One-sixth of Irish homes benefit from Government-funded energy efficiency upgrades

Minister Alex White says energy efficiency programmes support 3,500 jobs a year, announcing €13.2 million in funding for 2015 Better Energy Communities Scheme

Media Release
22nd January 2015

Minister for Energy Alex White, TD, today said that energy efficiency initiatives are cutting heating bills and creating jobs. Announcing €13.2 million funding for the Better Energy Communities Scheme in 2015, Minister White said almost one-sixth of Irish homes had benefited from Government-funded energy efficiency upgrades, supporting an average of 3,500 jobs a year.

Minister White said: “We need individuals, communities and businesses to engage with the energy agenda if we are to build a more sustainable society.  That is why public consultation has been a central pillar of the energy policy paper, which I intend to publish this year.  Through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, more than €300 million in grants have already been provided to householders under the Better Energy Programme. This has delivered energy efficiency upgrades to more than 275,000 homes – nearly one sixth of all homes in the country.

“By using less energy, most of which comes from imported fossil fuels, we’re not just saving money, we’re also putting people back to work. The companies active in the Better Energy Programme employ people to carry out energy efficiency upgrades. This means that much of what we spend goes back into our communities. It is estimated that the programme has supported an average of 3,500 jobs over the past three years.

“By rolling out energy efficiency technologies through local businesses, community facilities and sports clubs, we are also showing that energy efficiency technologies work.  This is crucial in persuading more people to undertake energy efficiency improvements in their homes or businesses.”

Dr Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, which manages the scheme, said “It is heartening to see the growth in communities tackling the issue of sustainable energy in a positive way, reaping the gains of local employment, cost savings and environmental improvement.  Collaboration is the future of energy retrofitting in Ireland, with the benefits felt right across the community.”

Editors Notes

  • The Better Energy schemes are administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on behalf of the Government.
  • Better Energy Communities has seen upgrades carried out to homes, public and community buildings like charities, sports clubs, farms and schools. Examples of projects completed include:
  • Drombane Community Group, Tipperary upgraded 110 homes and two community buildings across 4 communities. They have successfully engaged with the scheme for three years and each year their community group has expanded its geographical reach.
  • Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council carried out 35 energy improvement projects across a variety of facilities including housing for the elderly and community centre upgrades.
  • Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency linked with two energy suppliers and 22 community organisations including GAA Clubs, a Local Authority, libraries, a church, a pig farm, a nursing home and many more. It was felt that a partnership over a range of different facilities provided an innovative approach as it would have a long-term positive impact both at local level and beyond.

About SEAI

  • The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in the transformation of Ireland to a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is partly financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

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