Kilkenny County Council spent over €2m retrofitting social houses for energy efficiency

The Government funding is to benefit those at risk of fuel poverty

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Louth sees drop In number of households qualified for Social Housing Support

Figures on the number of units upgraded by local authority under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme since 2013

Kilkenny County Council has spent over €2m retrofitting social houses for energy efficiency over the last four years to benefit those at risk of fuel poverty, new figures have revealed.

Fianna Fail's Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Housing for details on funding under the energy retrofitting programme.

She asked if the funding would be made available to carry out works, including insulation and replacement of windows and doors in residential dwellings as part of local authority housing maintenance.

She also asked for the the date on which such funding will be made available; the amount to be allocated in this funding and the amount of funding made available to all local authorities for such works in the past five years.

Retrofitting is undertaken on properties selected by local authorities on the basis of unit cost, the extent of local housing need and the age/condition of the property.

In a written response, Minister Eoghan Murphy said: “Local authorities are currently undertaking an ambitious programme of insulation retrofitting, with the support of my Department, on the least energy efficient social homes.

“Funding of some €115.7 million has been provided from 2013 to the end of 2017 to improve energy efficiency and comfort levels in almost 64,000 local authority homes, benefiting those at risk of fuel poverty and making a significant contribution to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction targets and energy reduction targets for 2020.”

The Minister provided details of the funding provided and the number of units upgraded by local authority under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme since 2013.

In 2013 in Kilkenny, 415 units benefited from €776,234 in funding under the programme.

The figures for the remaining years include: 2014 (212 units) €417,279; 2015 (260 units) €396,662; 2016 (21 units) €147,093 and 2017 (180) €312,184.

Minister Murphy added: “The Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme is being implemented in a number of phases: Phase 1 commenced in 2013 and is focused on providing attic/roof insulation and the less intrusive cavity wall insulation in all relevant properties while Phase 2 of the Programme, which has been piloted in both Fingal and Westmeath County Councils, will focus on the external fabric upgrade of those social housing units with solid/hollow block wall construction.

“Funding may also be provided under Phase 2 to upgrade poorly performing windows and doors in specific circumstances.

“The Voids Programme introduced by my Department in 2014, also provides funding for energy efficiency works to local authority housing.

“During the period 2014 to 2017, works were carried out on 7,160 units under this Programme supported by funding of €29.8m from my Department.

“This funding is in addition to the specific Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme information outlined.

“In 2018, funding of €35 million is available for energy efficiency works under both programmes. The main focus of the available funding for the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme will be on the completion of the remaining Phase 1 works and formally rolling out Phase 2.

“My Department will, shortly, be asking local authorities to submit details of their work proposals and related funding requirements for this Programme in 2018. Funding allocations will be determined following assessment of the local authority returns.”