Government’s Home Retrofitting Scheme is a complete shambles, says Rural TDs – – Our News, Your Views

Government’s Home Retrofitting Scheme is a complete shambles, says Rural TDs

he Rural Independent Group of TDs denounces the government’s broken promise of retrofitting a modest 500,000 homes to B2 BER rating by 2030, as only 4% have been achieved in four years, exposing a hypocritical agenda of imposing climate change taxes while neglecting fundamental pledges.

The leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath stated:

“The 2019 Climate Action Plan pledged to provide the necessary funding to retrofit an average of 50,000 homes to B2 BER per year until 2030. However, the latest figures released by the SEAI, the state agency responsible for managing the national retrofit programme, confirm that only an abysmally low figure of around 6,000 per year is being achieved. In fact, to date, only 4 per cent of the targeted 500,000 homes have been retrofitted.”

“This revelation is truly alarming, and it underscores the government’s only efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which is to punish the public. The national retrofitting programme has now fallen apart and is failing to meet even its own modest targets. It is evident that the current programme to 2030 is not providing sufficient funding to homeowners in grants to make necessary improvements such as insulation, windows, doors, solar panels, heat pumps, and other upgrades feasible.”

“Even the recent SEAI annual report exposes high construction costs, low grant levels, and the shortage of labour as key barriers that prevent individual homeowners from availing themselves of the various retrofitting schemes. The same report also reveals that over 70 per cent of the Irish housing stock is at least 40 years old, making necessary upgrades much more extensive and expensive.”

“In 2021, the government promised a rapid rollout of low-cost finance or ‘green loans’ to help homeowners with retrofitting work. However, this promise has yet to materialize.”

“We demand that the government fulfil its promises regarding retrofitting. Specifically, we urge the government to provide significantly greater levels of funding under every scheme, to deliver on the promise of low-cost finance, and to ensure lower construction costs by reducing all VAT rates on retrofitting activity to zero, as proposed time and again by the Rural Independent TDs.”

“It is the government’s responsibility to assist every homeowner in the country in improving their BER rating. Therefore, we will not tolerate more empty promises from the SEAI or Minister Eamon Ryan. Neither will we tolerate punishing people for not having a sufficiently high BER rating on their home, through higher stamp duty rates or any other coercive means.”

“The current national retrofitting programme is simply not effective. The latest SEAI report suggests that the cost of a full retrofit including a heat pump can range from €25,000 for a home built since 2000 to well over €75,000 for larger or older homes. Therefore, a well-planned, managed, and comprehensive new national state intervention scheme is required to address this problem. The current system is broken, and the numbers prove it.”

In conclusion, Deputy Mc Grath stated: “We call upon the government to act now and make the necessary changes to meet their commitments and provide the necessary support to help homeowners retrofit their homes for a sustainable future.”

Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.

Share this story with a friend

Share this story

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page