Home improvements and energy upgrades drive €269 million spend in Cork
Cork homeowners have spent over €269 million in total through the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) since its launch in 2013.
That's according to figures released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) who said the incentive has facilitated homeowners throughout Cork in carrying out 17,724 home improvement projects over the last four years, at an average spend of €15,185 per project. These have provided a huge boost to the local economy and employment in the construction sector, according to the CIF.
The Home Renovation Incentive scheme ended on December 31, 2018.
Introduced in 2013, the incentive provided homeowners with an income tax credit at 13.5% of qualifying expenditure on home improvement works carried out on a main home or rental property by qualifying contractors. The success of the scheme in Cork and nationally has been evident with the scale of the work undertaken on home improvements and energy upgrades, said the CIF.
And while the scheme concluded at the end of 2018, it was successful in encouraging significant private sector investment in the upgrading of private and rental property throughout Ireland.
Nationally the HRI incentive has facilitated homeowners in carrying out over 147,000 home improvement projects over the last five years with an average spend of €16,766 per project.
Broken down by value, the largest amount of work was carried out completing home extensions (34%), followed by general repair and renovations (25%), window replacement (11%) and kitchen replacement (10%).
"At a time of modest growth in the construction industry, the scheme encouraged investment by homeowners in Cork, which was good news for construction companies and contractors in the county," said CIF Communications Director Shane Dempsey.
"Nationally the cost to date to the exchequer is €169 million, if the maximum credits claimed by homeowners are availed of. The cost to the exchequer has resulted in investment by homeowners of €2.471 billion across 147,369 separate projects."
However, Mr Dempsey said it is estimated that one million homes in Ireland still require upgrading to meet modern energy efficiency targets. "The HRI scheme has proven that measures to incentivise homeowners can work, because there is an increased awareness about energy efficiency and the costs of this on homeowners," he said.
Separately, he said the Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme, devised to upgrade homes to the highest energy efficiency levels, has seen only six houses upgraded in Cork in 2017 and 2018. "It is clear that much more needs to be done to promote this deep retrofit scheme to homeowners in Cork and throughout the country," Dempsey added.