Thursday 22 August 2019

'Absolutely outrageous' - anger as funding under Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme for homeowners stops

Stock image
Stock image
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

THE announcement that there will be no more funding available for homeowners to retrofit their houses under a pilot grant scheme has been deemed "absolutely outrageous."

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) confirmed today that funding available under the three-year Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme will no longer be available to homeowners.

The scheme was launched in 2017 and granted homeowners doing major renovations and energy efficient updates on their houses up to 50 per cent of the costs incurred.

The SEAI said that they closed applications on July 19 last and said there is "available funding fully committed to 350 deep retrofit upgrades across 55 discrete projects."

An SEAI spokesman said: "The portfolio of projects now under grant offer represents a sufficiently diverse range of building archetypes to complete the initial evidence base sought as a fundamental objective of the pilot. SEAI and DCCAE will now undertake a review of the pilot.

"This review is likely to extend well into 2020.

"There was strong, sustained demand for the pilot programme as a direct result of the increased, positive dialogue across Irish society regarding climate change.

"Interest in the pilot accelerated rapidly in 2019 requiring discussions on future options with key stakeholders including the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Now the Deep Retrofit Pilot is closed, in-depth evaluations of completed houses will, in time, provide insights which will in turn inform future policy interventions towards achieving our climate action ambitions. These may include different financial incentives."

The announcement has been criticised widely on social media, with some saying that they won't be able to afford to carry out renovation work on their homes.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock said: "SEAI appear to have confirmed to a number of people that they have indeed pulled this scheme at zero notice. Absolutely outrageous."

The SEAI has said that project co-ordinators who applied for the scheme and received a Letter of Grant Offer "can be absolutely assured that the grant offer will be fully honoured as and when agreed upgrade works are completed."

Full details of grant offerings, can be found on the SEAI website www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants.

Online Editors

Also in Business