Dáil Éireann - Volume 625 - 19 October, 2006

Written Answers. - Energy Consumption.

Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the progress that has been made to reduce the demand on energy in the home; the level of take-up of incentive schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33323/06]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: In 2005 the “average” dwelling was responsible for emitting approximately 8.7 tonnes of CO 2 . This represents a reduction in the emissions of energy-related CO 2 per dwelling decreased by 19% over the period 1990 to 2005. Sustainable Energy Ireland administers a number of incentive schemes directed at different aspects of the home energy market. Activities and achievements to date are summarised as follows. The House of Tomorrow Programme stimulates the widespread uptake of more sustainable energy planning, design, specification and construction practices in both the new home building and the home improvement markets.

The House of Tomorrow Programme funds demonstration projects to create a nationwide network of accessible, replicable model examples of more sustainable energy practices in Irish housing. Funding of up to €8,000 per unit is available to developers for clusters of homes where the energy consumption and CO 2 emissions are at least 40% below what would apply under current Building Regulations. To date over 90 projects comprising over 4,000 homes have been supported.

The primary focus of the Home Energy Rating programme is to prepare for and enable the successful implementation of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in Ireland. A key element is to address the need for a comprehensive, nationally recognised building energy rating system aimed at making energy efficiency an explicit factor in building transactions and renovation decisions.

[2011] SEI’s Low-Income Housing Programme (LIH) targets those homes that experience fuel poverty. Low-income householders are unable to afford the capital investment measures that would improve the energy quality of their homes. SEI’s LIH Programme was set up to help establish and implement a national plan of action to address this problem systematically. Core delivery is through its Warmer Homes Scheme aimed at improving the energy efficiency and comfort conditions of affected homes, utilising existing networks of community-based organisations. To date, over 9,800 homes have had a range of energy efficiency measures implemented including attic insulation, draught proofing, lagging jackets, energy efficient lamps and in some instances wall insulation.

The €27m “Greener Homes” domestic renewable heat grants programme, which was launched in March this year, is providing grants for householders for the purpose of installing renewable heating including wood biomass boilers and stoves, solar panels and heat pumps.

In the 26-week period up to 25 September 2006 since the Greener Homes Scheme was launched, a total of 7,716 applications have been received for grant aid and of these 6,842 offers of grant aid have issued.