Retrofitting Ireland's leaky homes by 2030 will cost €28bn

climate
Retrofitting Ireland's Leaky Homes By 2030 Will Cost €28Bn Retrofitting Ireland's Leaky Homes By 2030 Will Cost €28Bn
The Government is hoping a hybrid model combining grants and low-interest loans will entice homeowners to upgrade their homes. Photo: Ralph Orlowski/Getty
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Plans to cut the State’s greenhouse gas emissions by insulating 500,000 homes by 2030 will cost €28 billion, or €56,000 per family home, according to official figures.

The Climate Action Plan, unveiled by the Government this week, has an ambitious national retrofitting programme as a central plank of its strategy. It sets out a target to upgrade half a million existing homes to high energy efficiency standards over the next decade.

According to The Irish Times, the Department of the Environment has calculated that the cost of retrofitting a house to B2 standard (including the installation of a highly-efficient heat pump) would cost €14,000-€66,000, depending on the current energy rating of the house.

Of 18,400 homes retrofitted last year, only 4,000 were to a B2 standard.

At the launch of the plan this week, the three party leaders in Government emphasised that the majority of the €125 billion cost would be borne by the private sector and by individuals.

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The department is hoping a hybrid model combining grants and low-interest loans will entice homeowners to upgrade their homes. It is relying on consumer research that shows that almost half of homeowners would consider taking out a loan to pay for energy efficiency improvements.

The details of the funding model will be disclosed when the national retrofit plan is launched early next year. It will include a low-cost loan scheme in conjunction with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and the European Investment Bank.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said on Friday that the retrofit programme would present a challenge but would be transformative for people’s homes.

“The real winning thing here is comfort, health, the value of the home going up,” he said. “It will take a while to ramp up but I always like that Bill Gates quote: ‘People overestimate what you can do in a year but underestimate what you can do in a decade.’ ”

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