Homes, firms offered €26m energy grants
The State is to provide grant aid of €26m to upgrade almost 500 community, public and commercial buildings and more than 2,000 homes.
Forty four community projects have been awarded the Better Energy Communities scheme funding, which includes insulation, lighting and solar heating. Total cost of the works, which includes private finance, is €67m. Some 1,000 construction jobs will be created.
More than 350,000 homes have been retrofitted over recent years, making them warmer and cheaper to heat. Climate Change Minister Denis Naughten said community-based organisations were training people to become experts in installing efficiency technologies and carrying out improvements to houses, adding that engaging with communities and setting out the benefits of energy efficiency was among the "most cost-effective" actions to tackle climate change.
The projects to benefit include Arranmore Island in Donegal, which is involved in a five-year sustainable community development plan. The Cool Planet Experience, a charitable foundation which aims to educate on the effects of climate change, has been awarded almost €940,000 towards a project to demonstrate how industry can partner with communities and homeowners.