Friday, 16th October: The Irish Green Building Council welcomed Minister Ryan’s commitment to further increasing investment in home retrofitting in the years to come.
The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) was responding to comments made by Minister Eamon Ryan T.D. this afternoon at the IGBC’s first energy renovation conference.
In his speech to over 150 building professionals, Minister Ryan detailed the government’s commitment to making retrofit a cornerstone of our economic recovery and ending the stop-start nature of grant funding that has applied to date.
Speaking today, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD said: “Retrofitting homes will play an important role in our economic recovery. It is a highly labour-intensive sector and can create high-quality, sustainable jobs in local communities throughout the country. €221.5 million in capital funding has been provided for SEAI residential and community retrofit programmes. This represents an 82% increase on the 2020 allocation and is the largest amount ever allocated for the schemes. Of this allocation, €109 million is provided to support lower-income households to retrofit their homes and participate in the transition. This means that almost half of the total SEAI residential and community retrofit budget will support people vulnerable to energy poverty. A further €65 million has been allocated for social housing retrofit in the Department of Housing and Local Government”.
Pat Barry, CEO of the Irish Green Building Council said: “The IGBC has long called for certainty on energy renovation. The retrofitting industry is just finding its feet. To scale up deep energy renovation, businesses need to train staff, build new business models and guarantee long term work for their reskilled employees. The move to a multiannual budget should assist this”.
According to the Irish Green Building Council, the recent publication of the Climate Action Bill and of the EU Renovation Wave initiative are key steps in the right direction as they show a clear direction of travel.
Mr Barry added: “Now that we have the direction, we must focus on actions. Better conditions for staged renovation are needed. This could be done through the introduction of retrofitting roadmaps, which would complement existing BERs. Addressing labour and skills shortages is also critical. We do not currently have the capacity to retrofit 50,000 homes annually. Re-training suitable workers from hard hit sectors should hence be supported”.
Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director at Renovate Europe said: “37% of the recently announced EU recovery and resilience facility must be targeted to climate-related expenditure. Energy renovation is a labour-intensive industry. Retrofitting our buildings is not only key to reach climate neutrality, it can also create employment and boost SMEs. That’s why, the Renovate Europe campaign strongly encourages Ireland to use it to invest in energy renovation.”
If you missed the conference you can watch it on our Learing Hub:
About the Renovate Europe Campaign:
Renovate Europe is a political communications campaign with the ambition to reduce the energy demand of the EU building stock by 80% by 2050 through legislation and ambitious renovation programmes. Accelerating the rate of renovation is a key tool in the fight against climate change, and will deliver major benefits for people, their quality of life, and the economy. www.renovate-europe.eu. There are currently 45 partner companies and associations actively engaged in the work of the Renovate Europe Campaign – REC. The Irish Green Building Council is the Renovate Europe National partner in Ireland.
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