The government demonstrated its commitment to environmental issues in this year’s budget.
- €221.5 million in direct funding to the SEAI to support home retrofit programs, nearly half of which is to be used for lower income households.
- €3 million funding for the Community Renewable Electricity Support Scheme to support community energy projects.
- €23.5 million for the Landfill Remediation Programme.
- €1 billion investment in public transport, active travel and greenway infrastructure.
- €29 million investment in heritage and biodiversity.
There is also additional funding to support:
- An increase in carbon tax which will partly fund SEAI programs to improve energy efficiency throughout the country.
- A change in the way vehicles are taxed, in line with the level of their emissions.The uptake of electric vehicles and improvement of charging infrastructure.
- Energy management and capital supports for both businesses and the public sector.
- Increased research and innovation by the SEAI and the establishment of a National Retrofit Office within the SEAI.
- An increase in the number of educational places for employment within the emerging green economy.
What does this mean for me?
Unfortunately you will notice increases in your energy bills due to the increased in carbon tax, and you may also notice a change in the vehicle tax on your car, however, there are benefits to be had in other areas.
The government’s aim is to encourage individuals and businesses alike to reduce their energy consumption and switch to renewable energy sources. They do this by penalising the use of fossil fuels (eg you’ll see carbon tax added to your gas bill) and incentivising the reduction of energy consumption (eg grants are available for upgrading your insulation) and the switch to renewable sources (leg grants offered for heat pumps).
So what’s on offer to us on an individual level? For some time now the SEAI has been offering a range of grants, but this budget particularly has gone a lot further in supporting the uptake of home retrofit.
A home energy retrofit is a complete overhaul of your house to transform it into an energy efficient home. Ireland’s housing stock is very inefficient from an energy standpoint and accounts for a good percentage of our national energy consumption and CO2 emissions, which is why the government is keen to encourage homeowners to upgrade their homes.
The best bit is that you get a warmer home, improved BER and lower energy bills - permanently! Find out more about home energy retrofit here.
For more information on the full range of grants offered by the SEAI, click here.