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Extra 1,200 homes to be part of retrofitting programme to cut carbon emissions

The allocations and targets under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme for Social Housing were unveiled by the Department of Housing.

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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

More than 1,200 homes will be part of a retrofitting programme to cut carbon emissions this year, after local authorities received a 45 million euro cash injection.

The allocations and targets under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme for Social Housing were unveiled by the Department of Housing.

An initial allocation of 35 million euro will be distributed for 1,293 homes, while the balance will be allocated to authorities that can complete additional work.

It comes following an announcement by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, Local Government and Planning Minister Peter Burke and Heritage and Electoral Reform Minister Malcolm Noonan.

The Programme for Government 2020 set targets over the next 10 years aimed at Ireland’s objective of reducing its carbon emissions by more than half.

With approximately 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions coming from buildings, one of the key objectives is retrofitting more than 500,000 homes by 2030, with 36,500 to be local authority-owned homes.

The Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme has been revised and enhanced for this year.

A spokesman for the department said homes will be made warmer, easier to heat as well as enhancing air quality.

People using oil or gas will see savings on energy bills.

Mr O’Brien said: “The 2021 Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme is a newly revised programme designed around the Programme for Government commitment with an important increase in funding support of 65 million euro, 20 million euro of which has been allocated under the Midlands Retrofit Programme.

“This revised programme will see a significant upscaling – from a ‘shallow’ to ‘deeper retrofit’ – on what has been completed by local authorities in previous years and will target 2,400 social homes in total for upgrade works in 2021.

“We are being realistic in our initial allocation and taking account of the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the works which can take place.

“We are taking an equitable approach ensuring that allocations are calculated on the basis of the number of social housing units each local authority has, as a percentage of the overall national stock, as well as the ability of individual local authorities to complete the programme and draw down all funding in 2021.”

Mr Burke added: “Last year we allocated 20 million euro from Carbon Tax to eight local authorities under the Midlands Retrofit Project.

“Along with the climate and indeed health benefits, this funding is helping provide an economic stimulus to the regions most affected by Bord na Mona and ESB closures.

“Retrofitting homes is a highly labour-intensive sector and can create high-quality, sustainable jobs in local communities throughout the country, and has the capacity to play an important role in our economic recovery.”

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