Unacceptable that low interest loan guarantee scheme for households now pushed out to 2023
The Government needs to immediately clarify how targets set for the National Retrofitting Scheme will be achieved, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.
Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate and Biodiversity, also expressed concern that a low interest loan guarantee scheme for householders, expected to be launched this year, has now been pushed out to 2023.
“In February of this year, the Government announced that 500,000 homes would be retrofitted to BER B2 by 2030.
“Of the almost 27,000 households earmarked for retrofitting this year, the target is highly unlikely to be met, with just over 18,000 homes completed so far – and it’s not even clear how many of these works have resulted in B2 energy ratings.
“The Government needs to urgently clarify if achieving B2 ratings for half a million homes by the end of the decade is still part of the plan.
“Rather than just making grand announcements, the Government must be upfront about what these targets mean and how they will be realistically achieved. Without providing a year-by-year breakdown – which I have been repeatedly seeking from the Minister – there can be no accountability.
“In addition, it is troubling that a low interest loan guarantee scheme, designed to help households make up the difference between the cost of retrofitting works and SEAI grants, is still not up and running. This scheme was expected to be open to applications during the summer and the Minister has told me on two separate occasions that it would be launched in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
“It has now emerged that the loan scheme will not be finalised until the first quarter of 2023. This is simply not good enough.
“The Government seems to be continuously shifting its position on retrofitting, both in terms of achieving its targets and the supports available to homeowners.
“It is hard to have confidence in the Government’s climate change ambitions when it seems to be moving the goalposts so early in the retrofitting programme.”
October 26, 2022