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  • Northside East

Heat is turned up for 2020 energy upgrades

Thursday, 2nd January, 2020 7:59am
Heat is turned up for 2020 energy upgrades

St Michael’s House Leisure Centre, Coolock, received a Government grant through SEAI for a community energy upgrade last year. Pictured at the event was (from l-r): Paddy Sweeney, managing director, Retrofit Energy Ireland Limited (RIEL); Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Actio

Heat is turned up for 2020 energy upgrades

St Michael’s House Leisure Centre, Coolock, received a Government grant through SEAI for a community energy upgrade last year. Pictured at the event was (from l-r): Paddy Sweeney, managing director, Retrofit Energy Ireland Limited (RIEL); Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Actio

MINISTER for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, has announced a total of €20 million funding for community energy upgrades in 2020. 

Minister Bruton also announced that funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) programmes in 2020 will be ring-fenced to deliver group retrofits to scale up climate action in communities.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister Bruton said: “To achieve the goals set in the Climate Action Plan we must quickly step up the reach of our programmes from around 22,000 homes per year to 50,000 and encourage people to make more profound shifts in how they heat their homes. 

“This can only be done if we start to bundle work so large numbers act together.

“In 2020, we shall be ring-fencing monies from SEAI programmes to scale up the climate transition in communities. 

“This means homes with different needs and different opportunities have the chance to group together to make their homes climate resilient for themselves, for their children and for the wider world.

“In the first of the incentives under this new approach, I am announcing that €4 million of the 2020 funding for the SEAI community grant scheme will be ring-fenced and used to specifically target housing retrofit projects, which will deliver retrofits grouping home upgrades together, making it easier and cheaper to upgrade your home.”

Since 2012, the SEAI community grant scheme has supported over 400 community energy efficiency projects.

This has resulted in 18,200 homes, and over 2,500 community, public and private buildings being upgraded.  

The €145 million invested to date has leveraged over €370 million overall investment in communities across the country with annual energy savings estimated to be over €65 million. 

Applicants for the new housing retrofit project strand will be able to apply early in the new year while all other projects were accepting applications before Christmas.  

All successful applicants will have a strong partnership approach and will see communities working together to deliver the proposed project.

Meanwhile, Minister Bruton said community partnerships are the focus of the scheme and are crucial to delivering on the objectives set out in the Climate Action Plan. 

“We need to see coalitions of change built locally between the public and private sectors, residential and non-residential sectors, commercial and not-for-profit organisations,” he added. 

”This builds on the work of the more than 320 energy communities in SEAI’s community network who are working towards longer term sustainable energy plans for their local areas."

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