Grants needed to improve Irish energy efficiency

Efforts to improve energy efficiency in modern Irish homes are being undermined by the poor performance of the existing housing stock, according to a government-backed training body.

The Renewable Energy Skills project (RES) is an independent organisation which uses government funding to teach trades people how to install microrenewables in an effort to promote clean energy in the country.

But according to its chairman, Johnny Flynn, its efforts and building regs brought in to improve energy efficiency in the 1990s are being diluted by over one million older homes wasting huge amounts of energy.

“The introduction of environmentally sound construction methods and materials in the building of new homes is being undermined by the fact that approximately two thirds of existing Irish homes remain poorly insulated and are, therefore, neither energy efficient nor environmentally friendly,” said Mr Flynn.

RES has called on the government to address the situation in its white paper on sustainable energy currently being considered, offering grants to help with the costs of improving energy efficiency in the home.

“There are many vulnerable people in our communities, such as the elderly and low income households, who are living in homes without adequate insulation,” said Mr Flynn.

“Without adequate insulation, which makes these buildings practically impossible to heat, these people are suffering from health problems and are also facing huge fuel bills.

“Apart from reducing fuel and electricity bills, a more energy-efficient home helps to protect the environment and provide greater protection for householders against future increases in fuel costs, as well as making the use of renewable energy technologies a more practical option.”

Sam Bond

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