Environment minister John Gormley has announced that he aims to change building regulations to this effect, making “passive” housing the norm, the Irish Independent reports.

Mr Gormley said that he hopes to upgrade energy efficiency from 40% to 60% by 2010.

He said: “This will be rolled out as early as practicable. We’re looking at 2010 for the 60% reduction. I would hope by 2012 or 2013 for all domestic buildings.

“That’s my ambition. The targets set are extremely onerous, but we have to step up to the plate.

“We can create jobs out of this. Those who are in there first will have the most to benefit.”

According to Sustainable Energy Ireland, the average household in Ireland emits 8.1 tonnes of CO2 every year.

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