Households and businesses will be slow to make the changes needed to cut carbon emissions if they don't get the right support and incentives, the chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council has warned.
Professor John FitzGerald said companies and consumers needed to reap rewards if they were to be persuaded to invest in energy efficiency in their properties.
"Transforming Irish society to become carbon neutral is a massive challenge," he said.
"While it is the right thing to do, it has to be profitable for companies and households to invest in change but they also need help, advice and encouragement.
"Without this assistance, change will happen very slowly."
He was speaking at the launch of a joint energy transition strategy for counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford, which aims not only to meet the national aim of achieving 70pc renewable energy by 2030, but to surpass that target.
The 10-year strategy is run by the Three Counties Energy Agency (3cea) which is working with local authorities, businesses, community groups and householders in the region, harnessing grants and private investment to implement a range of energy efficiency projects.
It says over the past seven years it has helped participants slash a total of more than €15m off their energy bills through investing in solar panels, heat pumps, lighting controls and other low-energy, low-carbon technology. 3cea CEO Paddy Phelan said that a 10-fold increase in investment nationally was urgently needed to meet 2030 targets.