The retrofit of Ireland's commercial and public sector buildings is central to reaching our 2030 and 2050 national and international decarbonisation targets.

2050 decarbonisation targets

Our national target is for all buildings to be net zero emissions by 2050. The European Union (EU) has agreed to this policy through the European Green Deal.

Potential benefits to Ireland

  • Sustainable jobs through increased market capacity
  • Environmental improvements including health, wellbeing, and air quality
  • Economic gain through financial savings and energy security

Roadmap for Ireland

The move to decarbonise the building stock creates challenges at different levels. We must:

  • address energy efficiency first through fabric upgrades
  • reduce direct emissions from thermal energy by using low-carbon renewable heat technologies
  • create a pathway to net-zero emissions for our building stock

Public sector targets 2030

  • 51%

    absolute carbon emission reduction, including direct emissions associated with thermal energy
  • 50%

    improvement in energy efficiency
  • Zero

    installation of fossil fuel heating systems after 2023
  • 100%

    of public sector buildings (around 12,500) must achieve a BER B or higher

Driving the national decarbonisation strategy

  1. The Climate Action Plan 2021 is Ireland's roadmap to retrofit non-domestic building stock and reach our 2030 and 2050 targets.
  2. The Long Term Renovation Strategy sets targets for the energy upgrade of commercial and public sector building stock.
  3. The Building Regulations define energy standards required where major renovation is carried out and for new builds.

Commercial sector targets 2030

  • 30%

    of commercial buildings to achieve a BER of B or higher
  • 40%

    emissions reductions in large industry
  • 50,000

    commercial buildings to install renewable heating

The role of SEAI

To achieve our national and international targets, we need to upskill the workforce, develop standards and educate building owners and occupants. Our role is to:

Drive demand and activity

SEAI's retrofit programmes aim to stimulate customer demand. They build confidence in quality, provide value for money, and simplify the customer journey.

Provide finance and funding models

We identify potential funding models and financing solutions to deliver our retrofit targets. These can take the form of capital grants, energy performance contracting support, and partnerships with the public sector.

Expand skills and standards

It is our objective to expand the capacity and skills of the supply chain while maintaining quality and reducing the cost of retrofit.

Develop pathways for sectors

We devise sector-specific structures and approaches. These are based on tried and tested solutions to gather insights, develop capacity, and maintain high quality delivery of long term objectives.

Pathfinder programme

SEAI's Pathfinder programme is supporting Ireland's public sector on its decarbonisation journey.

Learn about the programme

More about our targets

Three EU directives govern the implementation of these targets at the national level: