Cork County Council average in 2021 spend on retrofitting homes could be highest in state at €176,996 each
CORK County Council has told The Corkman to apply under Freedom of Information legislation for information about a claim for more than €2.3m sent in by the local authority in respect of 13 homes retrofitted in the county during 2021.
If all of the allocated grant, a total of €2,300,851, has been spent on the 13 homes which have been retrofitted by Cork County Council, according to figures given by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore, then that suggests an average expenditure per house of almost €177,000.
This would the highest average expenditure on insulating an older house to B2 standard in the state.
The figures for other counties indicate a lower level of expenditure - €7.699,139 for 128 homes in Dublin (average cost of retrofitting is €60k) and Limerick County and City Council, €1,624,130 for retrofitting 45 homes (€36,091 is the average cost per house).
When The Corkman sent a press query to Cork County Council’s Communications Office to seek clarity on the figures as they applied to Cork County Council, we were told to seek the information we had referenced in the email via a Freedom of Information procedure.
This was the basic message contained sent by the Council to The Corkman on Monday afternoon:
“The information requested should be sought through the Freedom of Information process.
“The Freedom of Information Act provides for a right to access to records held by FOI bodies, requests for information or for answers to queries or questions are not valid requests under the Act, except to the extent that a question can reasonably be inferred to be a request for a record containing the answer to the question asked or the information sought.”
While Freedom of Informatin requests are free of charge, they can take a much longer time to process than would a press query.
The Government has set a target of 1,650 homes to be retrofitted throughout the country this year. According to the figures given by the Housing Minister, just 199 have been completed so far.
This is part of an overall target of 500,000 homes to be retrofitted by 2030. The figures were forthcoming during a Dáil debate on the Climate Action Bill last week.