Last year, the Government of Ireland, through the SEAI, invested €140 million in sustainable energy upgrades and projects. Among the beneficiaries were; 24,700 homeowners, 57 communities, and 4,700 purchasers of electric vehicles.

SEAI highlighted these figures as it reported on its outcomes for 2019. These citizens and businesses are now using less energy, enjoying lower day to day costs, are better protected from carbon tax increases and are taking positive climate action.

Last year, to further promote innovation in sustainable energy, SEAI committed €11 million to 50 innovative RD&D projects, including €1 million from several strategic partnerships. Among the new initiatives in 2019 was the inaugural Energy Research and Policy Conference hosted in collaboration with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment which focussed on the transformation of Ireland’s electricity sector. SEAI’s policy analysis team prepared Ireland’s energy projections and completed a major upgrade to the National Energy Modelling Framework, forming the evidence base for climate action.

2019 was a very significant year for the sustainable energy transition and climate action. There was a massive rise in advocacy for greater action, most notably in the form of the school’s climate strikes, which happened at a global scale. Domestically, 2019 saw the publication of the Government’s Climate Action Plan which commits to more than 180 actions across all sectors of society and the economy. For SEAI, 2019 was remarkable in the scale of budget allocated to our ever-increasing portfolio of programmes and activities. We take great pride in the truly transformative effect which our programmes have on the homeowners, communities and businesses with whom we engage, helping them to lower their energy costs and play a vital role in our clean energy transition.
William Walsh, Chief Executive of SEAI

Ensuring high standards of energy upgrades is critical to the sustainable energy transition. Under its market surveillance role, SEAI worked with stakeholders to improve awareness and compliance with energy labelling regulations. Energy labels help people make more informed buying decisions. This work included more than 400 energy and eco-design market surveillance investigations covering manufacturers, appliance retail outlets and tyre resellers. SEAI is also responsible for administering the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme in which large energy suppliers must deliver energy savings. 258 non-domestic projects and 48,000 home energy upgrades were carried out under this scheme in 2019.

Walsh concluded;

“Late in 2019 SEAI moved Dublin offices, reflecting a new beginning as we prepare to fully engage the ambition of the Government’s Climate Action Plan. As Ireland moves away from fossil fuels, the SEAI plays a key role in providing actionable policy advice and innovative supports to deliver the necessary change.”

Highlights include:

  • €140 million invested by Government in sustainable energy actions across a range of sectors in 2019, securing total investment of €400 million
  • 24,700 homeowners, 4,700 car owners, and more than 800 businesses are using less energy, have lower energy bills and are better placed for carbon tax increases
  • 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be avoided over the lifetime of measures delivered in 2019
  • 2019 marked rapid growth in electric vehicle purchases, residential solar PV investment and SEAI’s community energy network
  • The Authority published ten policy driven reports, defining the options for Ireland to tackle climate change
  • SEAI hosted the inaugural National Energy Research and Policy Conference focused on electricity sector transformation