Over €600,000 for local authority housing retrofit in Kilkenny

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny County Council is to be allocated €601,706 22, as part of the Governments €45m investment in Local Authority Homes throughout the country.

The funding was announced this morning by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD and is aimed at retrofitting existing local authority homes aiming to make houses warmer, easier to heat and more comfortable for occupants.

Welcoming the news, Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness said, “this is very positive news for Kilkenny as this funding will go towards retrofitting up to 22 local authority homes, bringing them up to current standards and improving air quality in the home and for those currently using oil or gas they will see savings on energy bills while also reducing carbon emissions by more than half.”

“Every investment in our housing stock is welcome as it will help Kilkenny County Council to keep houses at a high standard, improving the quality of life for tenants while helping them to save money on household energy bills,” he said.

Deputy John Paul Phelan also welcomed the funding announcement.

“I’m delighted to see €601,706 confirmed to finance works on 22 homes in Kilkenny. These are part of an initial government allocation of €35m for the retrofitting of 1,293 homes.

“The works to be completed will not only save energy and help reduce our carbon emissions but they will greatly improve the quality of life for the 22 families living in these homes.

"Many older homes are poorly ventilated and are hard to heat. This will be a great boost to the health and the well being of these families and I look forward to the next tranche of investment in this area.”

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “The 2021 Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme is a newly revised programme designed around the Programme for Government commitment with an important increase in funding support of €65m, €20m of which has been allocated under the midlands retrofit programme.

“This revised programme will see a significant upscaling - from a ‘shallow’ to ‘deeper retrofit’ - on what has been completed by local authorities in previous years and will target 2,400 social homes in total for upgrade works in 2021.

“We are being realistic in our initial allocation and taking account of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the works which can take place. We are taking an equitable approach ensuring that allocations are calculated on the basis of the number of social housing units each local authority has, as a percentage of the overall national stock, as well as the ability of individual local authorities to complete the programme and draw down all funding in 2021. This also ensures that those local authorities who have the capacity to deliver more are facilitated so that the 2021 retrofitting target of 2,400 homes is reached and the budget is spent,” he said.

The Programme for Government 2020 set challenging and ambitious targets over the next ten years aimed at Ireland’s objective of reducing its carbon emissions by more than half. With approximately 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions coming from buildings alone, one of the key objectives of the Programme is the target of retrofitting reaching over 500,000 homes by 2030, of which it is expected that approximately 36,500 of those with be local authority owned homes. In response to this commitment the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting programme has been revised and enhanced for 2021, homes retrofitted under this programme will benefit householders in many ways, they will be warmer, easier to heat and more comfortable homes, it will enhance air quality in the home and for those currently using oil or gas they will see savings on energy bills.