in Ireland still in need of insulation retrofit and 130,000 non-residential buildings (according to the Construction Industry Federation). According to the Institute of International European Affairs (IIEA), approximately €14 billion of investment would be required to bring the residential housing stock to an average Building Energy Rating (BER) of C1.
“An investment of €10,000 per home would, according to the IIEA, save the average household approximately €1,496 per year. It would also help Ireland reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. The extension of the carbon tax to cover solid fuel in today’s budget will place an extra burden on those trying to heat their homes. Due to the fact that so many homes have not been retrofitted for insulation will ensure that many will see their energy prices hike. It would surely have been prudent to ensure that retrofitting had been completed before extending the carbon tax.”