Issuing its annual statement of achievements today, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) also announced that 4,000 jobs were maintained last year in the construction sector due to the shift towards low carbon housing.

In a year when the Government spent more than €70m through capital support programmes, SEAI has calculated that every euro spent has leveraged €2.50 in matched funding.

In addition, SEAI announced that in 2012, 150 homes per day received energy upgrades with 26,000 homeowners undertaking insulation and heating upgrades.
This added up to almost €100m spent in the construction industry, including €29m of exchequer support.

Separately 14,000 vulnerable low-income households also received insulation upgrades through the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme – part of the Government’s strategy to tackle energy poverty.

Better Energy Workplaces funded more than 100 energy efficiency projects in businesses and public sector organisations, significantly reducing energy bills.

According to SEAI, the €11m spent by government in 2012, coupled with €34m matching funding, will save an estimated €11m annually, which is a one year return on the State’s investment.

SEAI chief executive Brian Motherway said: “Ireland is exploiting its great natural resource – renewable energy – and thus dramatically reducing its imports of fossil fuels. What has been achieved today shows what is possible, but it is only the start.

Conor McGlone

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