'Pay as you save' plan for warmer houses
HOMEOWNERS will be able to make their houses warmer and cheaper to heat under a new plan to better insulate up to one million buildings.
Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said yesterday that a 'pay as you save' scheme will be introduced within two years which will allow people to upgrade their homes and pay back the cost over time.
Up to 25 utility companies including Bord Gais, ESB Electric Ireland, Airtricity and Bord Gais will offer people the chance to cut their energy bills in half by installing insulation, upgrading their boilers or fitting heating controls.
Up to one-third of the costs can be recouped from the State, and the balance repaid on household utility bills over time.
Details of the scheme were announced at the launch of the Government's 'Better Energy' plan yesterday, but it will not be in place until 2013.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and utility companies are working on rolling-out the scheme so the maximum number of households can benefit.
"No country in the world has delivered what we're talking about," SEAI spokesman Dr Brian Motherway said. "The expertise is already there, and the energy companies see this as the next phase of their business."
The scheme is part of the 'Better Energy' plan announced yesterday as part of the Government's Jobs Initiative.
It involves €30m being invested to improve the energy efficiency of private and public buildings this year, which will result in 2,000 new jobs being created. This is on top of the €60m already provided.
Applications for grants can be made from Monday.
Grants range from €200 for roof insulation to €4,000 for external wall insulation, up to a maximum of €5,560.